While normal daily editor David Leonhardt is on vacation, the New York Times is bringing in outside writers to cover the morning newsletter until Aug. 27. This week’s authors are Meagan Day and Bhaskar Sunkara of Jacobin, the socialist magazine. The NYTs, by providing this very visible platform on what is basically the official newsletter of the Democratic Party, allows for an insight into just where they are heading. And that is a brazen, all-out attack on the US Constitution. From the Day and Sunkara newsletter:
Consider a few facts: Donald Trump is in the White House, despite winning almost three million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton. The Senate, the country’s most powerful legislative chamber, grants the same representation to Wyoming’s 579,315 residents as it does to 39,536,653 Californians. Key voting rights are denied to citizens in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and other United States territories. The American government is structured by an 18th-century text that is almost impossible to change.
These ills didn’t come about by accident; the subversion of democracy was the explicit intent of the Constitution’s framers. For James Madison, writing in Federalist No. 10, “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention” incompatible with the rights of property owners. The byzantine Constitution he helped create serves as the foundation for a system of government that rules over people, rather than an evolving tool for popular self-government.
Writers on the left such as Jacobin’s Seth Ackerman and the journalist Daniel Lazare have long argued that constitutional reform needs to be on the agenda. Even some liberals like Vox’s Matthew Yglesias rightly worry that the current system of governance is headed toward collapse. [Read more…]