Watching MSNBC′s Morning Joe today was yet another exercise in restraint and patience for me. Especially that it now appears that Joe Scarborough thinks that he knows better than James Madison. The subject of Rick Perry and his position concerning the 17th Amendment was raised by the smirking and smug host. Scarborough cannot grasp how Rick Perry could ever beat Barack Obama in a general election due to a passage in Perry′s book from last year, ″Fed Up″ where the Texas governor believes that senators should be appointed by their state legislators, something our Founding Fathers thought was best, instead of being popularly elected. Apparently, Joe Scarborough may have never read the U.S. Constitution, certainly not either the Federalist Papers or even the Anti-Federalist Papers, which many members of the Tea Party have.

James Madison 17th Amendment

So with Joe chuckling away and his side-kick Mika making silly faces, the MSNBC hosts consider themselves more astute on political theory than James Madison and our other Founding Fathers. The two TV personalities cannot conceive of any rational reason why senators should be appointed instead of elected. Well, here are a few reasons for the dummies to mull over.

First, let us consider the fact that our nation is supposed to be a republic. That the several states each agreed to give the federal government a limited set of powers in order to have a ″more perfect union.″ These would include giving the federal government overall authority on diplomacy with other nations, the collection of tariffs, the minting of coinage and printing currency and raising and maintaining a standing army and navy. The Constitution drafted provides the federal government with 17 specific powers which the ′several states′ have given up to Washington, DC.

Next, during the Constitutional Convention, a great deal of debate and consideration went into just how to structure our republican form of government. We all know that we have three branches, the executive (White House), the legislative (Congress) and the judicial (Federal Courts). The legislative branch itself was divided into two separate houses – the House of Representatives, the ′People′s House′, with its members popularly elected by the people. The U.S. Senate, on the other hand, was to consist of two senators appointed by each state legislature. Why?

Very simply, the Senate is the ′State′s House′. Senators, under our Constitution, are to act in accordance with their own states, protecting their state′s rights and representing their state′s needs. Since ′The People′ elect their own state legislators, appointed Senators are representing the citizens of their states. But the main job of a U.S. Senator is to represent their state, in particular from any intrusive power grabs by the federal government.

In the late 19th Century, as the Progressive movement grew and eventually got Woodrow Wilson elected as president in 1912, their main objective has been to modify the Constitution in order to give the federal government more and more power. To take rights away from the states and individual citizens. Progressives are elitists who follow the ideals of Plato that the best government is one run by an enlightened despot.

Now, I have heard, and I′m sure you have, too, many times modern era Senators complain about how they have to spend so much time fund raising. Why? Because thanks to Wilson getting the 17th Amendment passed, Senators must now run for reelection like any other politician. They have gone from being ′statesmen′ to just a super-Representative. As a result, Senators are now more susceptible to lobbyists and other special interests who can offer campaign contributions. They are now also more driven to being long-term incumbents.

When James Madison and the other Founding Fathers drafted our Constitution, they carefully considered the mechanics of how our government should function, as well as how human nature may corrupt it. The U.S. Senate was intended from the beginning to be a unique legislative body. One prone to slow, deliberate debate over issues. But most importantly, whereas the House of Representatives is responsible for looking out for the interests of the individual citizens, the Senate was responsible for guarding the interests and authority of the states.

After the 17th Amendment, the states lost their protection from the federal government through the Senate. Now, their only recourse is to challenge the feds in the courts, much like they are doing now to stop Obama-Care. Perhaps the best example of the difference can be seen in the old Frank Capra movie, ″Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.″ The popularly elected Senator, played by Claude Raines, is the one who is corrupt and must bend to the will of lobbyists and special interests of the political machine that funds his reelection campaigns. But the appointed Senator played by James Stewart acts independently, free of such corruption. He′s there to do what is right and best for the good of all.

I feel sorry for Joe Scarborough and his lame comrades on MSNBC′s ′Morning Joe.′ They obviously cannot grasp the fact that Rick Perry is agreeing with James Madison with regards to how one becomes a U.S. Senator, just as the Tea Party has. The 17th Amendment should be repealed. We′ve tried it for almost a century now and look what we′ve gotten for our troubles. A federal government out of control, consuming about 25% of the GDP, instead of the modest 5% before the 17th was passed. Our dollar barely has one-one-thousandth of the spending power as it did prior to 1913. The very nature and character of America has been changed and corrupted over the past century. While we may not be able to blame all the bad things of the 100 years on the 17th Amendment, we can certainly question how many would have flourished.