I'm sorry. It's really the same thing said once again. Or maybe not the same thing, but a continuation. About 9 months ago, I postulated that We're Electing the Wrong People. And, since they are the wrong people, I'd also like to mention: They're doing the wrong things.
And, oh my god, how wrong can they be? Those knuckleheads (and I mean pretty much all of them) shouldn't need a handbook on how to do their jobs -- or shouldn't need one beyond the one Thomas Jefferson helped to pen. But apparently they do.
It appears as if the current handbook they're issued is something along the lines of:
Hi. Welcome to Congress. Now we'll help you figure out how to work around the system to make money for you and your friends.
Gee your voice is pretty, make sure people hear it alot.
Let's face it: The original intent of this job was never intended to be a full time job. The idea was that the Constitution was such a strict framework that pretty much every thing that was allowed to be handled was, in fact, handled. And the little things that would come up over time -- we'd just work those out in our spare time. What a novel approach.
So since congress just has no sporking clue how to do their own job, let me just give them a little lesson.
- Keep it simple. Laws should not be 1000 pages or more. If they are, you've given too many lawyers too much wiggle room to work through. You want to bitch about judges legislating from the bench? Well, they can only do it if you make it complex. If it is short and sweet, the interpretation wiggle room just isn't that large. How many times did you misunderstand your dad when you were 5 and he said "Calm down or you're going to get a spanking?" If Dad can say something in one sentence that a 5 year old can understand, why can't an old fart with a law degree and 25 years of experience?
- Along with simple and short comes an obvious corollary. You should not be editing the document in the wee hours of the morning before the vote. Make the rule simple: any change means it goes back to debate for another week.
- And, oh my god: if you haven't read and understood it, you are not allowed to hold a vote on it. Did I really need to tell you that?
- In continuing with keep it simple: keep it on topic. In no way should anyone be allowed to hide crap in the middle. If you're passing a law on "Voter's rights" there should not be something hidden inside it about conserving the habitat of the Atlantic Sea Chimpanzee or bee keeping or fuel consumption or bridges in Alaska. It should start with voter's rights, have voter's rights in the middle and then end with voter's rights. If I order a ham sandwich, I want a ham sandwich. I do not want a ham sandwich with a little bit of lutefisk in the middle. That's a lutefisk and ham sandwich. You may, however, add bacon. But that's off topic.
- Laws should not duplicate other laws, hide other laws or contradict other laws. For example, if you have a laws against murder and assault, there is no reason ever to have a law against hate crime. Is it really intrinsically worse to murder someone because of their religion/sexual preference/gender/race than to murder someone for the $20 in their wallet? Sure, you can argue over the brutality of the murder when it comes to the sentencing, but it's still the same crime. Murder is murder. If the scumbag that perpetrates the crime is a Nazi skinhead, I just don't care what his motivation is -- just that he is removed from society.
- Get the hell out of the superfluous. The government should not be involved in the inner workings of professional baseball, college football or the mating habits of lemurs. This is just proof you have too much time on your hands. Get back to your real job and go home to your family. You've obviously overinflated your own importance.
- And last, and most important: learn what individual rights are. It's important. It's the entire basis of American government. Here, let me explain it to you in words that a senator might possibly understand. Think of the other side. Think of the hot button issue (HBI) that really pisses you off. If you're on the right, maybe it's legislation that murders babies and uses their parts for research changing god's own perfect creatures. If you're on the left, maybe it's some enormous monetary kickback to an evil capitalist banking institution. Everyone has an HBI.... think of yours. Now, consider the idea that you are being forced -- at the threat of arrest and incarceration -- to pay for that HBI. Does that seem a tad bit... wrong? Doesn't it seem even more wrong to do it on a massive scale, where people have to sit and count the zeros before they pronounce the monetary total? How many zeros are in gabnillion?
I am not sure why this sort of instruction seems to be necessary, but apparently it is. If only someone had been smart enough to actually sit down and enumerate the powers of the legislative branch in writing...
Oh, and while we're on the topic of Congress being without a clue, just an off topic hint: get rid of the printed poster boards. There's this thing called PowerPoint...