Thursday, December 17, 2009

Our government: no accountability

I wouldn't make a good politician because I don't fear being inconsistent both internally on a particular issue or in an ideological context. While I have recently thought that it is better to have the ability to block the bad that my political opponents could do, and to use the Senate rules and other procedural gimmicks was better than not; today I'm frustrated with the Democrats and Healthcare. I know what I would do. I know what Senator Sanders would do. I know what some of the right wing would do. But now we have a system where if something passes it won't be something that anyone really would advocate for.

Many celebrate the notion of compromise. It has it's place. Especially in budget type issues. But on many more issues, the compromise actually gnaws away at the effectiveness of the proposal. So we wind up with a weakened policy that will be judged as though it was put in place 100%.

Take President Bush and the tax cuts he wanted in 2001. He was forced to target more money towards lower and middle income Americans, and also Republicans chose to make the tax cuts temporary for budgetary reasons. So maybe they got 85% of what they wanted in some form. But not 100% of what they wanted the way they wanted. Fast foward a few years, everything bad with our deficit and priorities was blamed on the "Bush tax cuts".

When Republicans are in power,
I want Republicans to be able to try out what they think will work. If it does they should be rewarded. If not they should be blamed.

When Democrats are in power,
I want Democrats to be able to try out what they think will work. If it does they should be rewarded. If not they should be blamed.

In a mixed power sharing scenario,
both parties should fight it out, and see where the victor lies.

I know there are boundaries to this type of an approach as in everything else. There could be drastic swings in foreign policy, economic rules, environmental decision-making that wouldn't be feasible. Democrats could ban smoking one year, and the Republicans get elected and re-instate it.

Also that there are numerous issues is a problem, a party may be elected as an anti-war protest, but then pursue a certain tax policy.

What this is, is complex. It just shows how much of a joke it is to ask average people, what they think of their government or a particular proposal.

This is the best form of government, and we need to continually reaffirm that, lest we allow the critics to gain a foothold for some type of authoritarian system.

I think I end up agreeing with the Senate's delaying tactics and complex rules and believing ultimately the right thing emerges.

While there might not ever be 60 votes for school vouchers.
There also might not ever be 60 votes for some truly bad things.

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