Comments: Just D.U.M.B.

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Let's look at a couple of things here.

First, regarding the 3/5 Compromise, Perry needs to consider what actually happened at the Constitutional Convention. There was a deadlock on how to deal with slaves, who EVERYONE acknowledged were every bit as human as white people. Both Northern and Southern delegates wanted to count them as whole persons -- just for different purposes. Southerners wanted them counted 100% for purposes of representation -- but not at all for purposes of taxation (the Constitution established a capitation tax), while the Northerners wanted slaves counted not at all for purposes of representation and 100% for purposes of taxation. Compromise was necessary in order to get the Constitution adopted, lest the new nation fragment -- so slaves were counted as 3/5 of a person for both purposes. The effect was to penalize slave states -- both financially and in terms of representation -- for the peculiar institution.

As for Perry's assertion regarding the Electoral College -- Perry does have something of a point. The idea was that the electors would be independent of the voters, and that they could overrule the people of their state if they chose poorly. But when one considers that the Constitution nowhere gives the people any guaranteed right to vote for President at all (a state legislature could Constitutionally choose to abolish the practice of voting for President and instead appoint the electors directly with no ballot by the people), part of the goal was to keep the republic from descending into what Madison and others called a "mobocracy".

As i pointed out at my site, Bachmann does flub a bit on her history. However, her biggest error -- the John Quincy Adams thing -- is not so glaring as to raise a question about her intellect. After all, she knows how many states there are, unlike Barry Hussein.

Posted by Rhymes With Right at June 30, 2011 08:32 AM

RWR: I don't think Perry has as much of a point as you think. He says the EC was "to protect the powerful from the will of the people," which when considering the Founders beliefs about government and power, it just appears ludicrous on its face.

If anything, just like his inane comments about slavery, he is imposing a 21st century "progressive" belief system upon the Founders. Though the Founders' reasons for instituting the EC back then were probably much more viable than today (our contemporary populace has much more access to information and is better educated), the Founders feared Perry's so-called "protection of the powerful" as much as a "mobacracy." I think what Perry was referring to, if anything, would be the perceived effect of the EC not voting the way "it should," not the actual purpose of it.

Posted by Hube at June 30, 2011 10:08 AM

Excellent post, Hube. Another reason this is one of my daily go-to sites. Hope you're doing well. Let me know next time you're in Indy. I owe you dinner. :)

Posted by greg at June 30, 2011 11:13 AM

Well, Hube, I was trying to be charitable with that argument. But the idea was to provide what they considered to be the natural ruling class with the ability to correct the unwise exercise of the passions of the lower classes.

Heck, if one looks at elections in the earliest part of US history, it isn't until the election of Andrew Jackson that the people are ever really able to seize control of the machinery of government and elect a president they truly chose over the candidate of the political elite.

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