A state senator in Tennessee has introduced a bill that would return the nomination of U.S. senators in the state to a format similar to what existed up to 100 years ago when the 17th Amendment was passed. That was when direct election of senators became the law of the land, replacing a time when all senators were both nominated and elected by state legislatures. Sen. Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains) at least has a slight twist, proposing that the Tennessee legislature only nominate the candidates, kindly allowing the public to vote in a general election.
"We've tried it this way for 100 years," Niceley said to KNOX News. "It's time to try something different."
Yeah, how about maybe throwing darts? Or maybe putting names in a piñata? They're different.
Actually, this isn't the first time in the past year that a Republican state legislator has made the same proposal. Rep. Bob Kingsbury, at the time in the New Hampshire legislature, was joined by Birther queen bee Orly Taitz to try and get it passed. It didn't. But his reasoning was simple --
"This is original intent," Kingsbury said, referring to the law in the U.S. Constitution written in 1787.
He's right, it was the original intent for elections. So was not letting womenfolk vote. Or letting blacks votes. Or, for that matter, even letting all white men vote if they didn't own enough property. Or pay enough taxes.
Hmmm. Then, again, if we go back to that original intent, maybe Republicans will fall over one another to get on board to raise taxes so that they could pay more than anyone...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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