Shrouded legislating
Posted by aogTuesday, 17 November 2009 at 09:25 TrackBack Ping URL

What further abuse can one heap on a House of Representatives that would pass such an abominable piece of legislation that hasn’t already been written? It’s as if the project was “how can we fail in as many of our responsibilities as legislators at the same time” in which case they did quite well.

I think it’s an excellent illustration of the Mask of the MAL because all astute observers realize how little connection there is between the actual contents of the legislation and what will be implemented. It could just as well have been a one line bill —

We will meet in non-public committees and our staff will re-arrange national health care.

— with the same results. The bill itself just sets out some general claims, pushing the limts of just how much of the Constitution and governing traditions are to be trashed. What we will suffer will be determined by hidden factional power struggles. All of this, of course, is to disguise and shroud actual goals, purposes, and methods as long as possible, until it is too late. What’s truly scary is that this is no longer hidden. You don’t have to search much for supporters who will explicit admit this (e.g. Mickey Kaus who is normally far more reasonable). It’s one thing to have some obscure language attached to a bill so some political crony can score federal cash. It’s a very different thing to have that as the essence of the bill, a bill that is going to touch every American in a very personal way while de facto nationalizing a sixth of the national economy. I think it’s obviously being done this way because the American Street would never support it if it were clear what was being done.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 15:42

Cite In a similar vein, the Obama Administration withheld key data about the economic impact of the Waxman-Markey “carbon permit” legislation. Again, this isn’t some graft on the margin but a central feature of the legislation. As the JOM poster notes, it’s not just the direct cost —

“the Democrats continue to increase economic uncertainty”
That appears to be a major factor in their activities. Every bill that they introduce seems designed to increase economic uncertainty. Every czar that is appointed seems to have it as one of their major themes. The only people that appear to have a firm understanding that their future looks bright are the lawyers.

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