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« Self-Defeating Logic | Main | And Here's the Roll Call »

Gutless Wonder

So with the Senate phone lines down this morning, thus ensuring that the coccoon is complete, I called Senator Salazar's local office to register my opinion, and to ask a question: Had the Senator conducted any Townhall-style meetings on the Immigration Bill since it was introduced to the Senate? The response was typical of Salazar's behavior on this bill. First, I was lied to: I was told that the bill was introduced in the Senate last year. Not this bill. This bill was created by a group of Senators in an unofficial committee this year. Then, I was told that the Senator had had "input" from "stakeholders," and was asked if that answered my question. Ah, yes, it said the answer was, "no," he hadn't really solicited public opinion on this specific bill. Then I asked who the "stakeholders" in question were.

I was hung up on.

It's symptomatic of what we used to call "Potomac Fever" that the stricken think "stakeholders" are spokesmen and self-appointed "community leaders," but it's a new, pathological mutation that they won't tell you who they are.

UPDATE: Someone, who thinks she's clever, points out that Dick Cheney doesn't want to reveal who his advisors are, either.

Well, ok. Except that I'd see your energy plan and raise you HillaryCare. And she wsan't even a government employee, or so she thought.

Now the executive, including the vice president, hasgenerally been accorded this sort of latitude for several reasons. First, their role is one of decision-making, whereas the legislative process involves much more consensus-building. This necessarily involves some level of private advice that should stay private. Secondly, any legislation they propose still has to go through the congressional process, which usually includes committee hearings and a fair chance at amendments.

This legislation included neither, being drafted in secret and then force-fed past the debate and amendment processes. The "stakeholders" in question were La Raza and LULAC. And refusing public comment, actively resenting public comment, and then refusing to discuss who helped draft this legislation, is all of a piece. No doubt Salazar will find time for townhall events, where he will either a) avoid putting immigration on the agenda, and ignore the issue yet again, or b) face public anger well after the event, and be complimented by sycophants for his "courage" in subjecting himself to that. The real courage would have been listening beforehand.

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