Why are liberal pundits like Joy Behar so angry with Republicans reading the constitution on the House floor? (An even harder question to answer is why is Joy Behar a pundit at all?) Are they afraid it might stick? Not to worry, I doubt any of the liberals or RINOs in the House will hear a thing. Liberals have been denouncing any mention of God in the halls of government for so long, that now they have moved on to denouncing any mention of government, too. They are calling it constitutional worship, as if reading any text aloud was a form of prayer. Perhaps that’s why Democrats don’t read the bills they pass.
Conservatives in the House have to fight the “business-as-usual” attitude that protects long-time congressmen and their cronies. As the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund notes, power in the House goes to those who wait the longest. In addition to that sentiment I would remind readers that congressmen who are in the House the longest are in the safest districts, and fear voter retaliation the least, and are therefore most prone to overreach. That sets up a very bad system, one based on seniority rather than merit or even democracy. As Fund notes, 87-year-old Ralph Hall will be chairing the House Science and Technology committee. His great-grandchildren probably know more about the technologies of today than does Mr. Hall.
The Republican congress has set a meek goal of cutting $100 billion from the 2011 budget. Wow. $100 billion. How does that square with allowing hundreds of billions of dollars in new stimulus measures to slip into the tax cut “compromise?” Conservatives, the fight is not over.
The federal government, and the Federal Reserve are still pouring money on the economy like syrup on pancakes. The Fed, even in light of strengthening economic data is not slowing down its stimulus plans. Food prices are skyrocketing, and have topped their 2008 highs. At the same time, the business-as-usual congress is continuing to subsidize corn ethanol, a wasteful, ridiculous source of energy that may not even be net-energy-positive. The bipartisan cabal of corn-state Senators that is keeping this charade in play is overdue for an electoral slap in the face.
In the midst of all the above, conservatives have forced some change in the House. The most symbolic and possibly the most effective measure to be adopted so far is the requirement of constitutional citation for any bill that is offered up for debate. It may not mean much to Joy Behar, but the constitution is where Congress gets its power to rule.