Friday, September 30, 2005

Pre-Fab legislation.

Credit goes to Ernest Spoon in a blog posting at Heartland PAC.

Check out this information clearing house article.

(An) alliance of corporate power brokers and conservative Republicans have spent the last five years attempting to hi-jack democracy and move the seat of governance from Pennsylvania Avenue to K Street.

But you won’t read about this coup, you won’t see it played out on the evening news, and you won’t hear about it on talk radio. Why? Because the mainstream media are major combatants.

At the center of this takeover is the K Street Project – an attempt to purge industry’s lobbyists of any and all Democrats, and to make sure that "...even the secretaries..." are "conservative Republican activists."

They’ve just about succeeded.

Over the past five years the relationship between government and industry has been transformed. Now, an assortment of K street Corporate shills write legislation, develop tax proposals, and formulate foreign policy, sometimes in their industry’s self-interest, sometimes at the behest of a few right wing ideologues in Congress or the Administration.

Now I don't have a problem with lobbyists, including corporate lobbyists, doing their job as they have in the past. Lobbyists serve an important purpose, educating Congressmen about the needs and the challenges faced by their various clients so that bad legislation which harms an industry or other group isn't written out of ignorance. But, don't we elect and pay Congressmen to write the actual legislation, as required by the U.S. Constitution? Apparently, not only are we looking at Conservatives who have been elected by no one pretty much running the place, but THEY, not our elected lawmakers, are now the ones writing the laws.

The laws we are seeing, from the Bankrupcty reform bill to the Energy bill to the Medicare prescription drug bill, have been written and prepackaged for delivery to the hill, and about all that Tom DeLay and Denny Hastert have had to do is rubber stamp them through Congress without any significant changes. Of course, as we have seen before, one tactic that they use frequently is to deliver bills that are thousands of pages long (and we now know, are written by industry lobbyists with offices on K Street instead of in Capital Hill offices) to Democrats and those Republicans not in the leadership the night before they are to be voted on and then limit debate to an hour or two. And, of course, Democratic proposals made in committee, never see the light of day and amendments or competing bills offered on the floor are invariably voted down (which the majority certainly has the right to do, I would just question how many of them have even read, since we now know they haven't written, the bills they are pushing instead.)

Even if one IS a conservative Republican, shouldn't the idea that our Congressmen can no longer be troubled to even write the laws, the most basic duty that they should be attending to, be just a bit disturbing?

I guess with all those vacations, fundraising trips and lobbyist-paid junkets to play golf in Scotland, the life of a Congressman is a busy one, so something had to go!

No comments: