Adam Fields (weblog)

This blog is largely deprecated, but is being preserved here for historical interest. Check out my index page at for more up to date info. My main trade is technology strategy, process/project management, and performance optimization consulting, with a focus on enterprise and open source CMS and related technologies. More information. I write periodic long pieces here, shorter stuff goes on twitter or


The government of closed doors

Filed under: — adam @ 10:45 am

This is a good article detailing some of the ways in which our government is being dismantled from the inside. It’s pretty clear that both the Democrats and the Republicans are at fault here in creating this situation, although the Republicans are wielding their time in the sun like a bulldozer in a dollhouse.

‘"There was no way that every member of Congress could hold up their right hand and say, `I read every page of that bill before the vote,’ " said Nita Lowey, a New York Democrat, noting that members had just one day to examine the 400-plus-page bill before voting on a law that would change health-care allotments across the country.’


‘Democrats are arguably suffering from their own decisions: It was the then-majority Democrats who changed the makeup of the Rules Committee to give the majority more than a 2-to-1 advantage over the other party, acknowledged a Democratic staff member close to the panel.

"Our hands are not clean, no question," the staff member said. "But it’s like a thin layer of dust compared to what the Republicans are doing."

Now, rank-and-file members sometimes have trouble even finding out when the Rules Committee is meeting. The powerful committee frequently decides bills in hastily called, late-night "emergency" sessions, despite House rules requiring that the panel convene during regular
business hours and give panel members 48 hours notice. So far in the current Congress, 54 percent of bills have been drawn up in "emergency" sessions, according to committee staff members.’

I stand with the Libertarians on this one. I believe that power should be both given and taken with a light touch, for the following two reasons:

1) Power, once given, is never returned willingly, and if you want it back, you have to take it.

2) Power to an elected or appointed office should be given with the assumption that it will be misused at some point in the future (even if the current holders would never do that), and appropriate controls should be put into place to prevent it from the outset.

Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have any understanding of this.

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