Monday, March 1, 2010

Maybe Partisanship Isn't a 4-Letter Word After All

E. J. Dionne, Jr. writes in the Washington Post
"Democrats on the whole believe in using government to correct the inequities and inefficiencies the market creates, while Republicans on the whole think market outcomes are almost always better than anything government can produce.

That's not cheap partisanship. It's a fundamental divide. The paradox is that our understanding of politics would be more realistic if we were less cynical and came to see the battle for what it really is."

Bravo! Well said! So, maybe Harry and Nancy can quit talking about how they're all for "partisanship" and really just want to see the Republicans come to them half way. Same for BHO.

I believe in voluntary exchange under the rule of law. But I also believe that laws should be few, profound, and hard to pass.

Most of the laws we really need and want can be written on the back of a post card. The rest of what constitutes the United States Code is mostly about one set of people trying to compel everyone else to do what they say.

Here's an idea. Let's have a Constitutional amendment that stipulates that no bill can be passed with less than a super majority of two-thirds of both houses. Let the amendment further stipulate that no bill may address more than a single proposition, which must be stated in fewer than 200 words.

No more log rolling; no more special interest riders on appropriations bill; no more ear marks; no more debates about "reconciliation" to pass the worst bill ever written by Congress.

But, you say, nothing would ever get done if a super majority is required. Precisely. The only bills that could be passed would be bills that call for laws that a super majority of people want. Why would that be a bad idea?

Insane you say? Think about it. If it really needs to be a law, getting two-thirds of both houses to vote "yes" isn't unreasonable, or impossible. In my judgment, we would get far better laws with my super-majority proposition, and we would get lots more voluntary exchange instead of compulsion of the many by the few.

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