Skip to main content

No matter where you stand on the fiscal cliff, or its previous or subsequent promontories, there should be universal disgust with how this country is being governed. What we have is not crisis management, but management by crisis. I may be an idealist, by I suspect that our Founding Fathers did not design our government policies to essentially come down to private negotiations between two men. Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell can't lay claim to any great constitutional powers, yet both men have written the tax policy of this country for the next 4 years. This kind of thing can't continue if we are going to have a functional republic. We need to restore normalcy to the process of policy making in this country.

Perhaps I'm an idealist, but I still think the Schoolhouse Rock way of making a bill a law is the right way to go. Some folks back home get an idea. A courageous congressperson spends years fighting for it. Some enterprising politician makes it a national issue. A committee of jurisdiction takes up the bill for markup. There is a floor debate, and a conference committee, a vote and a presidential verdict of some sort. It isn't too much to ask that this be done. That public issues are thoroughly and publicly weighed and considered via the Constitutional process. It is sad day when our Republic teeters on the secret discussions between two old men while the rest of America serves as a rubber stamp of their agreement.

Perhaps we've reached a point in the history of this country where the Constitution no longer works effectively. It is something to consider. The most recent change to our tax law was never considered for one day by the House Ways and Means Committee, a committee whose very name was created in the Constitution. It is the oldest standing legislative committee in the world, the first committee that the 1st Congress created. And yet, this committee, whose very existence is generated by the exclusive power of the House to originate any form of tax, did zero work on our tax policy. No hearings. No horse trading. Not even a chance for lobbyists to bend and shape and cajole. Forget about the public reaction. Instead, it was written by the vice president and the Senate minority leader in secret negotiations over a 48-hour period. I'm not arguing that any of this is legally unconstutional. Technically it isn't. But, this isn't ethically constitutional.This isn't how American government is supposed to work. It isn't the right way to make laws.

This form of national management is starting to set a bad precedent. Today it is tax policy, but tomorrow it will be the bill of rights. One day many other important policies will be written by two men in secret, whose motivations and interests will never be known to any of us. They'll decide we must go to war, they'll pass the declaration at 2 AM and have an electronic pen sign it into law by dawn. Congress will play no other role other than to approve it in order to avoid some other manufactured calamity that will befall us if they do not. This is what will happen if crisis government becomes the norm. This sort of thing is what leads republics to things like the Enabling Act, which was sold, of course, as a temporary measure to prevent an even worse calamity.

It is incumbent that the American people, of all political stripes, begin to demand a return to regular order: a normal process of policy making that reflects our small r republican values and respects the Constitutional vision of lawmaking.

Originally posted to Triple-B in the Building on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:01 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

claude, Thumb, Ed in Montana, cslewis, DeminNewJ, northsylvania, Chi, Joan McCarter, emal, Pescadero Bill, genethefiend, OLinda, dsb, Richard Cranium, red moon dog, tom 47, Creosote, geordie, agoldnyc, Gustogirl, wonkydonkey, annrose, stevej, themank, shanikka, Dhavo, Torta, poe, sidnora, Getreal1246, psnyder, pat bunny, johanus, penguins4peace, lcrp, wordwraith, inclusiveheart, zerelda, randallt, schuylkill, Deward Hastings, Josiah Bartlett, J Orygun, nailbender, Los Diablo, 3goldens, Freakinout daily, Simplify, Gary Norton, Burned, rlochow, Tool, Rusty in PA, bunsk, Rogneid, mightymouse, splashoil, Jim P, Kingsmeg, vigilant meerkat, BlueRock, dopper0189, tonyahky, dougymi, kck, blueoasis, global citizen, HairyTrueMan, twigg, gooderservice, oakroyd, CA Nana, Lovo, kurt, Ian Reifowitz, shaharazade, bstotts, nhox42, markthshark, gerald 1969, bmcphail, liberaldemdave, dotsright, Joe Archaeologist, SpecialKinFlag, Dartagnan, ColoTim, FishOutofWater, greenchiledem, rantsposition, US Blues, bobswern, carpunder, leonard145b, South Park Democrat, TomP, Mighty Ike, jamess, MrJayTee, temptxan, petulans, SpamNunn, HoosierDeb, squarewheel, JBL55, maggiejean, Rhysling, J M F, arendt, greengemini, lostinamerica, ewmorr, dharmasyd, maryabein, JesseCW, histOries Marko, winkk, winsock, Leftcandid, Words In Action, cassandraX, FogCityJohn, Observerinvancouver, TealTerror, sunny skies, gulfgal98, samanthab, tb mare, Lady Libertine, peacearena, nosleep4u, stevenaxelrod, Mac in Maine, theKgirls, the autonomist, kerflooey, implicate order, jardin32, La Gitane, FarWestGirl, deeproots, CoExistNow, marleycat, PrescottPatriot, gof, ratcityreprobate, Miggles, leftykook, Mentatmark, SouthernLiberalinMD, quill, Only Needs a Beat, worldforallpeopleorg, Williston Barrett, popsnet, Ginger1, DarkStar57, Frisbeetarian, mapamp, Johnny the Conqueroo, JustinBinFL, Marjmar, AllenKitchen, alpaca farmer, AmericanAnt, jbob, Tim DeLaney, dear occupant, goodpractice, PHScott, aresea, Yo Bubba, LaraJones, srfRantz, Jason Hackman, sparkysgal, Bon Temps, Blackhawks, andersr, ploopie

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site