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September 2, 2006

Less Debate in Congress?

I mused below about the fact that my impression was that there is in at least the US House of Representatives a growing use of closed rules, and other procedural devices to stifle debate. The Woodrow Wilson Center has a report, current through the last Congress, of some interesting statistics on bill passage, use of closed rules, and related topics. I was surprised that the statistics weren't more stark.

I won't go political on you, and no doubt there's blame enough to go around, but the tone these days which portrays disagreement with Power as unwise, unpatriotic, or immoral has as its foundation the premise that Power is unerring and all-knowing. That, I thought, was the premise of other forms of govenrment, but not democracy.

Okay, I went a little political. But we've got to get it back to the point where we can debate the merits of ideas, not their source or the motive of their proponent.

September 2, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink

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