Pseudo-legislation decided by the bureaucracy

h/t Mark Steyn in Potemkin Parliament

Congress has degenerated into a Potemkin parliament, its ersatz nature embodied by those magnificent speeches senators give to themselves, orating for the benefit of TV sound bites into the cavernous silence of an empty room, an upper chamber turned isolation chamber. The “law of the land” means machinations and procedural legerdemain culminating in a show vote on unread omnibus fill-in-the-blanks pseudo-legislation to be decided after the fact by the regulatory bureaucracy

I think of recent “left-wing” governments among our allies. Up north, Jean Chrétien was a thuggish wardheeler presiding over a regime of repellent industrial-scale cronyism; Down Under, Kevin Rudd was a uniquely loathsome specimen of a human being, who communicated through a blizzard of effing asterisks and in idle moments ate his ear wax live on camera. Yet Australia was the only Western nation not to go into recession in 2008, and Canada spent the “fat” years of the Nineties paying down the national debt. Imagine that! As my old comrade Kate O’Beirne put it, “If only we could get American conservatives to be as fiscally responsible as Canadian liberals.” When I met Kevin Rudd a few years ago, he said to me, “I’m part of the pro-American Left.” “Crikey,” I replied, “America doesn’t have a pro-American Left, and in Europe they don’t even have a pro-American Right.” I didn’t know the half of it: These days, it’s not clear to me that the Republican party functions as a pro-American Right. That’s to say, Chrétien and Rudd, ghastly as they were, not only did less damage to their national finances than Obama, Reid, and Pelosi but they also did less damage than the GOP. I’m sure they dreamed the usual crazy dreams of wild-eyed lefties, but the system imposed disciplines on them that Washington doesn’t — on left or right.

That’s the problem. Either you think those numbers [govt debt of $750,000 per family, not counting unfunded liabilities (SS, MC, public pensions) of about another $1 million per, not counting what Obamacare is going to do] above are serious or you don’t. And, if you do think they’re serious and you’re a “lawmaker” (as the New York Times quaintly insists on calling our rubber-stampers), when are you going to get serious? Next month? Next year? Or shall we all sportingly agree to leave it till 2015 after the bipartisan deal on a $20 trillion debt ceiling?

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