Sunday, February 24, 2002

When is a private conversation private?
Lengthy quote from Punditwatch follows, then a comment:

Pundit of the Week was David Brooks. He was witty on the subject of campaign finance reform and expressed the pro-administration spin on the GAO suit most eloquently:

We have always assumed when a bill goes up to Congress from the Administration, the question is is that bill, is that piece of legislation good for the country? But now, under the logic of the GAO, the question becomes was it conceived in immaculate conception? Did the aides in the White House have impure thoughts or did they meet with impure people while they were drafting this piece of legislation? And that is like Cotton Mather taking over the government looking for impurities in the drafting of legislation.

It seems to me the fundamental question -- and the lawyers will settle that -- for the rest of us, the fundamental question is who cares? Who cares what they met with? The piece of legislation Cheney came up with and the Administration came up with is out there. The principle should be is the legislation good legislation -- not who did they meet with or what did they eat or talk about.

I can't argue with that. Is it good legislation? That's all that should matter.

However, the open secret that no one dares acknowledge in Washington is that nobody knows what half of these bills say. It's far easier to identify the hands that made them and vote on that basis than to actually read all these laws. Who has time for that?

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