Monday, June 02, 2008

One-Half Is Less Than Three-Fifths

History has taught us that one of the most deeply flawed and, indeed, tragic conceptions contained in the original charter of our representative government, was the product of compromise, and was first embodied in the original United States Constitution by our founders at Article I, Section II, paragraph 3, providing, in pertinent part:

Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included in this Union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and exluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons.
. . . .

My emphasis was obviously added for the last phrase.

That was the original written basis for the census-like formula that (among other things) established the number of Members of the House of Representatives that each State would send to the Congress, with the proviso that each slave only constituted three-fifths of a person, for that purpose.

A long, bloody and bitter Civil War later, followed by several corrective amendments to the United States Constitution, including Section II of the XIV Amendment, the women's suffrage movement, followed by the XIX Amendment, and a score of Supreme Court opinions later, we Americans had for the most part hopefully rid ourselves of that particular sort of scourge.

Well . . . perhaps not.

It seems that the Democrat Party has decided, in their infinite wisdom, that, through absolutely no fault of the 2.35 million Democratic voters who participated in the primaries in the States of Florida and Michigan, the delegates that they voted for (or, that the Rules & Bylaws Committee has now somehow devined that they voted for, using exit polls) in their respective primary elections this year, will only be able to cast one-half of a vote on any matter that may come before the convention, including the vote to select the party's standard-bearer in the fall election. And it would also include for or against any ratification vote that may work it's way to them regarding the Credentials Committee's ruling on this matter when and if it gets to them!

Bit of a disadvantage for those Florida and Michigan folks, wouldn't you think?

Of course, the immediate thought that comes to mind, is that one-half is even less than three-fifths!

Isn't anyone who participated in that process deeply embarrassed? Maybe this needs a good dose of the old "political button routine" to bring it home!

Here is just one suggestion:

* The original thought connecting the two fractions in my mind, was a snarky comment posted by one Kralizek, here, on a written piece on the subject of the outrage over the Rules & Bylaws Committee Meeting, posted by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.

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At 11:25 AM, June 03, 2008, Blogger Thomas O. Meehan said...

Excellent suggestion. Perhaps the Dem's should carry this reasoning further and attempt to re-institute this principle with respect to the many millions of illegal aliens they hope to represent. For census purposes could they not also count as say, 1/3 of a person? I'm not sure how this should be calculated. Considering that the average wetback is shorter than the average Anglo, perhaps the science of Anthropology can help us construct a ratio based on stature. If the average Mexican is 5 inches shorter than the average American,perhaps a figure of 4/5's would be more appropriate. Then again Somali illegals tend to be taller than me are. Hmmm.


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