Tuesday, August 06, 2002

While I remember... thanks to Doug Turnball over at Beauty of Gray for describing my site as "one of the best and most interesting blogs out there". I have to admit that it's a little odd to be praised by the guy considering that he tends to disagree with me so much in my own comments section, but as he said in that selfsame area, "it's more interesting to talk about what we disagree about". I share the sentiment, but it's still nice to get a positive link, especially considering that I seem subject to a rather odd phenomenon where I get permalinked by a fair number of blogs, but rarely linked within a blog's editorial content itself. I would have thought it would have been the other way around considering my fairly small blogroll, but there you go.

The link was in regards to an earlier post of mine about Instapundit's lame response to a review in the New Yorker. While Doug makes some valid points about how the founders were somewhat distrustful of "mob democracy", his defense of the Senate hinges on a few points that I disagree with. First, there are actually studies in political science journals that I've read that conclude that American-style republics tend towards failure more than other systems, mostly because of their tendancy to gridlock. More to the point, though, Doug failed to engage the most valid critique in the original article: that the Senate is a profoundly undemocratic and (on a more basic level) unfair institution, because it grants far more power to individual voters in smaller states than in larger ones. This isn't the only way that small states wield a lot of power in the American system (witness the Electoral College) but it's by far the clearest and most egregious example of the phenomenon. How a nation that was built on the concept of civil equality managed to include such a blatently unequal treatment of voters based on where they happen to live is beyond me, and the argument in the article remains valid: if this were based on any other aspect of a citizen's identity, like race, class, ethnic background, language, profession, or what-have-you, the people would be up in arms. Geography is not destiny, and is not a valid reason for discrimination.

Oh, and about the blogroll? It isn't because I'm a snob, although I don't link to a site just because it's popular. (I don't link to Instapundit, for example.) It's simply because this particular template makes it somewhat of a hassle, and I usually write entries using the "blog this" widget, instead of actually going to the page. Since I'm not on the blogger site much, I tend not to monkey around with the template much. Rest assured, it's not personal. ;)

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