Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Superfluous Legislature

The word is that a common way to end debates in committee meetings is to say "The Governor is against it", or "The Governor is for it". Those single sentences are also used as an explanation by a legislator to explain their vote. Apparently, if the Governor has an opinion on some issue, then most legislators don't need one!

It is pitiful to see the erosion of the legislative branch of government, both on the state and the federal level. In theory, the legislative branch is supposed to be the most powerful branch of government, and the closest to the people. The Executive is merely supposed to carry out their wishes, executing the laws that they pass. The courts are supposed to interpret that law.

In reality, the courts started making what they consider law long ago, and the legislature did nothing to defend their constitutional turf. Now the ledge has taken to simply asking the executive what laws it wants passed. If the Governor is against a bill, they seem to think that is reason enough to vote against it. Even the bureaucrats who run the state agencies seem to boss around these hapless creatures called legislators. If 50 people from back home tell a legislator they are in favor of a bill and one department of education bureaucrat tells him they are against it, the average legislator has been voting the bill down!

They are not just acting as a rubber stamp, they are everyone's rubber stamp. The courts, the Governor, the bureaucrats. Everyone's stamp except for the people they are really supposed to be working for. There is no need to even have a legislature under their current operational philosophy.

My description does not apply to every legislator of course. There are many who consider issues on their merits, listen to the home folks, and don't simply let the Governor or his people tell them how to vote. But they are the exception not the rule, especially in the majority party.

The pity is that they still have the legal authority to put the will of the people into law. They do not have to be superfluous, they are just choosing to be.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a good post. I called a friend of mine who is a holdover from the Huckabee days. He said you are right and people where he works make fun of the representatives in the office he works in all the time. There is no respect for them. I am thinking if the breaucrats don't respect them then we shouldn't either.

8:01 PM, March 24, 2009  
Anonymous Chuck said...

The bureaucrats can paint a rosy picture or a bleak picture, whichever suits their purposes, and most of the newbie legislators don't know the difference. Welcome to the wonderful world of term limits.

1:58 PM, March 27, 2009  

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