Lawrence: ‘The Senate Is An Unfixable Crime Against Democracy’ | The Last Word | MSNBC


>>>SICKENING.>>>SICKENING. THAT IS THE WORD I KEPT HEARING THAT IS THE WORD I KEPT HEARING THIS WEEK FROM SEXUAL ASSAULT THIS WEEK FROM SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVORS WHO FELT THEY WERE SURVIVORS WHO FELT THEY WERE BEING IGNORED BY THE MAJORITY IN BEING IGNORED BY THE MAJORITY IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE. THE UNITED STATES SENATE. THAT IS THE WORD I KEPT HEARING THAT IS THE WORD I KEPT HEARING FROM WOMEN WHO HAVE NEVER FROM WOMEN WHO HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED SEXUAL ASSAULT BUT EXPERIENCED SEXUAL ASSAULT BUT FELT THAT THE MAJORITY IN THE FELT THAT THE MAJORITY IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE DOES NOT UNITED STATES SENATE DOES NOT BELIEVE THAT THE WORD OF A WOMAN BELIEVE THAT THE WORD OF A WOMAN IS OF EQUAL VALUE TO THE WORD OF IS OF EQUAL VALUE TO THE WORD OF A MAN. A MAN. SICKENING IS THE WORD I KEPT SICKENING IS THE WORD I KEPT HEARING FROM THE PEOPLE WHO HEARING FROM THE PEOPLE WHO OPPOSED BRETT KAVANAUGH’S OPPOSED BRETT KAVANAUGH’S CONFIRMATION, WHICH IS ACCORDING CONFIRMATION, WHICH IS ACCORDING TO POLLS, A MUCH LARGER GROUP OF TO POLLS, A MUCH LARGER GROUP OF PEOPLE THAN SUPPORTERS OF BRETT PEOPLE THAN SUPPORTERS OF BRETT KAVANAUGH’S CONFIRMATION. KAVANAUGH’S CONFIRMATION. BRETT KAVANAUGH IS THE LEAST BRETT KAVANAUGH IS THE LEAST POPULAR SUPREME COURT NOMINEE IN POPULAR SUPREME COURT NOMINEE IN HISTORY AND IS ON HIS WAY TO HISTORY AND IS ON HIS WAY TO BECOMING THE LEAST POPULAR BECOMING THE LEAST POPULAR NOMINEE EVER ACTUALLY CONFIRMED. NOMINEE EVER ACTUALLY CONFIRMED. HE’S THE LEAST POPULAR NOMINEE HE’S THE LEAST POPULAR NOMINEE TO ACTUALLY GET CONFIRMED. TO ACTUALLY GET CONFIRMED. THE LAST NOMINEE WITH BRETT THE LAST NOMINEE WITH BRETT KAVANAUGH’S POLLING NUMBERS WAS KAVANAUGH’S POLLING NUMBERS WAS DEFEATED IN THE SENATE VOTE. DEFEATED IN THE SENATE VOTE. IN THAT CASE THE UNITED STATES IN THAT CASE THE UNITED STATES SENATE FOLLOWED THE EXPRESS WILL SENATE FOLLOWED THE EXPRESS WILL OF THE PEOPLE. OF THE PEOPLE. NOT TODAY. NOT TODAY. AND THAT ADDS SOMETHING AND THAT ADDS SOMETHING PROFOUNDLY DISTURBING TO THE PROFOUNDLY DISTURBING TO THE SICKENING FEELING OPPONENTS TO SICKENING FEELING OPPONENTS TO IT KAVANAUGH NOMINATION HAVE IT KAVANAUGH NOMINATION HAVE TONIGHT. TONIGHT. THERE IS AN UNFORTUNATE TRUTH AT THERE IS AN UNFORTUNATE TRUTH AT THE BASE OF WHAT THE MOST PEOPLE THE BASE OF WHAT THE MOST PEOPLE ARE FEELING TONIGHT, AND THAT ARE FEELING TONIGHT, AND THAT TRUTH IS THAT THE SENATE IS NOT TRUTH IS THAT THE SENATE IS NOT A DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTION. A DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTION. THAT IS THE SICKENING CORE OF THAT IS THE SICKENING CORE OF WHAT WE FEEL DEEP DOWN WHEN WE WHAT WE FEEL DEEP DOWN WHEN WE WATCH THE SENATE WORK. WATCH THE SENATE WORK. THE SENATE DESTROYS THE AMERICAN THE SENATE DESTROYS THE AMERICAN ILLUSION OF DEMOCRACY AS IT WAS ILLUSION OF DEMOCRACY AS IT WAS DESIGNED TO DO. DESIGNED TO DO. WE ARE ALLOWED TO IGNORE THAT WE ARE ALLOWED TO IGNORE THAT UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH MOST OF THE UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH MOST OF THE TIME, BUT NOT NOW. TIME, BUT NOT NOW. THE FOUNDERS DELIBERATELY THE FOUNDERS DELIBERATELY CREATED AN ANTI-DEMOCRATIC CREATED AN ANTI-DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTION AND CALLED IT THE INSTITUTION AND CALLED IT THE UNITED STATES SENATE. UNITED STATES SENATE. THAT WAS NOT THE FOUNDER’S ONLY THAT WAS NOT THE FOUNDER’S ONLY ANTI-DEMOCRATIC DESIGN. ANTI-DEMOCRATIC DESIGN. THE FOUNDERS DID NOT BELIEVE IN THE FOUNDERS DID NOT BELIEVE IN DEMOCRACY. DEMOCRACY. THEY EXPERIMENTED WITH IT. THEY EXPERIMENTED WITH IT. THEY DID NOT ALLOW MOST PEOPLE THEY DID NOT ALLOW MOST PEOPLE TO BE VOTERS. TO BE VOTERS. THEIR EXPERIMENT IN DEMOCRACY THEIR EXPERIMENT IN DEMOCRACY WAS TO ONLY ALLOW VOTING AMONG WAS TO ONLY ALLOW VOTING AMONG MEN. MEN. WHITE MEN. WHITE MEN. THAT GROUP OF WHITE REPUBLICAN THAT GROUP OF WHITE REPUBLICAN MEN YOU SAW SITTING IN THE MEN YOU SAW SITTING IN THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE WAS SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE WAS THE FOUNDING FATHERS’ IDEA OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS’ IDEA OF WHAT AMERICAN DEMOCRACY WAS WHAT AMERICAN DEMOCRACY WAS SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE. SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE. THAT’S WHAT SITTING SENATORS THAT’S WHAT SITTING SENATORS WERE SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE AND WERE SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE