Saturday, November 06, 2010

Modified Limited Evasion of Responsibility: McConnell

Tapscott plays off a Strassel essay in which she describes McConnell's agenda.

...Let's just say he isn't apologizing for recently suggesting that his priority is to deny President Obama a second term. This week's message was that the American people want a repeal of health-care reform and an end to overspending and job-killing initiatives. If Republicans intend to make good on these public demands, says Mr. McConnell, the end goal has to be putting someone in the White House who won't veto that progress.

...He and House Speaker-elect John Boehner seem acutely aware of the perils of over-promising, and came out of the gate this week intent on managing expectations. One challenge will be reminding an impatient public that ultimate power still rests in the White House, not Congress.

So says Strassel.

Tapscott has some thoughts about that.

Uh, no, Congress has the ultimate power in the federal government, the president only thinks he does. As Willmoore Kendall said, the Founders wisely gave Congress all of the ultimate weapons and thus empowered it to win any showdown with either the president or the federal courts.

After all, as Tapscott reminds us (and McConnell, Boehner, and Strassel), Congress has the power of the purse, the power to limit Fed-judge jurisdiction, and has the best dog-and-pony vehicle: hearings, among other weapons.

But what Tapscott does NOT say (he's polite) is just as important.

Congress has made evading responsibility into art which Michaelangelo would admire. Congress writes legislation which only boils the pasta. They then hand the pasta to Executive Branch regulators and agencies who create and apply the sauce, the meats, and the spices.

The regulators and agencies (EPA, HHS, FCC, DOE, DOT, HUD, Interior, et al.) then serve the dish to the public. You don't like it? Good luck: Congress prefers to abscond, thankyouverymuch, and let you fight it out with agencies. "Responsible for this? No, no, no. That's the FCC. That's the EPA. That's DOE. And if it's not, we'll create a NEW agency!!"

Bart Simpson times 535.

The most awful example is (arguably) ObamaCare, which requires--what??--19,000 regulations before 2014, all written by HHS. (If it's not 19,000, who cares? It could be 12,000 or 50,000; you get the point.)

We think that Senator McConnell and Speaker Boehner should re-assert the primacy of Congress, just as the Founders intended.

But you understand, no, why they'd prefer to point to the White House?

It's called Modified Limited Evasion of Responsibility. It's the sine qua non for the Leviathan, for political sideshows, and for Retention of Prestigious Seats.

And it should stop now.

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