Subscribe Subscribe   Find us on Twitter Follow POL on Twitter  



George Washington on Washington, D.C., Voting in the House

Today marks the U.S. Senate's annual observation of George Washington's birthday, commemorated since 1862 with the reading of Washington's Farewell Address. The honor this year goes to U.S. Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE).

We note this passage in the Farewell Address:

To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a government for the whole is indispensable. No alliance, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a constitution of government better calculated than your former for an intimate union, and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.

Our emphasis.

Soon after the reading of Washington's address, the Senate proceeds to a debate on S. 160, the bill granting Washington, D.C., (and Utah) a vote in the U.S House.

Related Entries:



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.