AND THAT’S WHAT VOTERS WERE SUPPOSED THAT’S WHAT VOTERS WERE SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE. TO LOOK LIKE. MOST ADULTS WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED MOST ADULTS WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO VOTE IN THE FOUNDERS DESIGN. TO VOTE IN THE FOUNDERS DESIGN. MOST OF THEM. MOST OF THEM. NO WOMEN WERE EVER SUPPOSED TO NO WOMEN WERE EVER SUPPOSED TO BE ALLOWED TO VOTE ACCORDING TO BE ALLOWED TO VOTE ACCORDING TO THE FOUNDING FATHERS. THE FOUNDING FATHERS. THAT’S WHY THERE WERE NO THAT’S WHY THERE WERE NO FOUNDING MOTHERS. FOUNDING MOTHERS. NO BLACK PEOPLE WERE EVER NO BLACK PEOPLE WERE EVER SUPPOSED TO BE ALLOWED TO VOTE SUPPOSED TO BE ALLOWED TO VOTE BECAUSE SLAVES WERE NEVER BECAUSE SLAVES WERE NEVER SUPPOSED TO BE ALLOWED TO VOTE. SUPPOSED TO BE ALLOWED TO VOTE. NO ONE EDUCATED, DIFFERENT NO ONE EDUCATED, DIFFERENT STATES INSTITUTED DIFFERENT STATES INSTITUTED DIFFERENT RULES ABOUT HOW MUCH LAND YOU RULES ABOUT HOW MUCH LAND YOU HAD TO OWN OR HOW MUCH WEALTH HAD TO OWN OR HOW MUCH WEALTH YOU HAD TO HAVE OR HOW MUCH YOU YOU HAD TO HAVE OR HOW MUCH YOU HAD TO PAY IN A POLL TAX SO YOU HAD TO PAY IN A POLL TAX SO YOU COULD CAST A BALLOT. COULD CAST A BALLOT. BUT EVEN THAT FAVORED WHITE MALE BUT EVEN THAT FAVORED WHITE MALE MINORITY THAT WAS ALLOWED TO MINORITY THAT WAS ALLOWED TO VOTE WAS NOT ALLOWED TO VOTE FOR VOTE WAS NOT ALLOWED TO VOTE FOR PRESIDENT. PRESIDENT. AND THEY WERE NOT ALLOWED TO AND THEY WERE NOT ALLOWED TO VOTE FOR UNITED STATES SENATORS. VOTE FOR UNITED STATES SENATORS. THEY WERE ONLY ALLOWED TO VOTE THEY WERE ONLY ALLOWED TO VOTE FOR ELECTORS ELECTORS WHO HAD TH FOR ELECTORS ELECTORS WHO HAD TH IN AN ELECTORAL COLLEGE AND IN AN ELECTORAL COLLEGE AND THOSE ELECTION TORZORS WOULD BE THOSE ELECTION TORZORS WOULD BE VOTE FOR WHOEVER THEY WANTED FOR VOTE FOR WHOEVER THEY WANTED FOR UNITED STATES PRESIDENT. UNITED STATES PRESIDENT. THAT WAS LEFT TO THE STATE THAT WAS LEFT TO THE STATE LEGISLATORS TO DECIDE WHO THEY LEGISLATORS TO DECIDE WHO THEY WOULD BE. WOULD BE. THE FOUNDING FATHERS NEVER THE FOUNDING FATHERS NEVER BELIEVED IN DEMOCRACY. BELIEVED IN DEMOCRACY. THEY NEVER BELIEVED IN ONE MAN, THEY NEVER BELIEVED IN ONE MAN, MAN VOTE. MAN VOTE. AND THEY CERTAINLY NEVER AND THEY CERTAINLY NEVER BELIEVED IN ONE PERSON, ONE BELIEVED IN ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE. VOTE. AND SO WHEN IT CAME TIME TO AND SO WHEN IT CAME TIME TO DESIGN THE UNITED STATES SENATE, DESIGN THE UNITED STATES SENATE, SINCE THEY WERE NOT BELIEVERERSS SINCE THEY WERE NOT BELIEVERERSS ONE MAN, ONE VOTE, EACH ONE MAN, ONE VOTE, EACH STATEWIDE GET TWO SENATORS. STATEWIDE GET TWO SENATORS. THE BIG STATES WOULD GET TWO AND THE BIG STATES WOULD GET TWO AND THE TINY STATES WOULD GET TWO. THE TINY STATES WOULD GET TWO. I CAN UNDERSTAND WHY THAT WOULD I CAN UNDERSTAND WHY THAT WOULD SEEM FAIR AT THE TIME. SEEM FAIR AT THE TIME. BUT THEY NEVER DREAMED THERE BUT THEY NEVER DREAMED THERE WOULD ONE DAY BE A STATE CALLED WOULD ONE DAY BE A STATE CALLED CALIFORNIA WITH THE POPULATION CALIFORNIA WITH THE POPULATION ALMOST THE SIZE OF ENGLAND AND ALMOST THE SIZE OF ENGLAND AND DELAWARE WOULD BECOME EVEN DELAWARE WOULD BECOME EVEN SMALLER IN RELATIVE SIZE TO WHAT SMALLER IN RELATIVE SIZE TO WHAT IT WAS THEN COMPARE TODAY THE IT WAS THEN COMPARE TODAY THE BIG STATES WHEN IT WAS A BIG STATES WHEN IT WAS A FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE UNITED FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. STATES OF AMERICA. THE POPULATION GAP BETWEEN THE THE POPULATION GAP BETWEEN THE BIG STATES AND THE SMALL STATES BIG STATES AND THE SMALL STATES IS BIGGER THAN EVER AND KEEPS IS BIGGER THAN EVER AND KEEPS GETTING BIGGER ALL THE TIME. GETTING BIGGER ALL THE TIME. SO THE VOTES OF NEW YORKERS AND SO THE VOTES OF NEW YORKERS AND CALIFORNIANS BECOME WORTH LESS CALIFORNIANS BECOME WORTH LESS EVERY DAY IN THE UNITED STATES EVERY DAY IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE COMPARED TO THE VOTES OF SENATE COMPARED TO THE VOTES OF PEOPLE IN THE DAKOTAS OR WYOMING PEOPLE IN THE DAKOTAS OR WYOMING AND MOST OF THE CONFEDERATE AND MOST OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES. STATES. AND SO THE SENATE IS NOW DEEPLY AND SO THE SENATE IS NOW DEEPLY UNDEMOCRATIC AND GETTING WORSE UNDEMOCRATIC AND GETTING WORSE EVERY SINGLE DAY. EVERY SINGLE DAY. PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN COUNTRIES PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN COUNTRIES THAT HAVE NEVER REALLY PRETENDED THAT HAVE NEVER REALLY PRETENDED TO BE FULLY DEMOCRATIC DON’T TO BE FULLY DEMOCRATIC DON’T FEEL THE DISAPPOINTMENT AND FEEL THE DISAPPOINTMENT AND SICKNESS THAT AMERICANS FEEL SICKNESS THAT AMERICANS FEEL