The Senate Is an 'Unfixable Crime Against Democracy'?
Brent Bozell makes some good points below and both he and I have written previously on why the last electoral college vote has been greatly misrepresented by the Left, but I think I can make some further points relevant to the present Lefist shriek.
For a start, the shriek implies a very simplistic definition of democracy. The implied definition -- that a democracy is ruled by the majority vote of the population -- rejects most of the democracies of the present world and of history as not being democracies. To take just two reference points: The most famous democracy of history -- ancient Athens -- was not a democracy by that definition. Only about a third of the Athenian population had a vote. And to take a much more recent example, Bill Clinton fell well short of getting a majority of the popular vote in 1992 -- at 43%. And in Europe it is almost unprecedented for a leading party to gain a majority of the popular vote.
So what is going on? The plain fact is that people's political beliefs are all over the place in any democracy, including some very wacky befiefs. So you have to have a way of deriving a parliamentary majority out of that confusion. And doing that can be quite precarious. There is no doubt that proportional representation is the fairest way of putting into parliament a clutch of politicians who mirror the range of views out there but that almost never leads to simple majority rule. In Germany and Australia, for instance, the party with the biggest share of the popular vote generally gets to form government but that party can still have a hell of a job of getting any new legislation through their parliament. Yet it all works, sort of.
The American system deals with the same difficulty in a different way: It cuts down your choice to just two parties -- leaving voters who like neither party out in the cold. And there are quite a lot of Americans who like neither party -- as is shown by the low voting turnout. So a big majority of the popular vote will always be a small minority of the qualified voters. There is no way that can reasonably be seen as fair but it all works, sort of.
And there is in the American system another deliberate distortion: Both the electoral college and the Senate are designed to privilege inhabitants of the smaller States. There is no way that is fair either but it all works, sort of.
Why are the smaller states given enhanced representation? It goes back to the days when America really was a federation -- something Abraham Lincoln put a stop to. In those palmy days of independence, States could possibly have refused to join the new Federation of States. And many considered it. The smaller States in particular were wary that by joining a federation, they might end up being ruled by the bigger states in ways that were inimical to their own best interests. So to create the United States of America, the smaller states had to be assured that they would have a voice in decisions that was nearly as strong as the bigger States. And both the electoral college and the Senate do just that. And if you now tried to take any of that protection away, you would energize a huge bloc of votes against your party. It would be electoral suicide. So it all works, sort of.
So the U.S. system is just one of the many flavors of democracy. There is no perfect system. They all have their strengths and weaknesses -- JR
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell revved up his Outrage Machine on Friday night once it became apparent that Brett Kavanaugh was going to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. There was a new crime against democracy — or rather, there was a very old crime. It's called the Senate.
Come again? Senators are elected, but since they voted to give President Trump a narrow victory, it can't be democracy. The Founding Fathers designed a Senate that wasn't elected by the people but by the state legislatures. (Some regret that the 17th Amendment changed that.)
O'Donnell lamented that America's never been worse: "And so the Senate is now deeply undemocratic and getting worse every single day. People who live in countries that have never really pretended to be fully democratic don't feel the disappointment and sickness that Americans feel when democracy so obviously fails."
Someone get O'Donnell a handkerchief, and perhaps a textbook on how a republic operates. Like many Democrats, O'Donnell feels that the popular vote should prevail on everything. The Electoral College must be scrapped because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote — she should be president.
Using the same peculiar calculations, liberals claimed that there are now four Supreme Court justices appointed by Republican presidents who didn't win the popular vote. Those geniuses forgot that George W. Bush nominated two justices after he won the popular vote in 2004.
But let's return to O'Donnell just making things up, like John Belushi's "Animal House" rant about the Germans bombing Pearl Harbor. He blathered: "An American realist knows that the federal government has never even tried democracy, not for one day. And so today in the United States Senate, the senators who represent 55 percent of the American people lost an important Senate vote — again."
The MSNBC host was parroting a survey paid for by Marist and the taxpayer-subsidized liberals at NPR and PBS that found the 49 senators who opposed Kavanaugh represented 55.8 percent of the public.
This sentiment was ably mocked on Twitter by New York Yankees fans.
In the 1960 World Series, the Yankees outscored the Pittsburgh Pirates 55 runs to 27... and lost the World Series. Their wins were blowouts. Theirs losses were close games. O'Donnell mourned that he used to be proud to work in the Senate a while back for Daniel Patrick Moynihan, but it slowly dawned on him that the Senate is "an unfixable crime against democracy" perpetuated by a group of racist, sexist Founding Fathers. He lectured his liberal viewers to get out and vote, "the vote for United States Senate that the Founding Fathers never wanted you to have."
Jim Geraghty at National Review pointed out more flaws in this analysis, writing: "The second-least populated state in the union is Vermont ... the 45th is Delaware; the 43rd is Rhode Island; and the 40th is Hawaii ... All of those states have two Democratic senators."
In fact, election expert Jeff Ditzler of Decision Desk HQ tweeted that the top 10 states by population (California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina and Michigan) have elected 11 Democratic senators and nine Republican senators, and the bottom 10 states (Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire) have elected ... 11 Democratic senators and nine Republican senators.
It's obvious that Friday night felt a lot like election night 2016 to liberals. What's so upsetting to them is that the liberal media can't successfully engage in mind control and run the country by chanting their baloney into the television set. MSNBC just hates that democracy in America doesn't have enough of a liberal bias.