Why the Senate and the legal process was set up to be a slower, deliberative one. Or, as Washington once said, a saucer in which you pour your coffee to cool.
Today’s quote is from James Madison, from a letter to Benjamin Rush dated March 7, 1790:
If we are to take for the criterion of truth a majority of suffrages, they ought to be gathered from those philosophical and patriotic citizens who cultivate their reason apart from every scene that can- disturb its operations, or expose it to the influence of the passions. The advantage enjoyed by public bodies in the light struck out by the collision of debate is but too often overbalanced by the heat proceeding from the same source. Many other sources of involuntary error might be added. It is no reflection on Congress to admit for one the united voice of the place where they may happen to deliberate. Nothing is more contagious than opinion, especially on questions which, being susceptible of very different glosses, beget in the mind a distrust of itself. It is extremely difficult, also, to avoid confounding the local with the public opinion, and to withhold the respect due to the latter from the fallacious specimen exhibited by the former.
Next time someone forwards you one of those stupid e-mail tirades, send them this.