Lots Of Bills Have Lots Of Pages

October 29, 2009

House Minority Leader John Boehner is whining about the length of the latest healthcare reform bill. It’s too long, he says. I agree it’s long, but to assume that all bills that long must, by definition, be “bad,” is not logical.

The truth of the matter, as Slate explains, is that lots of bills are long. The length of many of them is because pork is thrown in, in order to encourage members to vote for it. “Omnibus spending bills,” which are nearly an annual ritual in Congress, typically number well over 1,000 pages.

Sorry Mr Boehner, but the length of this bill has nothing to do with whether or not it’s good or bad.

Concentrating on one aspect of this bill while ignoring the rest is hypertrivia. Opposing the bill because Democrats authored it, is partisanism. Whining about yet another version of a healthcare bill — which has been worked on in Congress in one way or another since January, with none of it going anywhere — is hyperreacting. Appealing to people’s fears of “bureaucracy” … which is not evidenced in the number of pages in the bill, especially if those pages are more Congressional pork than anything else … is emotivism. Let’s grow up, Mr Boehner, and stop being maturity-deprived.

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Sarah Palin, Defiant!

September 17, 2008

Gov. Sarah Palin is resisting the Alaska legislature’s investigation into her firing of her public-safety commissioner. I suppose that’s understandable, no one (politician or otherwise) typically wants an investigation into their affairs to go far. But worse than her simply not cooperating, there’s now an effort underway to use the courts to terminate the investigation:

Five Republican state lawmakers on Tuesday filed a lawsuit seeking to halt an inquiry into Gov. Sarah Palin’s dismissal of her public safety commissioner, arguing that the Legislature has exceeded its authority by conducting a “McCarthyistic investigation.”

The lawsuit, filed in the state’s Superior Court, comes as the McCain-Palin campaign has escalated its involvement in the bipartisan inquiry, providing Ms. Palin’s lawyer with help and mounting a public relations offensive.

Note the gratuitous reference to McCarthyism … this is, of course, an appeal to emotion meant to marginalize the investigation and make it seem a baseless witch-hunt. So not only is Gov. Palin engaging in Nixonianism, McCain’s campaign is dismissing it using the emotivism tactic.

This article includes the (expected) caveat:

The [McCain/Palin] campaign said Tuesday that it had no involvement in the decision to file the lawsuit.

I assure you this is absolutely not true — anything being done on behalf of either McCain or Palin is being coordinated by their campaign staff. The extent of their involvement may be small, but do not be fooled into thinking they did not approve of this maneuver. They most certainly did. (By the same token I expect that there are Obama factors in Alaska fueling this investigation from their own angle.)

That Palin would attempt to defy her own legislature on an investigation she had previously claimed to want to cooperate with, is also more than a little immature. A true conservative who really believes in the rule of law would not want to interfere with it, in such a way … but that apparently isn’t stopping her.