Thursday, October 29, 2015

Legislatures Legislate

Good luck to Speaker Ryan, newly elected and sworn in. But I do wish people would stop saying that Republicans who control Congress (with significant limits to that power in the Senate) must now "prove they can govern."

Putting the goal in that way sets up the Republicans for failure. Congress is a legislative body. It legislates. That is, Congress passes the laws that provide the framework for how we are governed. It is very important, to be sure, but it is not "governing." It is "legislating."

The body that governs is the executive branch. It executes the laws--that is, it governs us.

Why accept that the judicial and executive branches can exercise quasi-legislative powers at the expense of Congress while diminishing Congress' actual legislative role by acting like it can quasi-govern the nation?

Are Congressional district offices to become governing bodies that carry out the laws in the home districts or states, bypassing actual agencies?

Don't set up Congress for failure by saying they have to govern. That is not in their job description.

Because you can be darned sure that the media won't insist on this measure of success when Congress is controlled by Democrats--any more than they insist on this measure for the executive branch now.