March 23, 2006

What's Good for the Goose

On the one hand, I do actually agree that this bill isn't law because it does not pass procedural muster:

House Democrats want President Bush to say whether he knew of what they call a "fundamental constitutional problem" with the $39 billion deficit reduction package he signed last month.

A letter to Bush, signed by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Henry Waxman of California and released Thursday, is the latest challenge to a bill that was passed in slightly different forms by the House and Senate before it was sent to Bush.

"A bill is not law unless the same version is passed by both the House and the Senate and signed by the president," top Democrats wrote to Bush. He signed it on Feb. 8.

To believe otherwise is inconsistent with my previous statements and beliefs concerning the citizenry's ability to follow basic, simple voting rules and procedures if they want their votes to count. On the other hand(s):

1. I know that there isn't a single Congressman or Congresswoman who has even read every bill they have voted on, so it is kind of funny to me that this is one of the battles they choose to fight. But let's be honest, this isn't about a procedural slip up that they really want to rectify, it's about the federal government spending more money! Or at least the Democrat's ability to demagogue up the works again if they can.

2. FWIW, I would be more than a little surprised if this really is the first time such a procedural slip has occurred.

3. Knowing that Nancy Pelosi and Henry Waxman are on one side of the discussion is an extremely good inverted predictor of what is right.

4. It is just so like the current Democratic leadership (and previous ones who focused so much on controlling legal authorities) to insist on the letter of the law rather than the spirit of the law. though both remain critically important.

5. Finally, resorting to "What did the president know and when did he know it?", reflects such a desperate nostalgia for the good old days of Watergate as to, let's see, how did John Green put it ..., oh yes ..., make me puke.

Posted by Charles Austin at March 23, 2006 05:15 PM