Posted originally on the conservative tree house on May 10, 2022 | Sundance
When Donald Trump won the 2016 election, even before he took office, CTH warned about the permanent bureaucratic class in Washington DC and what it meant for an outside to enter this system. With a consistent question being raised, it is well worth the reminder – because the answer has nothing to do with Donald Trump.
First the question:
The short answer is, it’s not that complicated. There is one permanent bureaucratic class in/around DC (two wings, same bird). The pool of appointees comes from this UniParty system. Donald Trump as an outsider faced animosity from the system itself. There are no MAGA bureaucrats.
That said, the more fulsome answer is the real issue. Because it doesn’t matter who the ‘outsider’ is, they are going to suffer the same fate until a structural change takes place.
If you take a small potential pool of America-First administrators, and then overlay the DC filtration system in the Senate, ‘advise and consent’, what you realize is that any appointment has to be approved by the same system that is opposed to the agenda the nominee would represent.
In essence, the DC system is designed to protect itself.
It doesn’t matter who the next presidential candidate is. If that President wants to advance a policy agenda in favor of the American people, they will face the same problem. So let me give one perspective on how to tackle the issue.
To give one example as a baseline, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not block President Trump’s ability to have recess appointments because the republican controlled Senate supported Donald Trump.
Senator McConnell blocked President Trump because the DC system was opposed to President Trump.
Machiavelli said, “It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones.” A prescient and oft repeated quote that is pertinent to the situation.
When our founders created the system of government for our constitutional republic, they built in layers of protection from federal control over the lives of people in the states. Over time those protections have been eroded as the federal bureaucracy has seized power. One of the biggest changes that led to the creation of the permanent political class was the 17th amendment.
Our founders created a system where Senators were appointed by the state legislatures. In this original system the senate was bound by obligation to look out for the best interests of their specific states. Under the ‘advise and consent‘ rules of Senate confirmation for executive branch appointments, the intent was to ensure the presidential appointee -who would now carry out regulatory activity- would not undermine the independent position of the states.
When the 17th amendment (direct voting for Senators) took the place of state appointments, the perspective of ‘advise and consent’ changed. The senate was now in the position of ensuring the presidential appointee did not undermine the power of the permanent bureaucracy, which is the root of power for the upper-chamber.
Senate committees, Homeland Security, Judiciary, Intelligence, Armed Services, Foreign Relations, etc. now consists of members who carry an imbalanced level of power within government. The senate now controls who will be in charge of executive branch agencies like the DOJ, DHS, FBI, CIA, ODNI, DoD, State Dept and NSA, from the position of their own power and control in Washington DC.
In essence, the 17th amendment flipped the intent of the constitution from protecting the individual states to protecting the federal government.
Almost every source of federal issue: ex. spending, intervention and foreign assistance, conflict with the states, burdensome regulation, surveillance and spying on American citizens, the two-tiered justice system and the erosion of liberty & individual rights (see COVID examples), can be sourced back to the problem created by the 17th amendment.
As long as the United States senate is more concerned with retaining their own power, no executive branch office holder can break through that system.
In the balance of power dynamic, the Senate has an inordinate amount of unilateral power within the congressional branch. This power dynamic is a direct outcome of the 17th amendment. Indeed, many have argued – myself included, that no single modification to the constitution was as structurally damaging to the framework of government, specifically the balance of power within it, as the 17th amendment.
The House of Representatives was created to be the voice of the people, ie, “The Peoples’ House.” However, the U.S. Senate was structurally created to be the place where state government had representation in the federal government decision-making. The 17th amendment completely removed state representation, and we have been in an escalating battle over state’s rights ever since.
It doesn’t matter who the President is, they do not choose their cabinet. Ultimately the senate does. That’s the core problem.
Overlay that DC structural issue with the fact that almost all of the bureaucracy created by this skewed DC system is now in place to defend itself from any outside effort to change it, and you get this problem that Donald Trump exposed.
Repeal the 17th amendment and you will see the most significant restoration of freedom, liberty and social balance in our lifetime.
Making America Great Again, requires repealing the 17th amendment…..