The Corner

National Deliberation Struggle

Rich, over at Powerline, they also take note of that fascinating Philly footage of Sen. Arlen Specter trying to sell “health-care” reform. Paul Mirengoff writes:

Specter tried to explain how he goes about learning what’s in a 1,000 page piece of legislation. Specter said that, because of time constraints, his practice is to divide responsibility for reading the bill among his staffers. This explanation brought boos from the crowd.

The Senate fancies itself “the world’s greatest deliberative body.” But it’s becoming increasingly clear that the Senate is not a deliberative body at all — not when Senators concede that they would vote on legislation to overhaul one-sixth of our economy, and arguably the most important sixth, without having read the legislation. Specter’s defense that there’s not enough time for him to read it all himself simply raises the problem in a more acute from: why would the world’s greatest deliberative body consider legislation on a timetable that leaves Senators with insufficient to see for themselves exactly what’s in the bill?

An elected representative owes you his judgment. Yet Specter is not in a position to make a judgment, so he subcontracts it piecemeal. In that case, why not outsource it to a call center in Bangalore? It’d be a lot cheaper, and hard put to be any more inept.

Men like Specter, Conyers, and other lifetime legislators too grand to legislate are doing a fine job of delegitimizing Congress.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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