WHEN DEMOCRACY SO OBVIOUSLY WHEN DEMOCRACY SO OBVIOUSLY FAILS. FAILS. PEOPLE IN THOSE COUNTRIES ARE RE PEOPLE IN THOSE COUNTRIES ARE RE REALISTS ABOUT THE LIMITS OF REALISTS ABOUT THE LIMITS OF THEY’RE SO-CALLED DEMOCRACIES. THEY’RE SO-CALLED DEMOCRACIES. AN AMERICAN REALISTIC KNOWS THAT AN AMERICAN REALISTIC KNOWS THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS NEVER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS NEVER EVEN TRIED DEMOCRACY NOT FOR ONE EVEN TRIED DEMOCRACY NOT FOR ONE DAY. DAY. AND SO TODAY IN THE UNITED AND SO TODAY IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE THE SENATORS WHO STATES SENATE THE SENATORS WHO REPRESENT 55% OF THE AMERICAN REPRESENT 55% OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE LOST AN IMPORTANT SENATE PEOPLE LOST AN IMPORTANT SENATE VOTE AGAIN. VOTE AGAIN. I LOVED THE SENATE WHEN I WORKED I LOVED THE SENATE WHEN I WORKED THERE, JUST LOVED IT. THERE, JUST LOVED IT. EVERYONE DID. EVERYONE DID. AND EVERYONE WAS PROUD TO BURKE AND EVERYONE WAS PROUD TO BURKE THERE. THERE. LIKE EVERYONE ELSE IN THE SENATE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE IN THE SENATE I LOOKED DOWN ON THE UNRULY AND I LOOKED DOWN ON THE UNRULY AND UNSOPHISTICATED SENATE WITH ITS UNSOPHISTICATED SENATE WITH ITS JERRY MANDER OF DISTRICTS. JERRY MANDER OF DISTRICTS. BUT AFTER MY FIRST FULL YEARS OF BUT AFTER MY FIRST FULL YEARS OF WORKING IN THE SENATE, IT WAS WORKING IN THE SENATE, IT WAS SLOWLY DAWNING ON ME THAT THE SLOWLY DAWNING ON ME THAT THE SENATE WAS AN UNFIXABLE CRIME SENATE WAS AN UNFIXABLE CRIME AGAINST DEMOCRACY, AND THAT IS AGAINST DEMOCRACY, AND THAT IS TRULY SICKENING. TRULY SICKENING. THAT IS AT THE BASE OF WHAT THAT IS AT THE BASE OF WHAT PEOPLE ARE FEELING TODAY. PEOPLE ARE FEELING TODAY. YOU LIVE IN A COUNTRY WHERE THE YOU LIVE IN A COUNTRY WHERE THE FOUNDERS BELIEVED YOU WOULD FOUNDERS BELIEVED YOU WOULD NEVER BE SMART ENOUGH TO VOTE NEVER BE SMART ENOUGH TO VOTE DIRECTLY FOR A UNITED STATES DIRECTLY FOR A UNITED STATES SENATOR. SENATOR. AND THEY WERE WRONG ABOUT THAT. AND THEY WERE WRONG ABOUT THAT. THEY WERE WRONG ABOUT A LOT. THEY WERE WRONG ABOUT A LOT. BUT IT DOES MEAN THAT YOU HAVE BUT IT DOES MEAN THAT YOU HAVE TO WORK MUCH HARDER IN THIS TO WORK MUCH HARDER IN THIS COUNTRY IF YOU REALLY DO BELIEVE COUNTRY IF YOU REALLY DO BELIEVE IN DEMOCRACY. IN DEMOCRACY. IF YOU WANT TO ELECT A UNITED IF YOU WANT TO ELECT A UNITED STATES SENATE WITH A MAJORITY STATES SENATE WITH A MAJORITY THAT ACTUALLY REPRESENTS A THAT ACTUALLY REPRESENTS A MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE, THEN YOU MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE, THEN YOU AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW WHO FEELS AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW WHO FEELS THAT WAY HAS TO WORK MUCH HARDER THAT WAY HAS TO WORK MUCH HARDER THAN THE FOUNDING FATHERS EVER THAN THE FOUNDING FATHERS EVER BELIEVED THAT YOU COULD OR YOU BELIEVED THAT YOU COULD OR YOU WOULD. WOULD. AND THAT MEANS THAT EVERY AND THAT MEANS THAT EVERY ELECTION MATTERS WHETHER IT’S A ELECTION MATTERS WHETHER IT’S A MID-TERM ELECTION OR A MID-TERM ELECTION OR A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION HERE. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION HERE. AND IT MEANS MOST IMPORTANTLY IN AND IT MEANS MOST IMPORTANTLY IN EVERY STATE THAT EVERY VOTE EVERY STATE THAT EVERY VOTE MATTERS. MATTERS. THE VOTE FOR UNITED STATES THE VOTE FOR UNITED STATES SENATE THAT THE FOUNDING FATHERS SENATE THAT THE FOUNDING FATHERS NEVER WANTED YOU TO HAVE.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Maybe the greatest mistake in the American Constitution was the separation of the three branches of government. As a Canadian, and as much as I don't like the way the power of the prime minister is near-absolute if they have a majority of seats -and typically not with a majority of the vote but 40% or less – the powers of the monarchy are entirely held by Parliament and its executive council, the cabinet, includes ministers responsible for the justice system and judicial appointments. Under FPTP (first-past-the-post, in which the largest plurality can win government… in a four-way race conceivably with as little as 25% of the vote, which was historically the case in some ridings (electoral districts). So a majority of the population near-always votes for a party other than and in opposition to the sitting government, the incumbent government, which means in a majority house the prime minister. It's not a good system, which is why the movement to change provincial voting systems to proportional representation has been gaining steam, and the heat is back on Trudeau to live up to his election promise on electoral reform.

