Idaho's most conservative congressman made a point of congratulating his Republican counterpart yesterday for penning an op-ed on what the Massachusetts Senate election "really" meant. Congressman Walt Minnick, posing as the Democratic representative from Idaho, praised Congressman Mike Simpson for his "common-sense steps" that will help the country "more productively sort through difficult issues."
Well, okay then... let's have a look-see.
Simpson's "simple measures" which are, apparently, "long overdue" include this:
New rules in the House and Senate that require the final text of legislation to be posted online one week before a vote and ensure bills go through the committee process before being brought to the floor.
How in thē hell did this country ever survive for more than two hundred and thirty years without every...single...American citizen having the opportunity to read every...single...written word of legislation being proposed in Congress? Remind me again how it was the Founding Fathers ever got anything accomplished what with that requiring every citizen in colonial America read and approve every single document thing. I'm all for transparency but isn't this just a phony solution to a phony problem and exactly the kind of "government bureaucracy" and "red-tape" that clogs the sewers of Congress--the very things that guys like Minnick have pinky-promised to roto-root from Washington? And besides that, don't we elect people to do this kind of thing--read the bills--for us? But, oh, that's right, "we surround them."
But this one is just ridiculous:
The creation of toll-free phone lines that allow constituents to contact congressional offices for free.
Really? Okay, that might sound wonderful but who exactly is going to be paying for the "free" phone lines to D.C.? Each member's office budget? Taxpayer money. An appropriation (gasp) of funds? Taxpayer money. Not exactly free, then, is it. And anyway, aren't there already congressional offices situated within the local calling area of most constituents? Or maybe (she says cynically) this is just a ploy to enable Idahoans to drown, say, Speaker Pelosi's office in a flood of toll-free phone calls. Another solution looking for a problem; quick, someone call a plumber.
If this is what passes for common sense, I'm not sure I want any.