It was a close vote, but the bill got through the House. I suppose that it is easy to get mad at the eight Republicans who helped push the vote over the top, but if they didn’t vote for the bill, other Democrats waiting in the wings were going to. (Of course, this doesn’t take away from the fact that if the Republicans offered a united front against Waxman-Markey, Democrats would have been saddled with the sole and exclusive responsibility for the legislation when it is shown to be the policy failure that it promises to be.)
Waxman-Markey is a bad bill, dedicated more towards the maximization of rent-seeking than towards the minimization of carbon emissions. And as expected in my previous post, almost none of the members of the House didn’t even bother to read through it. Quite the contrary; Democrats added a 300 page amendment to the bill in the dead of night. So, John Boehner, the House Republican Leader, decided to illustrate the degree to which the House was voting on legislation it did not understand, and made no effort whatsoever to understand.
What Boehner did may have seemed like a stunt. But at least, during the course of carrying out that stunt, he made an effort to read through the bill:
If only people like Nancy Pelosi matched Boehner in studiousness. And while Democrats might not think Boehner to be very studious, the fact remains that the House Democratic Caucus was even less studious than Boehner was in trying to go through the legislation, and trying to understand it.
Call me paranoid, but I have to think that bad consequences will arise out of the majority party’s lack of curiosity concerning the details of legislation so complicated, so far-reaching, and with so much potential to influence our economy and our quality of life. Writing for the New Ledger, Congressman Fred Upton goes into the details the House Democratic Caucus avoided, in explaining why Waxman-Markey is a subpar Congressional effort.
UPDATE: I thought I did a pretty good job of depressing myself in writing this post. But I see that Jim Lindgren knows how to depress me further still.