    But as bad as our system is, in terms of who's controlled government here due to our electoral system, we don't have an executive that is independent of and not responsible to the legislative body of the House of Commons. We have a Senate, which is appointed, and that's a long story and despite much talk of abolishing it or reforming it, it's an entrenched body of political hacks and maybe the most plum patronage gig in the country…. and it can stall legislation, even refuse it. Usually controlled by the primer minister of the day…. and if not, he'll appoint some senators to "balance" it.

    But down there your founding fathers made the mistake of creating a position very much like that of king, but independent of parliament, and with a difficult and hard-to-even-start recall process called impeachment…. and if the founding fathers' intent was to give that position immunity from the law, as the Trumpites claim (apparently including the laws against treason and dealing with the enemy and tax fraud were also exempted), then the Constitution is a rag and a new one needs to be written. That's not gonna happen, short of civil war or revolution…both of which are in the cards at present, depending on how the next few months go.

    By creating the position of President and making the Legislative and Judicial Branches separate bodies, the US broke up the unitary model of government then in practice in Britain, where Parliament ruled, not George III other than by personal influence. And that position has gone rogue and more and more 'royal' all the time, especially since Reagan and including engaging in operations without congressional approval; the rot sat in long before Trump came to power. It's a flaw in the system – the lack of ability to independently investigate – without that executive position being able to halt an investigation into itself. *(see below)

    And when the person in that rogue, imperial-empowered office, is not just a madman and megalomaniac with the education of a ten-year-old, has been put there and/or subverted and controlled by a foreign power, and the Legislative Branch's deal with the Russian puppet – when they knew he was a Russian puppet ("suspected" they put it…) – was so juicy they're looking the other way and entertaining allowing Trump to fire Mueller, and there's no way – other than the mid-terms on Nov. 6 – to get him out anytime soon.

    _
    "It's a flaw in the system – the lack of ability to independently investigate – without that executive position being able to halt an investigation into itself" – *Up here there'd be a supreme court enquiry or a royal commission (RC's issue reports, often very progressive ones, and get consistently ignored and forgotten) and the minister in question would step aside. Because the Solicitor-General is appointed by the Prime Minister, however, it means that investigations of prime ministerial conduct other than by the media or political blogs only happen, if ever, once they're out of office. And even then, as with the Airbus Inquiry over Brian Mulroney's dealings with Karlheinz Schreiber, Harper wrote the terms of reference for the inquiry to insulate other Tories (Conservatives) including himself from the investigation. Mulroney's since been laundered as an elder statesman and erstwhile political commentator e.g. on NAFTA) and the guy who presided over that inquiry and those terms of reference got the job of Governor-General as a reward… so even the position of viceroy is corrupted. But it has no power, other than in procedural matters and in signing authority (a viceroy never refuses bills passed by Parliament presented to him/her).

    In the US, the presidency has too much power – and put too much influence in an office prone to be held by members of the military… or in the military or military-related industries.

    Like the Electoral College being there to protect the rights of slave-owning states, the Senate seats for the 'empty states' like WY, MT, ID, NV, SD/ND, KS, AK etc wind up effectively being reps for the oil sector which holds sway in those states. All of which combined – with 16 senators – are not as many people as the five biggest states having only 10 senate seats between them (CA, TX, IL, NY and FL, I think – ?).

    In Canada electoral power is in the three major cities – Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal – and the large urban/suburban areas around them where 90% of our population lives. Toronto and Montreal combined – the GTA and the Golden Horseshoe it's part of from Belleville to Niagara and Metro Montreal dominate the House of Commons.

    So if you had our system, the government's – the prime minister's – electoral mandate would be mostly from greater NYC, southern Florida, Greater Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles' five counties and the Bay Area. It wouldn't be from what in parliamentary terms are 'rotten boroughs', seats devoid of population being represented as voting seats for the industry and financiers who control those smaller-population states.

