Every once in a while I like to propose something and see what my readers think…
Proposed: for the first two years of any new administration we limit Congress voting on new initiatives, and this includes executive orders. No limitations if reelected, except whatever Congress may impose by not considering or no funding.
Is this unconstitutional? If so, if it makes sense, we would need that very imposing cliff climb called amending the Constitution.
Right off the bat I’m going to admit to at least three things…
A. This is merely a concept that would need fleshing out. Please do. Criticism of all kinds is welcome.
B. I absolutely admit for us this might be like the no more than two terms Republican initiative that screwed them royally when it came to Ike. Maybe screwed them with Reagan too, though it really would have been even more of a Bush presidency considering his health. It would screw us the next time we win the presidency, if ever. But that cynicism leads to another quite distracting favorite topic of mine.
C.If this ever comes to pass hopefully by the second term that administration would have been validated by reelection so the rule doth not apply. I understand there have been, and may be, cases where this isn’t true: cheating has happened, like votes siphoned off to Tennessee in 04. Perhaps we need a perpetual bipartisan commission to assess every presidential election? Interesting, but another topic.
Here’s the reason for this: you probably have noticed every time there’s a new administration there’s a hyperbolic rush in the first two years to push things through that may be, at best, garbage. Bills don’t get read. Serious consideration isn’t made of the content of these initiatives, if for no other reason than there simply isn’t the time. In depth debate goes by the wayside.
Legislatively it’s like dealing with a severely hyperactive child, so hyperactive parents have little choice but to let too much slide by that probably never should have that hurts others, hurts righteous causes, often bad for the child, and especially bad for the nation. It also enables people of the same party to act like the adults in that old Twilight Zone episode: agreeing to whatever to keep party unity and for the sake of image.
”It’s good what you did, Anthony…”
…when what the administration is pushing is so bad it should be “sent away into the cornfield.”
I think the problems that may have been corrected with more time like with the ACA, the Patriot Act, the Help America (NOT) Vote Act and other bills are examples of this. I’m sure there are plenty others. Maybe a long mandatory time of deliberation should be included too?
In times of emergency (Yeah, I understand unfortunately the Patriot Act might have passed muster here) if 75%-80% of Congress waives the limitation then more can be considered. But that vote must be taken every time, and not at 3am in the morning. A certain percent of Congress must be in attendance. All percentages are debatable. Everything is debatable: it’s just a simple proposal.
I think it might also cut back on this tendency for administrations who barely won, or only won the EC, acting like they won some giant mandate. I have found this tendency dangerous for a nation that’s supposed to be representative of as many of the people as possible. It gives way too much power to those who attain power by questionable means, like voting issues: no matter how you skew on that issue, what flavor “fraud.”
All of this is up for discussion, debate, alteration; for those wishing to comment.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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