9 thoughts on “Sweet Deal”

  1. You’re certainly correct that the agricultural bill is outrageous. The New York Times agrees too. Their unsigned editorial on this issue openly sided with Bush and said that he should veto the farm bill, although regrettably that may only be symbolic.

    However, investigating politicians just because of the way that they vote would be a cure that’s worse than the disease. It’s common to see countries like Pakistan and Russia substitute criminal indictment for democratic choice. It’s a sign that the rule of law in those countries is shot to hell.

  2. Jim, your second paragraph is like shards of glass in a yummy cake of agreement. Please don’t effortlessly equate investigation and prosecution of criminal politicians with criminal misuse of the judiciary system for political reasons, the two are probably as close as one can get to total opposites.

    I’m not going to draw parallels but if everyone does what you did (and only the Rand Simbergs of this world seem not to, a minority unfortunately) then one ends up without measures; everything becomes “wrong” and nothing can ever be won or improved.

  3. Tim Carney talks as if a bad Congressional vote is prima facie evidence of a crime. That is exactly misuse of the judicial system for political reasons. We can only hope that it’s criminal misuse — if it were entirely legal misuse, then we’d really be up a creek.

  4. Money corrupts. Our senators and representatives should collect a salary equal the the mean of the country (not the average which could be manipulated by a few very high salaries.) This might give them the proper incentive to work for the benefit of everyone. Any money they receive beyond that (from ANY source) should be cause for immediate impeachment.

    If they can’t stand such restrictions perhaps they shouldn’t be in congress. Yes, I realize this is an idea that will never happen on this planet. I’m full of such good ideas. 😉

    But back in the real world, absolutely they should be investigated.

  5. Much as I hate to agree with Jim on anything (just seeing that we share the same opinion dramatically undermines my confidence), he is absolutely right. Once we begin (however simion-pure our intentions) to turn the judiciary system loose on the workings of the legislative proceess (however richly they deserve it), we have taken a huge step down the road to a third-world style tyranny.

    While I don’t share all of the libertarian leanings of many here on this blog, I sympathize with their frustration and share their anger at what seems to be obvious corruption on both the Dem and Rep side of the aisle. The solution to this however, is to work to limit the scope of govt, so it becomes less profitable to bribe our solons, not to engage in an fruitless (and ultimately destructive, as it will inievitably become politicized) hunt for that thin line between bribery and lobbying.

  6. When Jim’s right, he’s right. I despise those pr*cks as much as anybody, but going after them this way would be a nightmarish separation-of-powers issue. The last time I heard somebody suggest something like this, it was the inimitable L. Neil Smith calling for the prosecution of members of Congress who vote for firearms-control legislation. IIRC it was another Libertarian, Mark Slagle of San Diego, who demolished that argument. Show trials may satisfy an emotional need, and they might even dispose of actual bad guys, but that doesn’t make them a good idea.

  7. I don’t get the worries, we’ve got separation of powers over here and a crime is a crime no matter who commits it (ok there’s sort of an exception for HRM since we’re a constitutional monarchy but he has declined to make use of it upon occasion if my memory serves me correctly). It doesn’t amount to showtrials and it isn’t politically masterminded and directed. Sounds almost like you’re describing a US without a independent judicial system in the first place if it’s so easily thwarted.

    (And I don’t agree with Jim Harris’ characterization of what Tim Carney wrote; he’s not that over the top).

  8. I don’t agree with Jim Harris’ characterization of…[whatever][

    Generally, few sane people do.

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