The danger of sitting legislaturesAdam Graham does not agree with my supposition that Congress should not conduct useless lame-duck sessions. He wrote in a comment on Where I Stand yesterday:
I'm going to disagree with you, somewhat. A legislature and a president are elected until January. Democrats are elected to govern this country beginning in January. Republicans are using the time to which they've been duly elected and there's nothing wrong with that. What they do with that time other hand can be an issue of concern.
There is plenty wrong with it when there is no useful business to conduct, or nothing that cannot wait until the next session convenes. A legislature should not be convened the year-round and they certainly ought not to be convened after an election except in a case of great urgency. I believe Mark Twain was quite correct in his words:
"No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session."
To quote an anonymous Tory sympathizer at the outbreak of the American Revolution:
" I should rather deal with one tyrant 3,000 miles away than 3,000 tyrants one mile away."
An elected legislature, though absolutely necessary for any functioning free government and vital in our system of checks and balances, is also equally as dangerous to our liberties as an overbearing executive. It is to our advantage that a legislature should sit only for as long as it takes to complete business that is absolutely necessary-then they should adjourn. The langer they sit, the more they are prone to legislate, and the more they legislate, the more of our freedoms are restricted. Lame-duck sessions are especially abusive on the public purse because they are not necessary for the conduct of government.
Labels: Tennessee politics