    The MidWest and Mountain States have undue weight in the composition of the Legislative Branch (not just the Senate) and the selection of the President.

    To us up here, it's not just the Electoral College that's weird, it's the way primaries are held and the differing ways states have of using them, or caucuses. We don't get to do that, and we don't have parties with the same huge membership relative to our population as you do with yours, leaders are chosen by party convention though Trudeau has cause the Liberal Party to allow voting for any future leadership race to be open to the public, without a membership…. the other parties should think about that. But seeing Bernie win primary after primary and see all the delegates, or most in some cases, got to Hillary instead put a stain not just on the Democratic Party executive and state party executives for pulling that, but that the primary process was even written to allow the public will and choice to be ignored, boggles the imagination.

    Though our prime ministers and premiers are known to push candidates aside in favour of their own.

  2. The Founding Parents didn't even TRY to the most moral government. They didn't live in that kind of world. They didn't SAY they were being moral. They compromised with each other on everything to get every colony south of Canada (and why they left out English-speaking colonies in Canada I don't know) to join, and to make the newly-formed country as powerful as possible. To make it work. To make it easy to KEEP independence now that it had been GAINED. Every moral principle held by every party was caved in upon, to make the resulting country not more moral but, rather, more monolithic. More unified. More powerful. More wealth-growing. They perceived rampant popular democracy as being incompatible with that goal, so they limited rampant popular democracy.
    It is wrong, in the 21st century, to talk of the EXPEDIENTS that our Founders agreed upon in pursuit of cohesion and strategic national advantage, as if those are MORAL principles. They're not, and they were not stated to be such at the time. They were perceived as the best possible route to the greatest possible advantage. Today we are no less entitled to draft laws that give us the best possible route to the greatest possible advantage. I know that the savage redneck white-trash tribalist Trump base are the most ill-informed English speakers in the world (and I suspect that most of them can't read), but they are only 30% of us. Seventy percent of us are, because of what used to be fairly good publicly-supported education and a still-accessible Internet, phenomenally better-informed than our 18th-century ancestors.  If today rampant popular democracy and disenfranchisement of anything other than individual humans is the best strategic path to OUR goals, we should not hesitate to do what is good for US instead of honoring our Founders' perception of what would work best for THEM as being enshrined in a gold tablet or as being moral principles when our Founders themselves did not intend for them to be perceived as such.

    The Model T was the best possible car for my ancestors, and so (good for them) they owned one. If it's not the best possible car for ME, I should feel free to opt for something different rather than be tied to the car my ancestors owned. And my ancestors would agree with my right to have a different car. They would not say that I'm betraying their moral principles. A car is a tool to serve humans, NOT an entity with rights unto itself. It should be modified or even discarded in favor of something better as needs and desires change. A governmental framework is the same, only a tool, not an ideal deserving loyalty unto itself, and we should change it at will.

  3. I believe the vast majority of Americans would greatly appreciate it if those members of Trumps Administration who are keeping the president in check would come forth NOW and get Mr. Trump out with a 25. Please do it before Trump does something very stupid. I have a very uneasy feeling that Mr. Trump is delusional, deranged and dangerous. Please, those true Patriot's that are in Trumps inner circle, now is the time to get it done. America and the world is watching.

  4. This is the current theatre of the antifascist struggle, and women are are on the front line: see them on the point position, under the threat of death.
    No real man can be any but an ally in this fight.

  5. GOP has proven they are Party over People!
    #metoo is 'we understand but really we don't care'.

    We (they) the Party (People)…

  6. Not that we had one over the last few years,  we no longer have a Supreme Court. Better terms are "Gang Of Five Court" OR "Right Wing Mafia Court".

  7. A man accussed does not mean he was guilty. No real person would ever believe Ford. I believe a lot of women that told me their story. Warnings the Democrat's party is full of evil, you best walk away. Conservatives treat all people the same, you are judged by your actions.

  8. This lying hack is who's "SICKENING"! Look at how great things are going for everyone in the US, and you have these hacks in the media, trashing the President, and the government 24/7! Why weren't they saying this stuff when Obama was destroying America, and telling everyone, "his economy was as good as it gets, and 1% GDP growth was the new normal"?? Americans need to reject these monstrous news corporations, and their fake propaganda, paid for by all these Soros funded groups and lobbyists! Listen to this guy here. He's really over the top with nothing but Trash talking your President, every single time he speaks. This has been going on since the election, and EVERYTHING in your country has been improving more every week since he took over. Imagine how much more great things he could do for you all, if you were working with him, rather than against him!!!

  9. No you are completely wrong…… The press and you the journalists should be the "watchdog" for your country and democracy, yet you falsify the news for your biased political orientation which should not collude with your job application!!!

  10. Can someone who knows some U.S history tell me why the flag of England (white flag and Red cros, beween some other banners) is doing in the picture of the 'founding fathers ' on the background ? Or does this flag is represent something different. I'm curious ,and had not much luck googling it .

  11. No one could have said it better. “Illusion” of Democracy. Trump didn’t win the popular vote. Protests might be an American right but, when’s the last time you’ve seen a protest actually create change? I see why people don’t vote. I choose to personally. It’s disheartening and frustrating when you come to the realization that this isn’t a real democracy. A small group chooses. Then we all do what they say. Now let’s all go plug back in the the okie doke.

  12. Please forgive my ignorance. If Our Founding Fathers only wanted ser tin people to vote. How did America ever change that law. Also if we as a country at one time was never meant to be a democracy. How did that change. Did we at one time in History have only The House or The Seneted. Or have we always had them both. Sorry I just was under the impression. That we as a country were living the way our Founding Fathers had it worked out. I mean this does not sound like the History I thought I new from school and books. Yes I know I have bad grammar and spelling. I have a really bad learning disability.Sorry.

