exactly how a democracy should NOT work

Can you imagine a group of surgeons standing over a patient, arguing about how to operate? The patient is lying there, anesthetized and oblivious, while a group of highly trained doctors argue. One refuses to allow any procedure to be performed unless he is allowed to remove the appendix. Another demands a pacemaker be put in place, even though most of the doctors don't see any need for a pacemaker. The belligerence of the pro-pacemaker surgeons means that the other must accept this ridiculous "preemptive" procedure in order to even perform the originally intended work. So they argue through the night, with the patient lying there the whole time, chest open. Finally, as they all get a bit punchy, wired on caffeine, sleep deprived, they reach an agreement. They'll do it. Now that they've worn themselves out by arguing about what to do, they go to work. One goes toward the appendix, since he added it to the pacemaker agreement, and some others start installing a pacemaker, having won that battle. The rest go to work on the original procedure, only to realize that all the space in the operating room, and all the surgical tools, are being used by the surgeons who are doing the other procedures.

Can you imagine that?

Well, that's pretty much how I view this weekend's marathon session of congress. I think the huge military spending bill is kind of like the pacemaker... unnecessary, but they had numbers so they get to do it. Drilling in the arctic national wildlife refuge is kind of like the appendix. Well, I suppose it would be more like removing the spleen. It's there and doesn't do anything, but if you go in and mess with it, all kinds of hell could break loose. Maybe my metaphor could use some work, but it's at least as good as the legislation that was being rewritten all weekend. How are laws passed in this manner ever going to do any good for our society? Anyway, a description of the proceedings is available in the NYTimes, or any other newspaper today. Here's a little taste:
"'A can't-pass measure has been added to a must-pass measure in order for the Republicans to give an early huge Christmas gift to the oil companies of the United States,' said Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts." [LINK]

Great. Let's go get some oil!

1 comment:

renee said...

this remind me of that movie "the american president" when the president's girlfriend, who is also an environmental activist, gets pissed when the president tries to pass a gun-control law by tacking it onto an anti-pollution law. or something like that.