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Fri Dec 7, 2018, 11:48 AM

Kill the Lame Duck

Good article on Politico:

Lame-duck legislative sessions—when outgoing lawmakers convene to enact new policy after an election but before their replacements have been sworn in—are a horse-and-buggy political arrangement that somehow survived into the 21st century. Designed for a time when new elected officials had to travel long distances to make it to the capitol, they are mostly harmless, like an antique shotgun hanging on the wall—at least until recently. Today, Republicans in Wisconsin, Michigan and North Carolina are weaponizing lame duck sessions to thwart the will of the public as newly elected officials sit on the sidelines, watching their predecessors straitjacket their mandates to govern.

What is the case against lame-duck legislatures? In essence, policymakers are acting without the traditional backdrop of public accountability—a looming election—to govern their behavior. Freed of that pressure, legislators may behave differently. In some cases, we might welcome legislators feeling freer to follow their instincts, and there is some evidence that congressional lame duck sessions are more productive than at other times of the year.


https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/12/07/why-lame-duck-republican-session-michigan-wisconsin-222768

8 replies, 766 views

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply Kill the Lame Duck (Original post)
tinrobot Dec 2018 OP
Eric J in MN Dec 2018 #1
CincyDem Dec 2018 #2
Hortensis Dec 2018 #5
Hortensis Dec 2018 #3
Proud Liberal Dem Dec 2018 #6
Hortensis Dec 2018 #8
Ohiogal Dec 2018 #4
Hortensis Dec 2018 #7

Response to tinrobot (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 11:53 AM

1. Today's Republican politicians are so slimy,

...that lame-duck sessions need to be abolished to stop them from being abused.

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Response to tinrobot (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 11:59 AM

2. I was living in the UK when Labour beat the Tory's in 97...



The evening of the election, John Major was interviewed briefly outside 10 Downing Street about his view of the election. He finished the comments and said something like, sorry - need to run now, it's time for a late dinner - and he went in.

That night Labour won Parliament and with it, Tony Blair became PM.

At something like 9:00am, Blair and his wife walked out the front door of 10 Downing and started talking about the agenda he was going to pursue that afternoon with his peers in Parliament.

Later I learned that the Major's were "spirited out" during the night once it was obviously how the results were going to turn...and that included all their furniture being moved down into some storage area of the building.

Boom. 9 hours after election results, the new guy's in charge.

That's the way to do it.

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Response to CincyDem (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 12:11 PM

5. Like it!

That article pointed out that lame ducks have typically gotten off their derrieres and gotten more work done when they knew they wouldn't have another 2 years, but I imagine suspicion that days were numbered would act much the same way.

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Response to tinrobot (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 12:03 PM

3. It's turning into a critically important issue.

Did EVERY damned law and rule passed governing our government since inception come about after conservative abuses made it necessary? It sure seems like it.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 12:13 PM

6. +1

As we have increasingly learned over the past few years under Republican control, there are a LOT of things that Presidents and Congress have done as a matter of existing norms/traditions and not codified law that Republicans have decided to take advantage of to thwart Democratic Presidents and lawmakers from enacting progressive policies supported by the public/maintain control even while in the minority. Because of this, a large body of laws enacted/supported by the Democrats never made it to former President Obama's desk for his signature, numerous judicial and executive nominees languished unapproved in the Senate, and, most notably, President Obama never got to pick a third Supreme Court Justice to fill the seat of the deceased Antonin Scalia even though the vacancy occurred during a period of time during which he was still the President and the Senate had adequate time to hold hearings, evaluate his nomination, and, ultimately, hold a vote on it. Unless the Republicans are completely shut out of the legislative process to where they can't obstruct it and/or return to respecting the previous norms and traditions (which is rather unlikely), it seems like some major reforms are going to be needed in order to return to a more democratic tradition of governance in Congress. The Trump Presidency has also called into question some of the power and privileges of the office of the Presidency as well, which needs to be re-evaluated.

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Response to Proud Liberal Dem (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 12:26 PM

8. Yep. You said it.

Thank goodness we got 7 more governors and majorities in more legislatures. I'm sure they're all watching and taking notes on what has to be done to protect their states.

Also, of course, nationally H.R. 1, our democracy reform legislative package to be introduced first thing. Unfortunately, we'll only be able to do a few things with only a house majority, but 2020's coming fast. Then the major reforms.

But nationally at least we're needing to plug "holes" that for 230 years weren't problems because the people sent to Washington just didn't do these things.

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Response to tinrobot (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 12:06 PM

4. I have been thinking the same thing, lately.

Republicans are why we can't have nice things.

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Response to Ohiogal (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 12:18 PM

7. :)

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