November 12, 2009

"A House majority that is caught in amber circa October 2008"

Rich Lowry has a great piece on how our Constitution is designed to prevent demagogues from ramming through legislation in the heat of the moment:

...The Democrats enjoy such a large House majority thanks partly to an accident of timing. The election was held in uniquely disastrous circumstances for the Republicans, in the immediate wake of the collapse of Lehman and the ensuing financial panic. Piled on top of the other causes of Republican woe (some of them quite well-deserved), the crisis allowed Democrats to run up the score. But in a matter of months public opinion began snapping back to its center-right state. So we have a House majority that is caught in amber circa October 2008 when the nation's mood has already moved on.

Hey, you might say, such is the dumb luck of timing in elections. True. But in their wisdom our Founders devised a check to keep a majority augmented by temporary circumstances from running amok. It's called the Senate.

The House stands for election all at once, capturing public opinion at one moment in time. In contrast, only one-third of the Senate stands for election at once. Originally, its members were selected by state legislatures, further shielding it from public opinion (a feature done away with by the Seventeenth Amendment, of course)....

Seventeenth Amendment, bad move....

...If Obamacare is so necessary and wise, there's no true need to hurry. If it fails to pass the Senate, Democrats should campaign on it around the country. They should keep talking of its wonders, and build up public support for it, turning around the polls. They should enhance their majority in the House and the Senate, bringing new Obamacare Democrats to Washington. That's how you build toward passing historic legislation in a system such as ours naturally resistant to large-scale change...

The Dems know it's a steaming pile of you-know-what. If you have a clean conscience, you don't rush bills through before anyone has had time to read them.

My personal opinion is that their consciences are a lot muckier that most people guess, and a more honest nickname for this legislation would be "Screwtapecare."

Posted by John Weidner at November 12, 2009 8:52 AM
Weblog by John Weidner