  13. I’m Australian and in recent years we had a high commission investigation into child sexual abuse in churches, schools and institutions. This week in America reminded me of how easy it is for men in positions of power to abuse the vulnerable and count on other powerful men to defend them, cover up for them and pay lip service to the statements of victims. Many child victims who are now adults faced the same accusations of not speaking up earlier, not remembering enough details and ruining the lives of “good” men. I’m glad at least in my country they were finally heard and claims were properly investigated.
    I hope one day when another Roy Moore or Brett Kavanagh stand for a position that their accusers are heard and properly investigated because if this is how women who can recount names and places are treated I’d hate to see how your country would treat a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. This is a sad day when claims can’t be fully investigated.

  14. Now that was a very interesting and informative little spiel you just gave and it should make people stop and think about it, but alas most will just nod their heads and then move on, not bothering to give any thought to such a deep and ponderous proposition. Thanks

  15. you pos's were perfectly happy with the EC and senate when it was all going your way. But now we're going to require national voter ID, get rid of the 30 million illegals and you dems are never again going to hold power. Without those 10 million illegal votes, you can't do it.

  16. Take back our America in November vote Blue so our voice is heard. Women Pledge to vote blue or we will never have a voice again! Corruption in the WH must be stopped.

  17. The was the role of the Senate, was to represent the wealth of the nation. – Noam Chomsky
    https://youtu.be/gGfFXc0TwhU

  18. wow this isnt even news. I feel like Im on 4chan. What happened MSNBC? Is this the only way you know how to get ratings now? So what, we should disband the Senate now because you are upset? Disappointed in all of you

  19. Thank you so much Lawrence for informing us on such an important point, the U S Senate is not a democratic system of government because founding fathers believed only white men should vote and also determined 2 senators from each state as the Senate although they never imagined that some states would become the size of countries while others the size of cities and lead to severely unequal representation. However Lawrence, you said it can not be repaired which is the real sorrow. I am sure you know what it would take to repair this part of our democracy, the number of senators from each state to be representative of the population. Please share this answer with us, your audience.

  20. America really isn’t a Democracy… When they wrote the constitution we had what 13 states…? America is too big and all citizens will never have proper representation… We should split into two countries north and south.. The Republicans can destroy all the dirty red southern states until they die off.. Normal people can live in the north…

  21. The 48 senators who voted not to confirm Kavanaugh received a combined total of votes in their most recent Senate elections of 25.6 million more than the 50 senators that voted to confirm him.

  22. Actually the founding father's system might actually work better, the House originally elected the Senate and the people elected the house. The Senate used to appoint the president too, whomever had control of the Senate appointed a president. The house also used to be proportional to population, if we returned to that system, we could actually fix the senate.

  23. A Sexist and Misogynistic Trump cares little about a women's reproductive system and a women's right to choose!, its painfully obvious that the Republicans have rigged the system once again!, Gerrymandering, voter suppression, Electoral College that only helps the Republicans!… and now they now have a conservative majority "5-4" syndrome that will ensure the longevity of Citizens United and it's lofty corporate donations, women's reproductive systems to control and a justice in Kavanaugh who thinks a President is above the law!. Thanks to the worst voters on the planet, we now live under a "Corporate Oligarchy"

  24. I have details on the word "man". He had to be a "free man" ( some whites were indentured servants. Abraham Lincoln worked from childhood, while his father collected his wages.) and to vote, a man had be a landowner. He had to be literate, and he had to pay a huge "poll tax". Must be an accident ! Must be just a coincidence ! Those requirements left the same 1% that rules America today. Go figure !

  25. Frank Zappa said a long time ago:" When democracy is no longer economically feasible, it will just be cancelled."..I think this is what we r witnessing!!!

  26. At the end of the day it doesn't really matter what the founding fathers wanted or what they believed when they founded this nation. Today, at this time, in this world, it is our country. This is our nation. We are free to make of this world what we will.

    These United States of America form a great nation, not because some man in a red hat says it's great, not because a particular political party says it is. We are great because we have the will and the voice to make this government what we want it to be. We have the will and the voice to make this country what we need it to be.

    These past several years have been a trial. I don't care if you're a Democrat, a Republican, or some other allegiance entirely. If you oppose President Trump then you've faced a stretch of time unhappy with the direction this nation has taken. If you support President Trump then you're more than likely frustrated with the degree of opposition he's faced from the masses. Regardless of your stance this has not been a happy time. A smug time maybe? A time of sneering at those who hold differing opinions from your own? Maybe, but not a happy time.

    That is why voting is so important. That is how we make our voices heard. That is how we change this nation, this world, into one we want to live in.

    Did our founding fathers want the freedoms we demand today? Did they care what our voices meant? It doesn't really matter. Their time has passed. this is our time. Soon enough our time will pass and it will be our children's time. And you know what? When that day comes I hope they remember the choices we made, and I hope they make their own choices. I hope they decide freely what is best. I hope they look back and say "Nice try, now watch how it's really done!" and I hope they take this nation and this world into a bright future I couldn't even imagine!

    I hope. I have hope. More importantly I am a Citizen of these United States of America, and I vote.

  27. That's the difference between a democracy and a Republic.

    It doesn't allow mob rule or radical changes or progress.

    The primary goal was and still is deliberation.

  28. Kavanaugh is not suited to be a Supreme court judge. I fully believe the accusations of the women speaking out against him.

    But when these screwups happen, I always ask, how this could be avoided. I came up with two things:

    1. Ladies – please! If you are sexually assaulted. Do something. NOW! do not wait until 20-30 years have passed. Imagine if Kavanaugh was arrested the day after he did whatever he did. He wouldn't be a judge at all and the matter would never come up.

