In a Wednesday op-ed for Politico, invoking the media’s obsession with January 6, Brooklyn Faculty political science professor Corey Robin flashed simply how little he understood about how and why America’s founders arrange the system of presidency they did. Or maybe the purpose was to simply undo that nice structure and supplant it with one thing inferior.
You understand how irked Robin is with our system of presidency straight away simply by studying the title: “Republicans Are Moving Rapidly to Cement Minority Rule. Blame the Constitution.” And since that is January 6 week the place it’s necessary for all liberals to obsess about that date, Robin begins off with that however solely as a segue to his Structure slamming.
“As we method the one-year anniversary of the violent assault on the Capitol, the prevailing argument on the left and far of the middle is that the Republican Celebration poses a novel menace to American democracy. It is a flawed evaluation, which oversells and understates the hazard we face,” Robin started his rant.
Warning! Warning! Harmful Structure up forward!
Driving the initiatives of the Republicans and the inertia of the Democrats are two forces. The primary is the best’s challenge, a long time within the making, to legally restrict the scope and attain of democracy. The second is the Structure, which makes it tough for the nationwide majority to behave and simple for native minorities to rule. What occurred on Jan. 6 is much much less vital than what occurred earlier than Jan. 6 — and what has and has not occurred since then.
And now that Robin has damaged the taboo about not criticizing the Structure, he opens the floodgates for some heavy-duty Structure bashing:
Democracy isn’t just the enemy of the Republican Celebration. Additionally it is the enemy of the Structure. People affiliate the Structure with widespread liberties comparable to due course of and freedom of speech. They overlook its structure of state energy, which erects formidable limitations to equal illustration and majority rule in all three branches of presidency. The Republicans are usually not struggling to overturn an extended and storied historical past of democratic guidelines and norms. They’re strolling by way of an open door.
In actuality, that energy was damaged up as a result of we’re a constitutional republic and in a pure democracy the bulk can merely vote to subjugate the minority. These limitations are formidable as a result of the sovereignty of the states is essential. And a bicameral legislature ensures equal illustration of the states (Senate) and the illustration of populations divided among the many states (Home).
And whereas he’s slamming the Structure, Robin additionally slammed the Founding Fathers for not permitting the potential tyrannical whims of the bulk to run roughshod:
The division of Congress into two homes additionally displays the Structure’s antipathy to equal illustration and majority rule. Too many states, Alexander Hamilton complained, are “ruled by a single democratic meeting or have a senate constituted fully upon democratic ideas.” In unicameral legislatures, the democratic majority — described by James Madison as those that “labor underneath all of the hardships of life and secretly sigh for a extra equal distribution of its blessings” — has an excessive amount of energy to pursue its “leveling” designs. If the legislature is split in two, nevertheless, with an higher chamber reflecting the pursuits of the rich minority “who’re positioned above the emotions of indigence,” the bulk’s designs can be pissed off.
May the publication of this column be a sign from Politico to its readers that they discover the U.S. Structure to be a “problematic” menace to democracy?