Rioting in the Streets
SLevinson at law.utexas.edu
Tue Mar 23 06:52:15 PDT 2010
Paul Horwitz writes:
"Moreover, I take it that in our system, representatives are supposed to face the voters periodically but vote independently, not "listen to the people," as some opponents of the legislation have suggested."
This is no small point. I have repeatedly been told that my description of the Constitution as "undemocratic" is beside the point, for the Framers were most definitely not "democrats," but, instead, "republicans" who were (properly) suspicious of democracy. This, of course, is one of the bases of Madison's embrace of "representative government" in Federalist 10, which does indeed seem to rely on sturdily independent (and "virtuous") representatives who will not simply mimic the views of their constituents (otherwise, why not simply adopt "direct democracy," which Madison abhors). So I do find it interesting that some of the critics of the Democrats (note now the capitalization) are making their arguments in the name of small-d "democracy." Does this mean that they are now willing to accept the critique of the Constitution in terms of its fundamentally anti-democratic features, or is this embrace of "democracy" a one-time only affair?
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