July 06, 2009

Cap & Trade


"Here's how to get a dubious bill into law, or at least past the U.S. House of Representatives, which of late has deserved to be called the lower chamber: -- First, make the bill long. Very long. So long no one may actually read it, supporters or opponents. Introduce a 310-page horse-choker of an amendment at 3 in the morning on the day of the roll-call vote. So it can't be examined too closely or too long. Only after the bill passes may its true costs emerge. ... -- Make sure that the bill itself, which was already 1,200 pages long before this super-sized amendment was added, surpasseth all understanding. (Which may be the only thing it has in common with the peace of God.) ... -- Insert all kinds of exceptions into the bill so those special interests that stand to benefit by them -- whether regional, economic or ideological -- will join the stampede. -- Coat the bill and the campaign for it with high-sounding sloganspeak, if not hysteria. Warn that The End Is Near unless this bill is passed, at least if you consider the year 2100 near. ... -- If necessary, change the subject at the last minute. Say, from climate change to creating jobs. And, hesto presto, though the vote may be close (219 to 212), a confusing bill can be on its way to becoming even more confusing law. Which is just what happened the other day in the U.S. House of Representatives. ... -- Forget the actual content of the bill, since few if any can understand it anyway. Instead, just recite talking points. It's a lot easier than actually thinking. ... Whoever said you never want to see sausage made or laws passed did a grave injustice to sausage-makers, who are surely engaged in a much more wholesome enterprise." --Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editor Paul Greenberg

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