I’m heading to Austin (where I’ll see you tomorrow, right?) tonight, but wanted to post this before leaving. The Seventeenth Amendment, which provided for the direct election of U.S. senators (who had previously been chosen by the state legislatures), is one of the many episodes in American history that your seventh-grade teacher portrayed to you as unambiguously wonderful and progressive, so much so that no opposing view need even be mentioned. Only a pigheaded idiot could oppose something as super as this, and you students aren’t pigheaded idiots, right?
Law professor Todd Zywicki has done some of the best work on this subject. This book review he wrote is from 1997, but it gives a good overview of the real intent and the actual consequences of the Seventeenth Amendment, as opposed to the comic-book version we all got in school.