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Posturing in the chamber

Another political custom that bugs the hell out of me:

Now, as it turns out, I agree with the message here. I’ve not been following the health care debate very closely, but has a Republican plan been presented yet?  But that’s not what I’m interested in, and, again, I don’t have the facts to discuss it here.

No, what I object to is political posturing in the chamber. This little display is clearly intended for constituents, not other congresscritters. Posturing in the chamber does nothing to help the lawmaking process, and mostly serves to divide. What it does do is provide some free air time, a chance to dish out some soundbites which might show up in a news show.

Now, whether or not politicians should get free air time, they’ll take it if they can. So why not devote more time on C-SPAN to just that? Set up times and a lottery system for members of congress to get some airtime. Let them lottery for it individually or as groups; just find a fair way to apportion the time.

And maybe just take the regular cameras out of the chambers. It can be a fascinating look at what goes on, but so many politicians are performers that just cannot resist the coverage. Once you’re in the chamber, showmanship shouldn’t be the goal; making reasonable law, finding appropriate compromises, and trying to close the divisions should be the focus.

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  1. October 1st, 2009 at 11:07 | #1

    The club-you-with-a-metaphor posters drive me nuts. It’s such a stupid waste of money to print out a 3×4 placard with a few words or a picture of a dragon representing government run health care or whatever.

    If you’ve ever watched committee hearings, the thing that drives me crazy is the like 5 minutes of welcome/thanks/posturing that goes on for each congresscritter’s introduction… usually about how they’ve been advocating for having this meeting for years, and are so glad the witness(es) could make it, etc.

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