Message Legislation

Why is the Senate wasting our time and money with Carl Levin’s and/or John Warner’s non-binding resolution rebuking the President on his Iraq policy? Shouldn’t they be focusing on matters that actually accomplish something?

“Message” legislation is a peeve of mine. Legislation should have some concrete, practical effect. If it doesn’t, then governing bodies at any level shouldn’t waste their time with it. It vexes me to no end when governing bodies pass laws or governing codes which are entirely irrelevant (such as La Verkins’ “U.N. Free Zone”), completely unenforceable (Texas’ attempted Sodomy ban), or without any concrete meaning (Scott McCoy’s proposed amendment to the Utah constitution; one on which I agree with the intent but not the method).

So while I would have enthusiastically supported any effort to bring articles of impeachment up on President Bush, I was unimpressed by Senator Feingold’s resolution to censure the President last year. If the best you can do is an official legislative finger-wag, don’t bother. Likewise with Levin and Warner’s attempted resolution. If you can’t/won’t take a stand and do something to prevent the administration’s plans for Iraq, please don’t resort to an official disapproving shake of the Senate’s head—especially a non-binding one.

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2 Responses to “Message Legislation”

  1. Thom Says:

    Man, don’t move to Massachusetts–particularly the People’s Republic of Cambridge. This is like a hobby of the liberal (and, less often, conservative) grandstanders in these parts. Depending on my mood I usually find it some combination of noble, annoying, harmless, wasteful, and stupid. (My mood varies a lot, these days.)

    [And lest anyone berate me for mocking the PRC or Massachusetts liberals, or even New England’s eccentricities, note that I’m a registered Republican, card-carying member of Democracy for America, and am desperately looking for a decent condo in Cambridge.]

  2. Cody Says:

    From the article that you linked about the McCoy amendment: “The measure would force state lawmakers and the governor to work toward a solution to the rising number of uninsured and underinsured Utahns, McCoy said.” If enacting McCoy’s amendment would, as implied here, make it legally binding upon the State of Utah to devise a system that answered that demand, then it’s not just an empty gesture … and probably hasn’t a hope of ever being passed.

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