...At least that's the plan, come 6 January. Our local newpaper-ish publication actually headlined the story last week; just this morning, even NPR got around to noticing that the incoming majority party plans to read the entire text of the Constitution of the United States, out loud, including every amendment.
It's a very good start, though a little alarming at the same time -- something like your heart surgeon showing up at the OR with a stack of medical textbooks, commenting, "About time I had a look at these!"
Will it help? Maybe. (Sadly, Bernie Saunders being a Senator, I'm not going to get to see him on C-SPAN, hands over his ears, chanting "no-no-no" as the words are read; and Dennis Kuccinch is serenely confident his very Reddest dreams can be tortured from the text -- with a smile, 'cos he's a deeply nice man. Dammit).
The new crew are also promising a move that will make them work a bit harder: every new bill will be required to include language citing which part of the Constitution gives Congress the power to meddle in whatever the bill covers. A good idea, though even if it has a longer life than most politician's promises (a bit less than a droplet of water on a sizzling-hot griddle), it could easily become a phatic bit of hand-waving over the "necessary and proper" and "general Welfare" clauses.
On the other hand, it means the Congressbeings -- or at least their staffs -- will have to do a bit more digging than required to produce a press handout extolling the virtues of their next Five Year Plan. The more time they spend doing homework for one bill, the fewer they can turn out in a given span of time -- and that may well be the best news of all!
6 months ago