A Feature—Not A Bug

     When the Left does not get what they want, they blame anyone and everyone else for their own failures. Unsurprisingly this included the Constitution, which they blame for hindering slim majorities or even mere pluralities from immanentizing the eschaton.   An opinion piece by Paul Campos is a perfect example of this.

     The main gripe? The Senate.

“The Senate of course is a horribly anti-democratic institution, without even taking into account such added extra-constitutional features as the filibuster (Joe Manchin is apparently trying to set some sort of record for Orwellian verbal distortion by insisting that preserving the filibuster is necessary to save ‘democracy.’).

“But Shor says it’s getting worse for two related reasons: Educational polarization and the disappearance of ticket splitting. Educational polarization means that Democrats become increasingly urbanized, which disadvantages them even more in the Senate, which by its very structure is wildly biased toward rural America. The end of ticket splitting means that Democrats can’t elect senators in red states any more, and of course red states outnumber blue ones, because of the rural bias of the constitutional system.”

     Oh, you mean the Senate that serves to protect Americans from temporary majorities (or mere pluralities)? The Senate that was designed to give small and lesser populated states from being run roughshod over by more populous states and urban cores? The Senate that was designed as an intentional anti-majoritarian chamber to intentionally stop exactly what Campos is pining for?

     Yes, that Senate.   Also all other anti-majoritarian elements of the Constitution intentionally designed to intentionally protect the political minority?

“The bottom line problem here are the structural features of the U.S. Constitution, including but not limited to:

(1) The existence of the Senate.

(2) The Electoral College.

(3) What Juan Linz called “the perils of presidentialism,” i.e., the dual sovereignty problem of dividing the governing authority between a legislative and an executive branch.

(4) Life tenure for SCOTUS justices, which is arguably not a structural constitutional issue, as there’s an argument that could be altered by Congress, but guess who gets to decided that argument?”

     What Campos has a problem with is that the Constitution is designed to require broad and long-lasting consensus to effect changes. The Left didn’t have a problem with this when they pushed the New Deal, the Great Society, or Obama’s Hope n’ Change. But they have forgotten that those were done with large super-majorities and in the first two examples, with broad public support. Now that they’ve lost those huge supermajorities, they are throwing a temper-tantrum.

     In essence, the Left feel entitled to do what they want and they pout like a child when they can’t get everything they want like a spoiled child.

     Rather than “radical ancestor worship” by those who still support and understand the Constitution, they see and appreciate why the Constitution was set-up the way it was and the continuing wisdom that is still applicable today.

     These anti-majoritarian features are not a problem, a sign of dysfunction, or a bug in the design—they are the Constitutions more salient and core feature. And for that, we should all be thankful.

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