    2. Democrats. Try something different. Vote. Ever wonder what the difference in the USA would be if people would have come out and voted? Around 50 percent turnout is on your shoulders. Considering that low voter turnout is a vote for the Republican candidate – because they all vote, the huge numbers of Democrats who couldn't be bothered to vote in the last presidential election share the responsibility for our state of affairs.

    Or you can just stay home and end up living in Russia version 2. Your choice, Democrats.

  29. American democracy is an illusion, duh america was a bridge between republic and monarchy. Hence why we have a constitutional monarcy and an oligarcy congress.

  30. very powerful and enlightening video. lots in there i never knew… and it is indeed sickening.. but to change the senate and the electoral college will never happen because of the old rule…. whoever has the gold makes the rules…. and all those rich old shitheads in the senate and government are the ones with the gold, so nothing is gonna change

  31. Morons Are Governing America! The GOP is responsible for this mess and furthermore helping to keep the Morons govern America. Disgusting characters!

  32. But the USA isn’t a democracy – it’s a republic! It has never been a democracy and Americans must recognise and rectify that.

  33. The media went into overdrive to smear Judge Kavanaugh and then they tout the majority of the American sheep do not want him.  Well perhaps if you went into overdrive to smear Professor Ford like talk about her year book see attached, perhaps, the lies, the lack of facts, etc.  you could of used your power of the press to sway it the other way. Just like you tried to sway the election.  To say that Russia interfered in our election to the level of the biased media is beyond comprehension to anyone with a brain.    Some critical thinking people like my self see right through MSNBC.    Regardless, your viewers are for the most part sheep. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3ldnK2qLN8

  34. The US is not a Democracy. It never was. It is a Democratic Republic. The Senate and the Electoral College exist to protect minorities from the Tyranny of the Majority.

    And for the record, no one gave more credence to Kavanaugh because he's a man. His denial was given more weight because in this country, the burden of proof is on the accuser.

  35. Just wait. Take deep breath. We have King Lear and all his mentally distorted sycophants currently occupying the WH.
    But, in November this will turn them around like whiplash! Because along with these evil men, we have good guys like Beto O’rourke , Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Diane Feinstein fighting back. Just wait until the Midterms! American patriots want our Democracy back! And we are taking it back! Vote them out in November!

  36. In the days of our Founding Fathers, how many people were literate? How many Americans were capable of running a country?

  37. My deepest gratitude to Lawrence for this. Even though the understanding of what precisely is s going on, and how it is that we are being screwed over doesn't really change anything, it does help me to feel somewhat less…overwhelmed/anxious/crazy. As Jesus said, 'The Truth shall set you free'. However, without factual information, and the knowledge/experience necessary to put that information into the proper context, Truth – and hence Freedom – cannot ever be attained. So again Lawrence – thank you. You may not have the power to bring this country to a place of true democracy, but you have at least shown that you possess both the understanding and the courage to identify the locked doorway that bars the pathway that would lead us there.

  38. If America had a political system that actually worked, the government would be made up of two thirds progressive/democrats and one third Republiclans. The Republiclans would never be allowed to make any rule or law against the majority of what America wants. Tick Tock America…. time to wake up or become the christian nation the white male Republiclans want. An America where they make the rules over women because their "god" said so… just like they claimed "god" sanctioned slavery.

  39. Lawrence, I know you're smarter than this story of yours might indicate. The creation of electors was not because people didn't think that Democracy could work or that people weren't smart enough to cast a vote. And you making that claim is really rather ignorant of you. It was created because of the terrible logistical problems of having to collect and count every single vote using the muscle based technologies of the early America. So instead they broke it down into bite sized steps where votes could be counted locally and then the local elector would cast the vote for those local constituents and the elector's votes would be counted nationally.

    That made perfect sense then given the alternatives, but it no longer make sense now with the technology we have access to today. But since the Republicans have profited from two Presidential wins where their candidate was in the minority, don't expect any changes until and unless Democrats control all three branches of government. Or at least the executive and legislative branches. And even then, a Constitutional amendment has a much higher bar to pass than just some new spending bill, so again, good luck with any changes to how we vote.

  40. who would have guessed back then that the least educated among us (southern republicans) would have the most voting power. this must stop

  41. It would be great if people stopped being so obsessed with "founding fathers" and the "Constitution." I mean, what country is being governed based on a constitution written 300 years ago? Sure, there are amendments, but those adjust, they don't correct or change. The U.S. needs a complete systemic overhaul, and as we know, those don't happen by talking about it. There is only one way those happen, and given the strength of the billionaires and the mil industrial complex, I don't think any such attempt by the masses would succeed. In fact, I have a feeling any such attempt would end up in a Hunger Games type utopia.

  42. It's not often someone makes me mad enough to post on social media, but, Mr. Lawrence, it's mind-boggling how idiotic your arguments are and how stupid you must think the American people must be. OF COURSE, we're not a democracy, we were never intended to be, you know that. This is not some TRICK played on a bunch of ignorant colonists by the 'white patriarchy'. You know that the smaller states would never have joined a union where straight population would be able to dominate them, like New York and Virginia. Likewise the larger states weren't going to go for one state-one vote, so the smaller states could dominate. That's the compromise. So they came up with the Senate AND the House. And BOTH have to agree on legislation. That made everyone happy, we would never have had a Union without this, sentiment that exists in a similar way to the present. You know all this, and yet you purposely mislead your viewers into thinking that it's some conspiracy by a bunch of old white guys to take away their rights, like they fobbed this government on us with no way to change it as our society developed, no way to AMEND the Constitution, no way to adapt to a modern society. No wait, they DID put in ways to AMEND the constitution. Our founding fathers knew straight democracies didn't last long, typically devolving into a tyranny of the majority and then revolution. You lose one election and NOW you want to throw all those rules out and start again, tinker with a government that's lasted well over two hundred years – you're an actor and you know more than all our founding fathers? You do your viewers a disservice when you treat them like they don't know all this. You should he ashamed.

