Saturday, December 19, 2009

Courage

Courage is not holding out for the best subsidy deal for your home state or rushing something through for the sake of doing something. Courage is standing up to the winds of one’s Congressional leadership and president. It is being willing to put the brakes on what has been described as the legislative process at its very worst, when a massive, potentially revolutionary bill is shoved through in a matter of a few days from its unveiling due to a calculated political urgency for the sake of partisan pageantry. It is fighting for transparency and deliberation in what is meant to be a deliberative body.

The controversy of this bill—not public need or universal acclaim—motivates this rush towards passage. Precisely because it is so influential, this bill requires time for debate and analysis. A poorly written rush job could have implications neither its defenders or opponents foresee. The founders intended the Senate to cool public passions through sustained interrogation of legislative matters. Today, in an Alice-in-Wonderland transmogrification of original intent, we see the Senate on the verge of ramming a bill through in the dead of night on the eve of a holiday in order to avoid public scrutiny. Perhaps due to similarities between the two, legislating has become confused with trophy-hunting.

With a winter storm descending upon the Capitol, the search for that man or woman of courage continues.

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