Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Political Reform: Nonbinding Resolutions

Warning: Today's entry is another political rant...

What the fuck is the deal with politicians wasting time on "non-binding resolutions" and other meaningless things to that effect?

I touched on this in my last blog post when I wrote about how the Democrats passed "a resolution" on how the MoveOn.org ad in the NY Times about Gen. Petraeus pissed them off...

Thinking more about it the whole idea of wasting time putting together meaningless resolutions seems to me like something we really have to find a way to change.

I guess I understand the point of the act of coming together to propose and vote on a a resolution. (Which, as I see it, is to put on record the fact that a group of politicians dislike something that they seemingly can't do anything about.) The problem with that whole idea of a "non-binding resolution" is that it seems like a huge waste of time and energy to attack something that can't be changed by just saying: "We don't like what you're doing but feel free to do it anyway." It seems more like an exercise in saving face than a meaningful act.

Now I'm going to take a HUGE stretch and assume that there are at least some intelligent (and maybe even a couple honest) politicians out there... Why can't they get together and find a way to actually do some damage to things they don't agree with? We didn't elect them to pass non-binding resolutions because someone is making them feel sad/mad/powerless. In electing them, (speaking very loosely in some cases) we've basically said that the majority of people who voted agree with their views/platform/record and have given them the power go out and make their will happen. If they stray too far from what they lead us to believe were their intentions and ideals they won't be re-elected.

The main problem is that it's pretty obvious that the current system isn't working in this manner. People (if they bother voting at all) have a tendency to vote on name recognition, strict party lines, whether or not they feel the candidate represents them morally or even worse: whether they take the same stand on one issue such as war, gay marriage or immigration. So it seems to me that once elected a politician can do whatever they want as long as they don't change their name, change their party affiliation, piss off the people with the same morals or views on the half dozen or so "hot button" issues. Take that and throw a lot of money and pressure from lobbyists and "friends" into the mix and everything gets all the more complicated.

Once you take all of that into account I can see why it seems like the politicians are interested in saving face so that they don't piss off the people who voted for them based on one issue such as their stand on the Iraq war or the fact that all the other good Republicans are voting one way, why aren't they?

I really don't know if there is a solution to the mess we're in. It actually seems more and more hopeless the more I think about it. We're so far down a path of apathy and ignorance that most people feel that their vote doesn't matter and in many cases it doesn't. How do you change things that seem like they can't be changed? Wait, I've got it... I'm calling for a non-binding resolution for our government to not waste their time on anymore non-binding resolutions until they get some real shit accomplished... yeah... that makes me feel better... now you all know I'm on your side.

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