  43. The senate was designed as a compromise between small states and large states. Small states were lower in population than the big states, and were afraid that Virginia and New York would control the legislature, so a Senate would give more weight to the views of smaller states.

    The original gap between the smallest state and the largest state was about 4X. Today the smallest largest state (California) is 69 times the population of the smallest state (Wyoming). That is obscene.

    The original method of choosing Senators was the state legislatures would choose them, not the people. It wasn't a direct election. That didn't change for decades.

    At the time the Constitution took effect, women couldn't vote in any state. We didn't get national voting rights for women until 1920, after WWI. Most African Americans were slaves. They were counted as 3/5 as a person for taxation and representation in Congress, but didn't get the vote until 1868 with the 14th Amendment. There was rampant voter suppression of African Americans using the poll tax and special tests for decades after the amendment passed.

    Gerrymandering lessened the impact of votes and continues to this day. Polling places are closed in some areas to make it more difficult for minorities and the poor to vote. Voter ID laws are passed requiring documentation that is often impossible for poorer people to get. Voting rolls are purged, and the people who's names have been purged receive no notification.

    Twice in the last 20 years a President was elected when the majority of voters voted for the other candidate. The 2016 election was a farce. Electors in most states are required to vote for the winner of the popular vote in that state. A state with a close election, say 51 to 49%, will cast ALL of it's electoral votes for the candidate who got 51%. If the 2016 were settled by popular vote, Hillary Clinton would have won. If electors were divided based on the popular vote, Clinton would have won. If you threw out the 2 electors every state gets because it has 2 senators, Clinton would have won.

    We are not a real democracy. We are at best a hobbled republic where the majority doesn't rule.

    One note: The large states pay more and receive less from the federal government. Small states, especially conservative states, receive much more money back from the federal government. This equates to taxation without adequate representation.

    Great Britain was in this same situation (although much worse) was corrected in 1832. Some rotten boroughs had only 1 voter, but got a seat in Parliament. It took almost a century to fix the problem. It'll probably take just as long to fix it here.

  44. We went through 8 long long long terrible terrible terrible years with Hussein Obama and you call this White House corrupt, oh my. His dictatorship almost ruined our beloved republic. Look at our growth, freedoms, stock market, black business growth and on and on and on. Democrats will try hard to bring a dictatorship back and tear down American but it will not happen.

  45. yes mr. lawrence– i don't diagree with anything you have pointed out — you strike me as well informed and very well spoken— as a canadian watching what is going on accross the border i can only think of john keats and his SECOND COMING, a few lines of which:
    turning and turning in the widening gyre
    the falcon cannot hear the falconer
    things fall apart— the center cannot hold
    the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity
    AND WHAT ROUGH BEAST– IT'S HOUR COME ROUND AT LAST
    SLOUCHING TOWARD BEHLAHEM TO BE BORN

  46. The senate is a problem but it was always intended to be a check on the president. Introducing term limits and getting rid of special interest donors would go a long way.

  47. Funny how the losing side always always complains about the rules and wants to change them for their benefits. Long live the electoral college.

  48. You pathetic piece of garbage, you the liberal media spent 24/7 days on end tearing down the Judge and barely said a word of negativity regarding Ford. How did you think that would sway people?   Did you go into her yearbook day after day after day?  Did you spend days and days about her lies in her testimony?  Just like the last election, the liberal media went after Trump 24/7  for weeks and weeks and now you the media have the audacity to say some hacked emails by Russia (as if liberal government officials don't hack to the liberal  news media all the time) and $250,00 in Russian Facebook ads swayed the election over endless weeks of garbage liberal commentary.  Thank god enough people in the right states had had enough of 8 years of 24/7 building up of Obama to see the light that it just wasn't working.  Not because you the commentary of the liberal media wasn't trying their hardest to elect Hillary.  Not only the media but our own IRS,  Dept. of Justice and the FBI.   Just to look at you makes me want to throw up.  So disgusting. How does anyone with any intelligence watch MSNBC commentary?  how?

  49. This person is not a news person, he does commentary.  He doesn't even know that we aren't a Democracy. We are a Republic. We are a Republic because our forefathers had enough wisdom to know that commentary like this absolute piece of garbage could sway a majority of the mob. Our forefathers knew that you wouldn't be able to sway everyone and by spreading out how votes count would save this country from commentary like this piece of garbage.

  50. Lawrence O'Donnell manages to teach me more about my government in 7 minutes than my highly sanitized high school government class did in 7 months.

  51. You fellas know that the senate is voted into office by the people, right? Every state is equally represented in the senate and the house of representative is based on population. Just because the senate did not vote your way does not mean they didn't honour their voters.

  52. Make a law that says congressmen/women will earn minimum wage and have to pay their own insurance and other expenses, and we'll see how many will FIGHT to get in there.

  53. If a system is against democratic party then they will cry it is a threat against democracy according to them popular vote is only way of electing people if that is true then Hitler Stalin and gadaffi and even erdogan are true elected leaders of democracy. This Nazism is why america is so divided.

  54. That's not a bad thing. The Senate stems from a compromise between Federalists and Anti-Federalists. The Federalists valued Federalism whereas the Anti-Federalists valued Popular Sovereignty. The Senate maintains Federalism and the House maintains Popular Sovereignty. Any attempts to extend and improve the practice of democracy should be made to the House through methods like redistricting reform, increase in the amount of districts, and campaign finance reform. But doing so in the Senate is a gross violation of Federalism and constitutional norms.

  55. We are not a democracy!!!!!!!! We are a constitutional republic. Why is this so hard for people to grasp?!? If we were a democracy New York and California would elect every president and the middle class would have been taxed into complete socialism by now. PLEASE believe me when I tell you mob rule will be the downfall of this country.

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