Obama is so out of touch with reality he’s blaming the Framers of the Constitution for the rejection of his unpopular agenda

President Barack Obama is now blaming the framers of the Constitution for his political problems. At a recent fundraiser, he lamented the Constitution’s design and structure of the Senate, calling it a “disadvantage” for his agenda and the Democratic Party:

At a Democratic fundraiser in Chicago Thursday night, Mr. Obama told a small group of wealthy supporters that there are several hurdles to keeping Democrats in control of the Senate and recapturing the House. One of those problems, he said, is the apportionment of two Senate seats to each state regardless of population.

“Obviously, the nature of the Senate means that California has the same number of Senate seats as Wyoming. That puts us at a disadvantage,” Mr. Obama said.
[…]
The president also blamed “demographics” for the inability of the Democratic Party to gain more power in Congress, saying Democrats “tend to congregate a little more densely” in cities such as New York and Chicago. He said it gives Republicans disproportional clout in Congress.

“So there are some structural reasons why, despite the fact that Republican ideas are largely rejected by the public, it’s still hard for us to break through,” Mr. Obama said.

The structure of the Legislative Branch was forged out of the Connecticut Compromise — “compromise,” there’s a word about which President Obama knows nothing — that was essential to breaking gridlock at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. States got proportional representation based on population in the House and, to settle concerns of smaller states, the Senate was compromised of two members from each state.

This was one of the key compromises made to forge the Constitution, without which members of the Constitutional Convention could have walked away. James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, discussed the design of the Senate in Federalist No. 62. It was clear that he considered it to be a feature of the Constitution, not a bug:

The equality of representation in the Senate is another point, which, being evidently the result of compromise between the opposite pretensions of the large and the small States, does not call for much discussion. If indeed it be right, that among a people thoroughly incorporated into one nation, every district ought to have a proportional share in the government, and that among independent and sovereign States, bound together by a simple league, the parties, however unequal in size, ought to have an equal share in the common councils, it does not appear to be without some reason that in a compound republic, partaking both of the national and federal character, the government ought to be founded on a mixture of the principles of proportional and equal representation.
[…]
Another advantage accruing from this ingredient in the constitution of the Senate is, the additional impediment it must prove against improper acts of legislation.

No law or resolution can now be passed without the concurrence, first, of a majority of the people, and then, of a majority of the States. It must be acknowledged that this complicated check on legislation may in some instances be injurious as well as beneficial; and that the peculiar defense which it involves in favor of the smaller States, would be more rational, if any interests common to them, and distinct from those of the other States, would otherwise be exposed to peculiar danger. But as the larger States will always be able, by their power over the supplies, to defeat unreasonable exertions of this prerogative of the lesser States, and as the facility and excess of law-making seem to be the diseases to which our governments are most liable, it is not impossible that this part of the Constitution may be more convenient in practice than it appears to many in contemplation.

What President Obama calls a “disadvantage,” Madison the framers of the Constitution thought to be an “advantage,” even if it made it more difficult to pass legislation through the Congress.

By that measure, the lawmaking process wasn’t intended to be easy. It was meant to be complicated, requiring members of the Legislative Branch to address the concerns of both large and small states. It was the careful balancing act to ensure that the many wouldn’t be so easily able to exert their will over the few, another topic discussed in Federalist No. 10.

President Obama’s inability to enact his agenda and his inability to compromise are his problems. His poor job performance rating is his problem. The Legislative Branch is working exactly the way the framers intended.


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