privately funded and privately constituted "Continuity of Government
Commission" has recently proposed that, for the first time in our
nation's history, we
should allow the appointment of members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Not only does this proposal fail to comport with the intention of the
founders of this nation, but even worse, it advocates a solution that
has been repeatedly rejected by this body.
of this so-called "Commission" makes clear that while the
Senate has, from time to time, voted to pass constitutional amendments
allowing for the appointment of House members, this body has always
jealously guarded its status as "the people's House" by failing
to pass such amendments. A brief history review may be in order at this
point. First, our Nation has been under attack from foreign powers in
the past, such as in its nascent years when the British were constantly
"coming." In our own century, we faced an attack on Pearl
Harbor as well as the very real threat of nuclear annihilation. Now,
because we have learned that our Capitol was a potential target in a
terror plot, there is an outcry from some corners regarding our vulnerability.
Our government leaders are no more vulnerable today to mass extinction
than they were 20 years ago. Our top-flight military makes us, in many
ways, less vulnerable to attack and the assassination of our leaders
than we were 200 years ago.
we were to sustain such a devastating attack, the nightmare scenario
painted in the first report of the "commission" is not only
far-fetched, but also admits of a plethora of potential solutions already
existent in our current constitutional structure. Though the report
endeavors to cast doubt on the legitimacy of those structures, it is
unsuccessful. Moreover, what could be more offensive to our republican
form of government and of more questionable legitimacy, than to have
a slew of un-elected "representatives" outvote elected people
on the floor of our U.S. House?
face it: we can scare people and doom-say anytime we wish, but it would
only be in the case of a near-complete annihilation that our government
would fail to function. In such an instance there is no "system''
that will preserve our government. On the other hand, if we surrender
the right to elect people to the U.S. House of Representatives under
any circumstances, we will be on a slippery slope away from the few
remaining vestiges and most precious principles of the government left
to us by our founders.
In the event that this "proposal" gets more serious and is
given long-term attention, I will place in the record more detailed
statements defending the notion of an all-elected House of Representatives,
and explaining the fallacies and illogic found in this report. For now,
I simply wish to go on record as among those who would fight to the
last to preserve the principle of a House of Representatives consisting
entirely of members elected by the people.