Thursday, August 26, 2010

The problem in a nutshell.

Any senator that can’t or won't read and understand a bill is a lousy senator.

Any bill that can’t be quickly and easily read and understood by John Q. Average will make a lousy law.


Jim said...

I knew this guy, and I think what makes him doubly dangerous is his surface plausibility and intellectual, err, flexibility.

He goes to the Kalispell lefties as Ted Kennedy and to the ranchers as Matt Dillon. He charms men out of their wits and women out of their stepins.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Any Congressman that can't or won't read a bill should be impeached for failure to perform the duties of his office.

Any Congressman that can't understand a bill should automatically vote against it because he can't understand it, or be impeached for violating his oath to represent the best interests of his constituents and to defend and uphold the Constitution.

We as voters need to start pushing our Senators and Representatives on this, and voting out those who don't comply, or it will never change.

lelnet said...

I actually agree that expecting Baucus to read the healthcare bill is unreasonable. In the words of one of my favorite literary characters, you don't have to eat the whole turd to know it isn't a crab cake.

Of course, if it's too long, complicated, and scary for our elected representatives to read before voting on it, that pretty much cinches the question of which way they should vote. :)

Mark B. said...

Tam, all due respect, the problem's even deeper than you intimate: Baucus was the principal sponsor of the monstrosity in question, and even he doesn't know what's in it.

I'd really, really like to know who actually, you know, wrote the damned thing. No, scratch that -- I want to see them take credit for it and Legacy Media plaster it all over the place in 60-point bold.

A guy could dream, couldn't he?


TW: "denia" -- admits of no further explanation.

Tam said...

Mark B.,

Aides and staffers, lawyers at an Executive Branch three-letter-agency, or Special Interes Groups or some combination of the three.

That's who's written all legislation for the past umpty years or more.

Anymore, legislators just sponsor the crap and vote on it, they don't actually pen it or even read it.

Brian J. said...

Citizens, and I use that term loosely, have been conditioned by specialization elsewhere that they're not capable of understanding or fixing anything, so trust the experts.

It applies to modern automobiles, and modern "leaders" would hope you apply it to governance as well.

Mark B. said...

Tam, I'm aware of that;

" . . . Special Interes(t) Groups . . . "

spawned this one, but no one cares to say which one or ones actually did it. Back in the day when the weasels in question actually wrote the stuff they voted on we generally (though not universally, I'll so stipulate) got legislation that was passably understandable to a reasonably educated individual.

In the past 18 months we've been given 7,500 pages worth of legislation in just 3 bills off the top of my head, and that excludes the 60-some thousand pages of just the Federal Tax Code. If it's too long to read and too dense to understand, it's too big to pass.

This thing is irretrievably broken and everyone's a felon every day without even knowing it. It's often said that ignorance of the law is no excuse. I guess that's just for the litte guys.


TW: "phuggen" -- I'm not kidding.

Joanna said...

What if we had a rule that no single piece of legislation could have a greater word count than the Constitution and first ten amendments?

WV: psailor -- the reason for pseudonymous psychiatrists at psea.

*I only commented because of the WV. I'll leave quietly.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

What if we had a rule that said any bill introduced in Congress had to be written so as to be immediately understandable to any fifth-grade elementary school student?

I realize that would disqualify most of the sitting congresscritters and senileators, but still.

John A said...

As bad as the laws are, they allow for even worse. As the prior post shows, government agencies not only decide how to implement the laws, but feel free to re-write them in any way desired by the top tier of the agencies. EPA, BATFE...

We are in transition from "ignorance of the law is no excuse" to "knowledge of the law is no protection." OK, I never agreed with the first, but the second is even worse.

Rourke said...

Well said.

These career politicians need a limit on THEM and their ridiculous laws.

I think we need to allow human cloning and fill Congress with Reagan's.