Unintended Consequences

The Senate of the United States was designed… to give equal representation to the States- a more disciplined, stable, and experienced legislative body.  Madison saw the dangers in the popularly elected House, for people were often, “subject to the [periodic] infection of violent passions… that such an institution may be sometimes necessary as a defenseContinue reading “Unintended Consequences”

Electoral Protections

The Electoral College was designed by…. Madison and Hamilton to help guarantee that Federal cooperation was protected in the election of the President.  Fearing that plurality would bring nationalized power to the executive branch, Madison argued that the mixed authority of Federalism was the best protector of republican virtue: The executive power will be derived fromContinue reading “Electoral Protections”

Madison and Party

The current political parties are trying to harness the power of the disinterested masses by stoking fears and passions rooted in volatile issues like immigration and the culture wars. Both parties want to maintain a majority and implement policy. Neither side has been given such a mandate by the people. Any minority with greater thanContinue reading “Madison and Party”

Madison and American Spirit

Madison argues that oligarchy is difficult in America because of our size and diversity… but critics consistently cited the House of Representatives as the most susceptible institution in the new government.   Anti-Federalists argued that the Representatives would have the least amount of sympathy… with the masses of people; focusing exclusively on the narrow interestsContinue reading “Madison and American Spirit”

Nullification Lingers

The Doctrine of Nullification lost in the court of history… as a nation state and as a people we rejected it, outright.  Our Constitution created a hierarchy of law to bring order to the muddled system of 13 competing legal systems.  Madison, describing government as an unruly beast defended the Supremacy Clause: “it would haveContinue reading “Nullification Lingers”

Madison and Original Intent

Joe Ellis explained the absence of serious Madison biographies… by proclaiming “he’s boring as hell” and that “only lawyers like him.” As previously stated, Ellis’s recent comments on the Framers and Original Intent cast doubt on the rigor of his scholarship- and these nuggets of wisdom only enhance the evidence of his misguided revisionism. TheContinue reading “Madison and Original Intent”

Madison on Separation of Powers

Events of recent weeks necessitate a reminder from Madison on the appropriate division of power in Washington. In Federalist 47, he emphasizes: “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definitionContinue reading “Madison on Separation of Powers”

Defense of the Electoral College

Madison and Hamilton created the Electoral College for specific reasons… and suppressing minority voters was not one of them.  Plurality is part of the Federal electoral process, but integrated to meet the needs of federalism.  States matter in our compound republic.  Madison wanted them involved in the process of choosing the executive. Madison said,  “TheContinue reading “Defense of the Electoral College”

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.Continue reading “Madison’s Invitation to Washington”

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 Madison recorded in his Convention notes-   “Mr. MADISON thought it indispensable that some provision shouldContinue reading “Madison on Impeachment”