I have recently been introduced to a blog “Dispatches from the Culture Wars” where the authors appear to generally be more supportive of the Democrats than Republicans. That is why I found this post talking about Pelosi’s previous request for a minority bill of rights so interesting. In this blog post, the author points out that, while Pelosi was calling for a process in Congress that would result in adequate time for thoughtful consideration of legislation, and allow for minority comment and review, the approach taken in ram-rodding the “first hundred hours” legislation is in stark contrast to their previous position.
“Now let’s compare that to what the Democrats actually have planned. In 2004 they wanted “timely and deliberate dispensation of the work of the Congress” and argued that “Bills should be developed following full hearings, open subcommittee and committee markups, with appropriate referrals to other committees. Members should have at least 24 hours to examine a bill prior to consideration at the subcommittee level.” Now let’s compare that to the what my friends at Downsize DC are calling the “legislative orgy” planned for the first 100 hours of the new session.Not a single bill they will consider has gone through a committee or subcommittee hearing.
Not a single minute of testimony has been heard by the relevant subcommittees and committees on whether there is a need for them, what the possible positive and negative results are, and so forth. The Democratic rationalization for this is that some of the bills were proposed in the last session and had plenty of discussion then. But those committees no longer exist, nor do many of the members on them. There are 52 new members of the House, most of them Democrats.
The notion of a Congress ramming through a whole bunch of legislation in a short period of time should be a concern to us all. Remember, that’s exactly what happened at the end of the last session of Congress, which is how we ended up with the online gambling bill slipped in to a port reform bill and passed without a vote. It’s how we end up with lots of bad legislation that no one has bothered to read, and it’s how we end up with hidden provisions in them that are dangerous.”
This blog goes on to point out that when Gingrich sought to push through significant legislation in the first 100 days of their control of the House, the Democrats argued that it was not enough time to adequately consider the legislation. Pot? Kettle? similar color?
Of course, the most simple defense of this tactic is “The Republicans did it, so we will too” playing out in the school-yard called Congress. But as my friend the “Flesh Presser” pointed out during the discussion about Foley, this approach is similar to that of a three year old.1 And, as he pointed out, inappropriate.
I recommend every reader go check out both the blogs I referenced Dispatches from the Culture Wars, and also Fleshy’s pressing the flesh blog. Alas, you won’t see any more comments from me on fleshy’s blog. Apparently a sauce good for the gander is less tasty when it is your own goose being cooked.
1 It is important to point out that his assertion, directed at me, was because he failed to “get my point” which was not a defense of Foley, but rather a scathing rebuke of how the Democrats had handled a similar issue in 1983.