Thursday, August 20, 2009

How Democracy Is Supposed To Work

Sen. Grassley recently remarked that the "the outpouring of anger" at healthcare townhalls has convinced him that reform efforts should be changed. Conor Clarke lays out what the Senator doesn't seem to understand:
I think it's worth mentioning that the Grassley theory of "the public" is pretty much the exact opposite of how American democracy is supposed to function. Famously, public representatives are supposed to distinguish between the "vicious arts" of faction (Madison's words) and the "permanent and aggregate interests of the community" (Hamilton's). Of course, it might be the case that protestors laying seige to Fort Grassley actually represent the aggregate interests of the public. But you won't find evidence for that conclusion at a townhall meeting.

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