Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican and constitutional scholar, made an innocent but important statement of fact Thursday, one in which the Founders would have wholeheartedly agreed.
It nonetheless prompted a mountain of hate on social media a and even a scathing New York magazine article.
It also exhibited the ultimate game plan of the Democratic Party.
"Democracy isn’t the objective," Lee wrote; "liberty, peace, and prosperity are. We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that."
National Review Online senior writer David Harsanyi replied "This should be the least controversial tweet of all time."
But it wasn’t.
"And there it is" remarked Anne Applebaum, staff writer for The Atlantic, before launching into full-throttled attack on — what else? — Russia.
"Remember Putin's implicit promise to Russians: Support me, ignore my corruption, ignore my faked elections, and I will make you prosperous," she began. "And now look —Russians aren't even prosperous. Yet Putin is still in charge."
Applebaum probably had Putin on her mind. She wrote a recently-published book, "Twilight of Democracy: the Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism."
New York magazine writer Jonathan Chait read Lee’s tweet and made a giant illogical leap by blurting out a piece headlined, "Republican Senator Blurts Out That He Hates Democracy."
Where did Lee say that he "hates democracy"?
Chait revealed halfway through the article his ultimate complaints.
"Republicans believe that the political system must retain, and ideally expand, its counter-majoritarian features: restrictive ballot-access rules that restrict the franchise to the most 'worthy' citizens, gerrymandered maps that allow the white rural minority to exercise control, a Senate that disproportionately represents white and Republican voters, and a Supreme Court that believes the Republican economic program is written into the Constitution."
Let’s take his complaints in order:
One, voter ID laws have nothing to do with "worthy" voters. It’s about identifiable voters.
In 21st century America one would be hard-pressed to find a single person of voting age that lacks some form of photo identification. In addition, most states that require photo ID in order to cast a ballot offer it free of charge to those who may not have it.
Two, Democrats and Republicans are equally guilty of gerrymandering.
Three, in a previous article Chait called the Senate “America’s most structurally racist institution” because the least populous state — Wyoming — has the same number of senators as the most populous state — California. The Golden State has about 66 times the population of the Cowboy State, but they each have two senators.
What Chait and others refuse to understand is that the House represents the people; the Senate represents the states. Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution made that clear when it provided that each state’s senators will be “chosen by the Legislature thereof.”
That distinction was blurred in 1913 when the 17th Amendment was ratified, providing that senators be elected by popular vote.
He also claimed the Senate was "racist" because of the filibuster rule, requiring a three-fifths vote to end debate. It’s in place to force compromise on issues.
Fourth, the Supreme Court, and the entire federal judiciary, was designed to be a totally non-political branch of government. Each federal jurist receives a lifetime appointment in order to assure they remain apolitical.
Thomas Kurian made it clear in an essay, "Is Democracy Dying in the West?" that each branch of government acts as a check and balance to the other two.
"[T]he Republican ideal has been able to endure threats of tyranny for over 200 years because," he wrote in part: "a system of political institutions — the President, Congress, and Supreme Court- which have demonstrated the ability to correct each other and stamp out injustice over time."
Nonetheless, Brookings Senior Fellow and CNN national security and legal analyst Susan Hennessey tweeted, "Lee will defend this with some 'actually the founders . . . ' drivel, but what he really means is that whenever deeply unpopular GOP policy preferences and deeply unpopular GOP procedural gamesmanship conflict with democratic principles, Republicans should do what they want."
Lee didn’t mention any "drivel" from the Founders, so I will.
In "Federalist Paper No. 10," James Madison argued that a republic form of government was superior to pure democracy because it allowed for majority rule that was tempered with minority rights.
That’s why we have a Senate representing states. That’s why the Senate adopted the filibuster rule. That’s why the Supreme Court stands as a guardian assuring the other two branches conform to the Constitution.
Ultimately that’s why Democrats want to radically change the composition of the Senate and admit Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. as states. That’s why Democrats want to end the filibuster. And that’s why they want to pack the Supreme Court with robed political lawmakers.
And finally that’s why this election is so crucial.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Michael Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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