NY Times: End the midterm election!

David Schanzer and Jay Sullivan, writing in the New York Times, think that midterm elections have outlived their usefulness and should be abandoned.

There was a time when midterm elections made sense — at our nation’s founding, the Constitution represented a new form of republican government, and it was important for at least one body of Congress to be closely accountable to the people. But especially at a time when Americans’ confidence in the ability of their government to address pressing concerns is at a record low, two-year House terms no longer make any sense. We should get rid of federal midterm elections entirely.

There are few offices, at any level of government, with two-year terms. Here in Durham, we elect members of the school board and the county sheriff to terms that are double that length. Moreover, Twitter, ubiquitous video cameras, 24-hour cable news and a host of other technologies provide a level of hyper-accountability the framers could not possibly have imagined. In the modern age, we do not need an election every two years to communicate voters’ desires to their elected officials.

But the two-year cycle isn’t just unnecessary; it’s harmful to American politics.

Democracy is hard.  It's why they have failed so spectacularly throughout history.  The genius of our system lies in our written constitution – tattered and frayed at the edges as it is.  The Founders had no illusions about people and power.  That's why they made those serving in the "people's house" run every two years.  Holding representatives accountable to the people over two sessions of Congress was believed to make them more responsive to the people's wishes.

You know, like, democracy and stuff.

But the real problem, according to this duo, is that too many white people vote in the midterms:

Another quirk is that, during midterm elections, the electorate has been whiter, wealthier, older and more educated than during presidential elections. Biennial elections require our representatives to take this into account, appealing to one set of voters for two years, then a very different electorate two years later.

Whose fault is it that minorities and poor people don't vote in midterm elections?  And why should we change the Constitution because these citizens refuse to exercise the franchise that has been bought with blood and protected for 238 years? 

There’s an obvious, simple fix, though. The government should, through a constitutional amendment, extend the term of House members to four years and adjust the term of senators to either four or eight years, so that all elected federal officials would be chosen during presidential election years. Doing so would relieve some (though, of course, not all) of the systemic gridlock afflicting the federal government and provide members of Congress with the ability to focus more time and energy on governance instead of electioneering.

While we're mucking around with the Constitution, why not just start lopping off other inconvenient parts that make it hard for the poor and minorities?  Or hard on a president to get his agenda through?  Perhaps the Constitution is set up to guard against incompetent boobs like the fellow in the White House now, whose agenda deserved to be deep-sixed?

These guys don't think much of "checks and balances."  They would prefer Washington to become even more powerful and the men and women elected to office even more secure.  Thank God these nitwits won't ever realize their cockamamie scheme.

David Schanzer and Jay Sullivan, writing in the New York Times, think that midterm elections have outlived their usefulness and should be abandoned.

There was a time when midterm elections made sense — at our nation’s founding, the Constitution represented a new form of republican government, and it was important for at least one body of Congress to be closely accountable to the people. But especially at a time when Americans’ confidence in the ability of their government to address pressing concerns is at a record low, two-year House terms no longer make any sense. We should get rid of federal midterm elections entirely.

There are few offices, at any level of government, with two-year terms. Here in Durham, we elect members of the school board and the county sheriff to terms that are double that length. Moreover, Twitter, ubiquitous video cameras, 24-hour cable news and a host of other technologies provide a level of hyper-accountability the framers could not possibly have imagined. In the modern age, we do not need an election every two years to communicate voters’ desires to their elected officials.

But the two-year cycle isn’t just unnecessary; it’s harmful to American politics.

Democracy is hard.  It's why they have failed so spectacularly throughout history.  The genius of our system lies in our written constitution – tattered and frayed at the edges as it is.  The Founders had no illusions about people and power.  That's why they made those serving in the "people's house" run every two years.  Holding representatives accountable to the people over two sessions of Congress was believed to make them more responsive to the people's wishes.

You know, like, democracy and stuff.

But the real problem, according to this duo, is that too many white people vote in the midterms:

Another quirk is that, during midterm elections, the electorate has been whiter, wealthier, older and more educated than during presidential elections. Biennial elections require our representatives to take this into account, appealing to one set of voters for two years, then a very different electorate two years later.

Whose fault is it that minorities and poor people don't vote in midterm elections?  And why should we change the Constitution because these citizens refuse to exercise the franchise that has been bought with blood and protected for 238 years? 

There’s an obvious, simple fix, though. The government should, through a constitutional amendment, extend the term of House members to four years and adjust the term of senators to either four or eight years, so that all elected federal officials would be chosen during presidential election years. Doing so would relieve some (though, of course, not all) of the systemic gridlock afflicting the federal government and provide members of Congress with the ability to focus more time and energy on governance instead of electioneering.

While we're mucking around with the Constitution, why not just start lopping off other inconvenient parts that make it hard for the poor and minorities?  Or hard on a president to get his agenda through?  Perhaps the Constitution is set up to guard against incompetent boobs like the fellow in the White House now, whose agenda deserved to be deep-sixed?

These guys don't think much of "checks and balances."  They would prefer Washington to become even more powerful and the men and women elected to office even more secure.  Thank God these nitwits won't ever realize their cockamamie scheme.