Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Please Review Separation of Powers

The idea that Republican control of the next Congress (due to winning the Senate and holding the House) means they must "prove they can govern" is just nonsense.

I've noticed this theme since the election, and it annoys me.

What the election means is that Republicans must prove they can legislate.

That is, the branch that is responsible for passing legislation must--you know--pass legislation.

Which the executive branch can veto, recall, making even this power limited given that the Democrats still control that branch.

And the Republican-controlled Congress must make sure the executive branch--the actual branch that must execute the laws, otherwise called "governing"--must continue to govern rather than attempt to be a quasi-legislative branch through its power to promulgate administrative rules.

I know this is difficult to grok. I have friends who would look at me with a puzzled look when I would note that I did not work for the government--I worked for the legislature.

Explaining that really, I had no civil service protections and was as at-will as anyone in the private sector, was almost as tough a sell.

But the distinction is real. President Obama is charged with governing. Congress is charged with legislating. The two are not just competing versions of some blob-like apparatus that are really the same thing in function.