Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Bringing Statesmanship back to the U.S. Senate

Yesterday I talked about the need to repeal the 17th Amendment and return to the original intention of the framers of the Constitution and allow federal Senators to appointed by State legislators. In addition to the reasons I discussed yesterday, all of which are valid in my mind, there is another reason that legislative appointment to the Senate might be considered: The quality of people we send to that august body.

In today's Senate, we have people on both sides of the aisle who hardly fit the mold of good stewardship or Statesmanship. Their concern with their voting record only extends as far as whether it might help them get re-elected or help them with future political ambition. When I think that the best Tennessee could do is Bob Corker or Harold Ford, Jr., it makes my head spin and nearly makes me want to vomit. I can think of at least ten people at various levels of State politics and in both parties that would make for a fine United States Senator. One of these was defeated in the Primary by Mr. Corker. The other nine, however, are persons who seem to be utterly disinterested in their own advancement (at least where federal politics are concerned) and seem more interested in the welfare of the State of Tennessee-that is the kind of person who should be serving in the U.S. Senate.

In years past, the Senate has given our nation some of the greatest figures, Statesmen, and heroes we have ever produced. People like Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, John Sherman, and Charles Sumner. From Tennessee came men like Andrew Jackson, William Blount, and Isham Green Harris. The politics of these men were radically different, but they were the best men their States could put forward at a time when they were needed the most.Contrast this with today's Senate. The best we can do are people like Ted Kennedy , Barbara Boxer, Bob Corker, and Mitch McConnell? In Tennessee's case, I would argue that we haven't had a real disinterested Statesman who really looked out for this State in the popular election era.

Our States have better men and women than this, and our legislators who are close to these people know who these men and women are. Let's give those folks a chance to really serve their home States in the Senate-where Statesmanship should be the rule of the day.



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