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Jeff Flake is a reminder of why we need to abolish the 17th Amendment

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Jeff Flake is a reminder of why we need to abolish the 17th Amendment

It was a shock to see Jeff Flake’s performance in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday afternoon. On the vote he caved into the Democrats stalling measure to have an additional FBI investigation into Brett Kavanaugh prior to his nomination vote on the Senate floor. Jeff Flake once again reminded everybody that he is in the Senate for himself. It seems noble that an individual would oppose party lines and think freely in the Senate. The existence of political mavericks would be splendid in a seat that was up for reelections more frequently than every six years. But a Senator in the United State is afforded the luxury of a six year, six figure salary, acting a fool as they please.

Who does a Senator represent?

The 17th Amendment called for the direct election of Senators by the people. The people already had representation in our bicameral legislature. The House of Representatives serves as the direct voice of the people, while the Senate served as a voice for the states. Now that Senators no longer represent their state, who do they represent? Is it their constituents? Or themselves? In theory, since the 17th Amendment was a populist amendment, the Senator is now a representative of the people? But what incentive does a Senator have to represent the people, rather than themselves.

Arizona is an excellent case study, in which we have three vastly different subjects. John McCain consistently had one of the worst voting records in the US Senate. According to GovTrack, from Jan 1987 to Aug 2018, McCain missed 1,220 of 10,383 roll call votes, which is 11.7%. This is much worse than the median of 1.5% among the lifetime records of senators serving in Aug 2018. Even into death, when physically unable to perform the duties of a Senator, John McCain refused to abdicate the position. Prior to the 17th Amendment, despite a six year term, the state could recall their Senators for various reasons. New Jersey was unable to remove Bob Menendez while he faced trial and Florida was unable to remove Marco Rubio while he was moping in 2015. Minnesota had to wait for Al Franken to resign. Removing an underperforming, inactive, or scandal enthralled Senator is entirely difficult in our society.

In contrast, compare that with Senator Jon Kyl. He has been appointed to temporarily replace John McCain. He was appointed with the confidence that he would vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Jon Kyl will represent the interests of the state of Arizona, or at a minimum, its governor. And while the state cannot hold him to accountable, Jon Kyl recognizes his task to represent the state, as he is not currently an elected official. Jeff Flake who is retiring has been considered a wild card for some time now because he’s accountable to only himself.

Full Repeal

The return of the Senate to the states would cut down on underperformance. If a state is underrepresented in the Senate it would be their fault, but that issue was already rare. If a Senator missed key votes, voted the wrong way, or committed conduct unbecoming, they could be recalled. Senate elections wouldn’t require millions of dollars or PAC funding, a bone that leftist can chew on. Now further examine the content of state legislatures. A trifecta is where one party controls both houses and the governorship. There are currently 26 Republican trifectas among the states. That would equal 52 Senators to the Democrats easy 16 Senators from their 8 trifectas. This leaves a contestable 32 Senate seats. An even split of the 32 would give the GOP 68 votes, a supermajority that can withstand a few RINOs. Kavanaugh’s confirmation would be in no danger. The country may in fact curb spending eventually. Obamacare would have been repealed, or never enacted in the first place. The country would experience a massive shift to the right just by returning power to the states. The Democrats would have to shift away from socialism and back to being a “Worker’s Party” just to win votes. Conservatives should champion this issue. And if any good can come out of Jeff Flake, Conservatives should start talking about this movement.

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Media

Liz Wheeler on the most disgusting part of the Jussie Smollett scandal

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Liz Wheeler on the most disgusting part of the Jussie Smollett scandal

There are plenty of things about the Jussie Smollett scandal that should disgust us. The instant reaction by celebrities, politicians, and the media is right there at the top, especially when we consider how many are now saying, “let’s wait for the facts.” The notion that a successful gay black man thought it appropriate to make himself seem like a victim is also up there.

As One America News Network’s Liz Wheeler points out, we should also be disgusted that Smollett chose this victim status over being a strong leader and role model for less privileged black and gay people who could have looked up to him for his strength instead of now being scornful of his weakness.

What does that say about America when the left tries so hard to build the narrative that everything is wrong, they’re unwilling to recognize the real problems that are plaguing America. Why? Because they’re the biggest part of the problem.

