...why NAR was originally opposed to a legislative effort. In the courts, you can at least hope for a reasonably impartial judgement based on the law, although it seems to take just short of forever.
But in congress - logic, rationality, and scientific evidence don't count for anything, which was pretty much what former Apollo astronaut Harrison Schmidt said after his 1 term in the senate. Now that the senate bill is being used for partisan politics it seems NAR's worst fears of what could happen are coming to pass. Not to mention the 'modification' in committee.
Step back a little from our current issue and consider that ALL Federal Laws go through this same procedure; it will explain much.
I believe the Congressional process, and the compromise involved with it, were intentionally imposed upon the Government by the Constitution and the vision of the Founding Fathers in order to prevent exactly the things we see today. But the process has become broken; the Founding Fathers did not envision that our Representatives and Senators would corrupt the system for their own gain and place the concepts and ideals of our country as secondary considerations during lawmaking. It is hard to predict the actions of unscrupulous and unprincipled people if you are not one yourself.
A very revealing aspect of Federal lawmaking can be found in the opening sections of many Federal laws. Basically, Congress has extremely limited powers to enact legislation which affects individual citizens. That was intentional. So how is it they are in every aspect of our lives? How can there be Federal Abortion Laws, for instance? Because Congress simply says that whatever it is, it adversely affects interstate trade; one of the few things the Constitution grants Congress the power of law over. The Santa Clause of the Constitution. They do not have to show or define adverse impact, just say that it exists. You would be amazed how many things (Abortion, Crime, etc) adversely affect interstate trade. Of course, the Founding Fathers were concerned about actual trade issues and economics when they added the clause, not granting Congress powers they didn't wish it to have.
Another issue in the "broken process" is Amendment XVII. Since this is an actual Amendment, I will not say outright that it is wrong. However, my opinion is that it IS wrong. Senators are not elected by the Constitution, they are appointed by State Legislatures. This gives States power in Congress by appointing qualified people to best reflect the views of that State's legislature. Amendment XVII makes Senator an elected position. The premise of the Constitution is that the House represents the People and that the Senate represents the States, thereby giving the Big Three divisions of Constitutional Power; the People, the States, and the Feds. While it may be argued that a popular election IS the Will of the People, America was not set up as a true Democracy; we are a Federal Republic. The mechanism of appointed Senators was implemented to support that Federal Republic and is integral to the other aspects and intent of the Constitution. It is far easier for demagogues to sway the People than it is to sway an (ostensibly) informed Legislature. Amendment XVII takes power away from the States.
Sorry, I can really get going on this. The question is, "Who watches the Watchers?" The answer, "We, the People." But most people I know have zero interest in politics and, therefore, very little watching is done. We hope our elected officials are honorable, interested people and will do what is best for us and the Country. Unfortunately, that is no longer the the case. There is zero hope for change until The People wish it to happen. Some personal recommendations; force Congress to show adverse impact, repeal the 16th and 17th Amendments, institute a National Referendum.
OUR NAR/TRA reps need to get in gear and combat every lie and distortion these pinheads make......Somebody call O'reiley and see if they can get these 2 dunderheads on his show with somebody that can counter their argumrnts?
I believe it would be an improvement. The Senators would actually have someone to answer to, their responsibilities would be more specific (to the legislature, not their entire constituency), and election campaign funding issues would evaporate. Taking campaign money out of the equation can only help, IMHO.
In a world supposedly divided between "Conservative Republicans" and "Liberal Democrats," I, a liberal Republican, married a conservative Democrat. The division the political animals would like to make leaves out these two large pluralities, one of which gave us environmental safeguards and the other labor unions. I suspect both are threatening to Congress.
For a good literary analogy to what is going on in the Senate, read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and pay special attention to the characters Cornelius Fudge and Dolores Umbridge. The author is English but I'm sure she must have been paying attention... or maybe they have the same kind of thing over there?
No matter how you constitute it, the country will be run by a bunch of people with shapeless blobs of protoplasm for brains who are so full of themselves that they think they can run the country better than anybody else. They might be elected, they might be appointed, they might be self-appointed, they may take over by virtue of accumulated wealth, buying control. Even if you could work out a pure democracy with no leaders, the country will be run by people with shapeless blobs of protoplasm for brains.
Face it, we're doomed! Doomed! Doomed!
This is making my head hurt. I'm going to bind some 2003 RotW supplements. I'd have done that weeks ago if I didn't have a shapeless blob of protoplasm for brains.
My wife's a Conservative, but her parents are bleeding-heart, anti-gun old school Liberals. My wife warned me very early not to talk politics with my Father-in-Law, but I often smile when his three boys are visiting. All of them are gun toting Conservative Republicans and they get into it with their father, so I enjoy it vicariously. >;-)
Mark Simpson NAR 71503 Level II God Bless our peacekeepers