“This Is Getting To Be A Really Bad Habit”

Don't blame the Senators; after all, they got themselves in a bind.

Don’t blame the Senators; after all, they got themselves in a bind.

Thus  did The Blaze’s Becket Adams comment with exquisite understatement on the simultaneously unsurprising and horrifying fact that the 154 page bill just passed to avoid the worst aspects of the so-called fiscal cliff was almost certainly never read by any U.S. Senator before he or she voted for or against it. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), one of eight Senators who refused to vote for the bill, told reporters that they were given a total of “6 minutes to read this bill before we had to vote on it; not one single senator who voted for it had read it and that is unacceptable.”  Lee added what should be obvious to all, that when senators can’t read bills, “there are always bad things in it.”

Yes, I’d say that this is a fair conclusion, and indeed, we are learning of bad things in this bill, like pork.

The previous Ethics Alarms  post was about the criminal implications of using a firearm without due care. Passing national legislation affecting millions of lives and affecting the disposition of billions of dollars demands far more responsibility and care than using a gun, and the long and short-term damage caused by careless, ill-considered legislation far exceeds what any lone gunman can accomplish. This is so incompetent, so reckless, so arrogant and irresponsible, that no comparison, no condemnations, nothing can do it justice. Projectile vomiting comes close.

Do not, I warn you, retort that because of the time pressure and looming deadline, the Senators had no choice. The Senators were ethically and legally obligated to make sure they could read the legislation, consider it and vote for it only after doing so because that is their job and Constitutional duty. They must not be excused for allowing this to happen. They knew this deadline was coming two years ago. They had a choice. The choice was to run the country like statesmen, adults and responsible elected officials rather than the Three Stooges on a holiday.

The last two major tax bills have been passed by Congress without those who voted for it knowing exactly what was in the bills and what they were inflicting on the American people. It’s not just a bad habit. It is an abdication of duty of a magnitude that the nation cannot long survive.


Pointer: The Blaze

Source: KTUV

29 thoughts on ““This Is Getting To Be A Really Bad Habit”

  1. That comes from Robert’s Rules of Order (as edited by Nancy Pelosi)

    The Chapter Entitled –
    “We have to pass the bill before we can find out what is in it”

    • So…ignorance of a law is no excuse for breaking it (if one gets caught)…but the same or worse ignorance is the lawmaker’s ultimate justification for enacting a law! (I’m hearing The Twilight Zone show’s theme music…)

      Please, PLEASE, Tex, say you’re rooting for OU to lose in the Cotton Bowl.

      • I’m not sure if your response is some sort of disagreement with my subtle sarcasm directed at irresponsible legislation passage or not

        Yes. I am certainly rooting for the Texas Aggies to win tonight. I would have gone to the game, unfortunately Aggies football tickets are massively inflated in what, centuries from now, Economic historians will describe as the A&M SEC ticket bubble.

        • WHEW! I was hoping the “agg” in your name meant what I thought it probably did. I’ll be rooting for the Aggies too. Just in the past couple of months, and for reasons I’m afraid I can’t fully or clearly explain, I have become a rabid rooter AGAINST Oklahoma Sooner football success.

          Sorry I was so unclear. I can see why you replied as you did. I was trying to pile sarcasm on your sarcasm, in complete agreement with you. At this point, I’m just grateful that I’m not so senile that I failed to see your sarcasm. I LOVE sarcasm (and that ain’t sarcasm – not at this moment, anyway).

          • Well, as I’m in a good mood (ie this member of the Mob has had his bread and circuses replenished satisfactorily) I won’t comment further on the decadence and depravity of the national level of our notionally Federal government. I’ll part this post with a cheap shot at the Big 12.

            “May you all profit from the longhorn network”

            Profit from Longhorn Network = P
            University of Texas = L
            Set {Bears, Cyclones, Jayhawks, Wildcats, Sooners, Cowgirls, Horned Frogs, Red Raiders, Mountaineers} = ¬L

            According to L:

            “P goes to L
            P goes to ¬L”

            I’ll let the logicians derive that the law of contradiction says one of those statements may be true, but both CANNOT be true, maybe the subset defined by ¬L ought to consider the Aggie departure from the Big 12 as being pretty dang logical.

