All I can say is that when Matt Yglesias makes statements such as this, in a whiny post about the filibuster [emphasis mine]:
If the framers had deemed it crucial that the Senate operate via supermajority, they could have written that into the constitution. What’s more, it’s not really clear what relevance the framers have here—they wanted an un-elected Senate, they wanted slavery, they wanted lots of things. Last, the fact that some version of this problem has existed for a long time is no reason not to change it. An anti-lynching bill could have passed during the Hardin [sic] administration if not for the filibuster.
is that the education he received left him clueless about the United States and its founders. But while this is damning in and of itself, Yglesias has no interest in actually learning the real reasons behind why the members of the Senate were not originally elected by popular vote or how the founders actually reduced the effects of the institution of slavery in the United States Constitution. Naturally, Yglesias supports the same party that filibustered the anti-lynching bill he mentioned. In addition, Democrats plan on having illegal aliens counted in the upcoming census in order to favorably reapportion House seats for Democrats, even though illegals can’t vote (at least unless they get “registered” by ACORN or La Raza, or via the universal registration legislation being drawn up by…Democrats); there is a similarity in what slave owners wanted at the founding.
Let me address the first point I highlighted. Prior to the 17th Amendment, Senators were not directly elected by the people, but by the state legislatures. There was a reason for this; U.S. Senators represented, and were held accountable to, the states as states. To put it frankly, Senators were accountable to the state governments; it would be elected state officials who would be held accountable to the voters. It wasn’t as described by Yglesias, that U.S. Senators were unelected.
For those who refuse to or don’t understand this, like Yglesias, this was somehow a failure of democracy. It wasn’t; the Founders established a republic instead of a democracy. Because the states themselves were in effect smaller cogs of a big country, it was felt that U.S. Senators were there to represent the states, while members of the House were to represent the people. Even the President wasn’t to be elected by popular vote; that is what the Electoral College is for, a conglomeration of the number of representatives and U.S. Senators for a given state. If the Founders had wanted more democracy at the national level, neither the method of electing the President or the original method of electing U.S. Senators would have been needed. With the passage of the 17th Amendment, direct elections by the people of U.S. Senators is now what is in place (I don’t want to discuss the merits of the 17th Amendment here, although I’m not in favor of it and would vote for its repeal, provided what is put in place is a re-establishment of the original wording of the first two paragraphs of Article I, Section 3).
Regarding Yglesias other point, that the Founders “wanted slavery”, this just shows a complete mischaracterization of the Founders regarding slavery. It’s true that many of the Founders were slave owners, and that they wanted to protect slavery. But it clearly wasn’t either a majority or enough of a majority considering what came out as the ratified version of the U.S. Constitution. Had there been this majority, then every slave, who had no legal rights as people, would have been counted in the census as one individual; when it came time to apportion Congressional districts after each census, the population of slave states, which would then include counting those who had no rights, would have been artificially increased and given the slave states a higher representation than they otherwise would have had. Because the slave owners were adamant about getting something in order to be able to ratify the Constitution, the three-fifths rule was added into Article I, Section 2, where slaves were counted as 3/5 of a person. As hateful as it sounds, the Founders did what they could to get the Constitution in place, and agreed to the compromise as a solution to that problem. The 3/5 rule was expunged after the passage of the 13th and 14th Amendments since there was to be no more slavery and ex-slaves were to become full citizens.
So when Yglesias says the Founders “wanted slavery”, he seems to imply all the Founders, not just the ones that actually did want to keep it in place. This is entirely false. Even some of the slave-owning Founders wanted to or did free their own slaves, and knew it would be a contentious issue down the road. But for Yglesias, it is easier for him to say the Founders as a whole wanted slavery since slavery was in the Constitution, just as it is easier for him to say U.S. Senators were unelected because they weren’t directly elected by the people, despite the fact that they were elected by the people’s representatives in the governments of the states. What is easier for Yglesias is actually a lie, one he, and much of the left, does all the time. No wonder public and higher education is in such a state as it is.
On a related note, illegal aliens are going to be counted in the census. Despite the fact that they have a few more rights than slaves ever did, there is no reason to count illegal aliens as part of the population since they aren’t supposed to be in the United States in the first place. Never let it be said a Democrat won’t do everything they can to increase their own power while screwing the citizens and legal aliens of this country. Ever since the enactment of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, Democrats have been pushing for there to be multiple classes of people they can exploit. Even today as Democrats use their “class warfare” rhetoric to say they are for equality and paint conservatives and Republicans as the proponents of separation, the truth is Democrats are the ones looking to keep people separated into easily manageable groups. It’s quite disgusting, really. They tried to expand slavery before the Civil War, they tried to keep slavery in place by starting the Civil War, they enacted Jim Crow laws after the Civil War, and tried to maintain segregation as much as possible. But even as Democrats helped to pass the Voting Rights and Civil Rights Acts while fellow Democrat LBJ was President (a higher percentage of Congressional Republicans than Democrats voted for both, although Republicans were in the minority), they passed programs to keep a class of people dependent on the government for their well being. Now with illegal aliens, they want to revert to the days when slave owners wanted the census to count people who had no rights as a way to increase the number of Democrats in the House of Representatives. This would be bad if Republicans did it; but it is Democrats who are trying to make this a reality.
No matter how much they try to say it isn’t true, Democrats haven’t changed in nearly 160 years.