28 October 2009

zombie funding seeking head shot to the brain

Daily Show dealt with this a couple weeks ago with the Democratic majority busy passing, not the liberal agenda, but the conservative one. So we already were getting abstinence funding, even though the Obama team and almost any credible sociological studies find it wasteful and counterproductive. Good luck killing it off.

More interesting is the process of attaching these weird pet issues as amendments onto bills that will pass anyway. I may not find a requirement to "read the damn bill" that important. But I might agree that there are means of simplifying bills. One of which would be not to attach totally unrelated amendments to these omnibus type major reform packages. The "bill" to restrict and ban online gambling, passed as an air-dropped amendment on an anti-terrorism bill for example. Same thing appears to be at work here, tacking on an abstinence funding amendment to a bill that will almost certainly pass (eventually).

Tacking that on with no intention of then voting for it does nothing to improve the bills. So in my opinion, this sort of idea is even worse. At least Leach voted for entire bill that had the damn anti-poker provision ("SAFE port act", note also that there's more text there relating to the gambling provisions than the actual bill...). Of course, he promptly got booted out in the next election from the out-of-state funding of his opponent raised by poker players from all over the country, after having been in office for 30 years. Maybe that's a deterrent to people like Hatch now, but it seems like a sensible deterrent to require people to do their jobs responsibly. Killing a bill doesn't happen because you can push stupid things into it (that your ideological or political foes will disagree with). In fact, given the rate of passing stupid things to begin with, it would seem like it just enhances the stupidity. I don't think it a good ideal to be associated with something stupid. If you don't like the bills, don't put stuff in it that makes it worse. Just advocate against it and explain why.
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