American Bridge, the Democratic super-PAC dedicated to collecting incriminating video footage of GOP office-seekers, has had its cameras trained on Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock for months. But the group waited until Wednesday, the morning after Mourdock knocked off incumbent Sen. Dick Lugar in the GOP primary, to begin showing off its wares. First up? This clip from February, of Mourdock calling for the repeal of the 17th Amendment, which provides for...the direct election of Senators:
You know the issue of the 17th amendment is so troubling to me, our founding fathers, again those geniuses, made the point that the House of Representatives was there to represent the people. The Senate was there to represent the states. In other words the government of the states...
You know just think of this. In today's world we see millions and millions of dollars spent on Senate campaigns. Two years ago, in 2010, Sharron Angle out in Nevada spent $31 million dollars, just herself. How much money would be spent in federal senate races if the state legislators were electing those people. You just took the money out of politics. Is that a bad thing?
Mourdock's not the first conservative to make the case for repealing the 17th Amendment—George Will has made the case (he's also called for the abolition of jeans), as has Rick Perry. It is, however, jarring to see the case being made by someone who's currently campaigning to win a direct election to the Senate. It's also not clear what problem the repeal would actually fix—expenditures would be transferred to the local level. And, as we're reminded practically every day, America's state legislatures are hardly bastions of sound decision-making.