 


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Democrats

Leftist media pushes back on Green New Deal criticism

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Leftist media pushes back on Green New Deal criticism

It’s been an up-and-down couple of weeks for proponents of the Green New Deal. Before details were released, it was already being heralded as the greatest thing since President Obama’s election. Then, the details came out and even many on the left were taken aback by the ambitious and incoherent provisions of the deal as detailed in a FAQ section on Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s government web page.

But that was just a draft. They took it down. At least that was the story.

Unfortunately for proponents, they were caught a little flat-footed as questions started pouring in about, well, all of it. Even if we dismiss the less-draconian concepts such as eliminating air travel or the less-sane ideas like taking care of those who are unwilling to work, the left is still stuck with a proposal that the most frugal estimates put at costing around $7 trillion while other’s consider the decade-long cost to be in the HUNDREDS of trillions of dollars.

This is, of course, ludicrous. There’s not enough money in the entire world to pay for the proposal if its cost is somewhere between the lowest and highest estimates, but that hasn’t stopped leftist media from regrouping. Now that the dust has settled a little bit, they’re doing everything they can to recommit to this concept. It’s not that they suddenly believe in this fairy tale. It’s that they don’t want this to be the issue Republicans attack in the 2020 elections.

One article in particular that I read from CNN (yes, sometimes I need to see what the other side is thinking) really struck me for its honesty about the situation. Though I stopped reading it in paragraph two when it referred to “non-partisan” PolitiFact, I went back to it just now to digest the awfulness fully (see the sacrifices I make for our readers!).

To be clear, much of what this article says is correct. It asserts the GOP will take the tenets of the Green New Deal and use it to scare voters into thinking it’s even worse than Obamacare. From 2010 through 2016, Republicans attacked Obamacare incessantly and it worked, giving them the House in 2010, the Senate in 2014, and the White House in 2016. Unfortunately, they stopped there and didn’t actually go after Obamacare with the same fervor they held in their campaign rhetoric and now the Democrats have turned the issue on its head.

But here’s the thing. Obamacare may have been bad, but the Green New Deal truly is worse. It’s not even close. Even if we take at face value the notion that the Green New Deal is simply an ambitious framework around which real legislation can be forged, we have to look at the core issues entailed in order to see the true damage it can do. This is a socialist document. It’s a call for the same levels of insanity that drive the Medicare-for-All movement. Within its frivolous attempts to change perceptions of air travel, cows, and job creation is a deep-rooted desire to convert Americans to needing more government.

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The Green New Deal represents the far-left’s desire to make more American dependent on government. At the same time, it aims to increase the levels of dependency for those who are already in need of assistance. It wants Democrats to latch their wagons on the notion that if we become a militantly environmentalist nation, that will serve the dual purpose of giving us fulfillment while saving the planet.

I believe most leftist journalists understand this, but they see in the ridiculous framework a path through which Republicans can be defeated wholesale in 2020 as long as the left can control the narrative surrounding the Green New Deal. They fear another Obamacare counterinsurgency that would wipe out the anti-Trump gains they made in 2018, so they’ve adopted a stance that the Green New Deal isn’t as bad as Fox News says it is. Meanwhile, they’re doing everything they can to say, “look over here and not at the Green New Deal.”

The politics behind what the Green New Deal represents is more in play than the tenets of the proposal itself, at least in the eyes of leftist media. It’s not that they want to promote the concept. They simply don’t want the concept to derail their party in the next election.

 


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Culture and Religion

Louis Farrakhan refers to Ilhan Omar as ‘sweetheart,’ prompting zero outrage

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Louis Farrakhan refers to Ilhan Omar as sweetheart prompting zero outrage

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan referred to Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as “Sweetheart” as he addressed her during a speaking engagement on Sunday. He apparently caught his faux pas and immediately justified the remark, but at that point the moniker which many consider to be sexist or misogynistic had already been noted.

Nevertheless, it didn’t cause the stir one might expect. As a far-left progressive, Omar is known for being a feminist icon on Capitol Hill even though she hasn’t been in office for a full two months yet. As our EIC noted, the lack of a rebuke was because of the source, not because she now feels it’s okay to refer to her as “sweetheart.”

The statement came as Farrakhan was telling Omar she shouldn’t be sorry for the statements she made last week about Israel, AIPAC, and Jewish influence in Washington DC, particularly over Republicans.

In a world where consistency was still considered a virtue, followers of Omar would be wondering why she’s not expressing outrage over the belittling reference from a powerful man. But the world isn’t consistent and Farrakhan always gets a pass.

 


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