Madison Would Never Agree

Words James Madison never uttered…. but when considering the US Senate as it exists today, the naive can almost hear the Father of the Constitution proclaim the following lunacy with pride:

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Not a body of amateurs

So let’s describe the US Senate as it exists today…

The United States Senate will be chosen by popularity contest in each state.  There will be no prerequisites to holding membership, citizens seeking their very first public office are preferred candidates.  Legislative inexperience is desired to gain popular support from the well-educated masses.  Citizens from different states should establish residence in select states and seek the office of US Senator there.  Unfamiliarity with the constituencies in the new states must not deter ambitious office seekers.  Key political alliances and endorsements will sway the voting public when these insignificant issues arise.  Once is session, the Senate will thrive due to all the untested legislative acumen and uninformed opinions. 

Madison’s Invitation to Washington

To George Washington

Richmond Dec. 7th. 1786

Dear Sir

Notwithstanding the communications in your favor of the 18th. Ult: which has remained till now to be acknowledged, it was the opinion of every judicious friend whom I consulted that your name could not be spared from the Deputation to the Meeting in May in Philada. It was supposed that in the first place, the peculiarity of the mission and its acknowledged pre-eminence over every other public object, may possibly reconcile your undertaking it, with the respect which is justly due & which you wish to pay to the late officers of the army; and in the second place that although you should find that or any other consideration an obstacle to your attendance on the service, the advantage of having your name in the front of the appointment as a mark of the earnestness of Virginia, and an invitation to the most select characters from every part of the Confederacy, ought at all events to be made use of. In these sentiments I own I fully concurred, and flatter myself that they will at least apologize for my departure from those held out in your letter. I even flatter myself that they will merit a serious consideration with yourself, whether the difficulties which you enumerate ought not to give way to them.

Madison on Impeachment

Madison’s Constitutional Convention notes offer us clarity in our current discussions on impeachment.

  • A President does not need to commit an indictable crime to be impeached

  • Failing to properly discharge the duties of the Office was enough to impeach

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Madison recorded in his Convention notes-

 

“Mr. MADISON thought it indispensable that some provision should be made for defending the Community agst. the incapacity, negligence or perfidy of the chief Magistrate. The limitation of the period of his service, was not a sufficient security. He might lose his capacity after his appointment. He might pervert his administration into a scheme of peculation or oppression. He might betray his trust to foreign powers. The case of the Executive Magistracy was very distinguishable, from that of the Legislature or of any other public body, holding offices of limited duration. It could not be presumed that all or even a majority of the members of an Assembly would either lose their capacity for discharging, or be bribed to betray, their trust. Besides the restraints of their personal integrity & honor, the difficulty of acting in concert for purposes of corruption was a security to the public. And if one or a few members only should be seduced, the soundness of the remaining members, would maintain the integrity and fidelity of the body. In the case of the Executive Magistracy which was to be administered by a single man, loss of capacity or corruption was more within the compass of probable events, and either of them might be fatal to the Republic.”