Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Quotation Of The Day: Worst Congress Ever Edition

Conor Firedersdorf lays out the case that it's not the current 112th Congress but the 107th Congress from the early years of the Bush Administration:
In October 2001, with just one senator dissenting, that Congress passed the PATRIOT Act, the most alarming infringement on civil liberties in a generation and a precursor to all War on Terrorism abuses to come. In a bipartisan bill that January, legislators approved No Child Left Behind, a well-intentioned but flawed education-reform bill that forced an ineffective test-taking regime on the states and has not lived up to its name. Another bipartisan bill, the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance legislation, didn't remedy the problems it was meant to address before or after parts of it were found by the Supreme Court to violate the Constitution.
But no failure was as consequential as the 2002 authorization for military force against Iraq. What a historic debacle. That same Congress created the Department of Homeland Security, so their legacy of awfulness may well continue in perpetuity. It's all worth remembering next time someone tells you that the present Congress is the worst ever because they won't get anything done. For a couple years after President Bush took over, Congress agreed enough to push through all sorts of major policies with bipartisan support. They just turned out to be follies.
Sometimes bipartisan agreement is far more catastrophic than gridlock.




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