Saturday, July 31, 2010

Institutional Arrogance


I’ve said it once and I’ll say it before. No one is above the law. And no one is more important than the people he or she serves.

When I was at a meeting for candidates at the Hagerstown Herald-Mail last month, I had realized something rather simple, but powerful. The editor had thanked everyone for coming and complimented us on our decision to run. As he emphasized the importance of those seeking political office, it really started to hit home. The office is what is important, not as much the person running for the office.

I would imagine there are those in Congress who somewhere along the way, have lost the appreciation for the importance of the office, and rather thought that they were more important than the office (and the people) they served.

It is arrogant for the government to think that it knows best. It is arrogant for the government to think that all of our problems may be solved by passing laws. It is arrogant for an elected official to think that only he or she could serve his or her constituents.

If you think about it – in your State or Congressional District, do you believe that there is only one person who would be able to serve? Obviously the person in office would want you to think that. The political party “in power” would want you to think that only it represents you. That is a load of “horse pucky”, as my Dad sometimes says.

Last week, just out of curiosity, I tried a Google search for the “number of laws passed in the United States.” I could not get an answer from the first two pages of search results. My guess is, that short of the Library of Congress, or someone who works directly with the Congressional Record, that no one really has an idea how many laws there are on the books.

One item I did find, on WikiAnswers, was a gentleman who stated (I’m paraphrasing), that “Congress hasn’t been as active this year because it hasn’t passed as many laws.”

Is that what we’ve come to – the number of laws equal activity and productivity? You have got to be kidding me. What if we could revise or repeal a law that is already on the books?

As Congressman Reed, serving the Sixth Congressional District of Maryland in the United States House of Representatives, repealing the healthcare legislation would be one of my first priorities.

As a sidenote, and I am sorry to say that this is not a joke, I am seriously considering playing a DVD of Schoolhouse Rock’s “I’m Just a Bill” in the House Chamber. I will allow no “deeming and passing” in the Congress that I serve.

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