            Needless to say, these rantings are mostly based on the notion of “to the winner go the spoils”.

              • “Those unenlightened denizens of Texas A&M University in (gasp) Texas are a strawman and unrelated to the discussion… which I define from moment to moment.” Now TGT doesn’t need to comment. I’ve done it for him!

                • I have to tread carefully, because I have multiple siblings who are UT Austin alumni, but in-laws who are loyalists to A&M. While I feel no particular fandom for either A&M or Longhorn teams, I definitely resent any success by OU Sooner football, as long as most of their talent comes from Texas. When the OU Sooners football team has a run of winning seasons and bowl wins with starting rosters of 50% or more Oklahoma-sourced talent, then I’ll respect their program. Until then, to me, they’re the Rustlers, the Borrowers, the Mercenaries…anything but “Sooners” worthy of my respect.

                    • There are ethics implications, though (I think), connected with a state claiming to own their university football teams’ successes, despite those successes being so heavily dependent on the acquisition of talent from some other state. It would be like Lance Armstrong basking in his bicycling glories after achieving them as a result of mitochondrial transplants from basketball star LeBron James (if such was possible).

                    • I realize that I am pontificating down a path that may smell of the amply mocked statement by President Obama: “YOU didn’t build that!” So be it: I do believe there are parallels to real and relevant issues of justice (and injustice), and of truth vs. lying, between the university football programs’ ruthless, just-win-baby ways and the federal government’s fiscal irresponsibility. The non-Boehner-esque, more Obama-esque exclamations I am thinking of include: “THAT’s not YOUR money!” and “YOU’re not solving the problem!” and “(Congress:) If the shoe was on the other foot, YOU would want US to read and know what a law was about before WE passed it!”

              • Congratulations Tex on the Aggie win in the Cotton Bowl. I am neither a logic expert like tgt nor a logician, but I think the “profit goes to” set-up you discuss above is more like IBM (PC) computers and Mac (“not IBM”) computers, with the Internet being the “network;” in that set-up, the law of contradiction does not seem to apply. I’m way out of my league here, though…

                • The “longhorn network” was an exclusive deal between texas university and ESPN to gain $300,000,000 over 20 years while t.u. pretended it would benefit the big 12 as a whole. Despite it turning into a dismal failure and t.u. getting its comeuppance, before all that…several schools in Big 12 did not like the idea of the longhorn network.

                  Completely legal, but felt it betrayed the good faith of the conference membership. After realizing it would never fill air time with enough demand-able material from t.u. alone, instead of opening up air time to other conference members, t.u. announced it would air high school football games. That was the last straw for several big 12 teams, who shortly departed te conference.

    • He would have been skewered by the press anyway for doing anything less than whimpering at the feet of Nancy Pelosi and handing her back the gavel. When will he and his GOP minions in the House realize that the news syndicates don’t like them and never will? Therefore, they might as well just do the right thing and let the chips fall where they may. It’s better to be hanged for a lion than a lamb.

      • Any predictions on how the next few government fiscal crises are going to turn out, who is going to cave, who is going to hold fast? (I have given up, as one caught on the beach as a tsunami hits: It’s going to be wet…)

  2. I didn’t say that he never would again, Tex. Once you’re marked as a weak link in the chain, the pressure is never off. But he’s in his “tough talk” mode right now because of the groundswell among grassroots Republicans to throw him off the podium. He doesn’t want that for obvious reasons. The Democrats don’t want him gone, either, because he IS a shrinking violet who can be stampeded when necessary. Now… where does Martin Van Buren come into the picture?

    • His brainchild is the party designed to boot substantive concerns — concerns of potentially violently divisive nature — further down the road, while also seizing on anything of a political nature to build constituency to keep power.

      I say I am not sure if he would be ashamed or proud, because in this case, the issue that is being booted down the road is also the issue that builds their constituency.

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