Tuesday, November 25, 2003

DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD
The energy bill failed to clear the Senate, though Republicans promised to bring it up next year.

Regardless of the content of the energy bill, the way in which it was devised should have immediately made you suspicious. It was done by Republicans almost entirely in secret, as was Vice-President Dick Cheney's "consultations" with energy industry officials on the bill.

When Hillary Clinton was devising her health care plan back in the 90s, the GOP lambasted the secrecy in which it was done. They noted that a plan that would impact such a huge portion of the American economy and affect the lives of nearly every American should be done in public, with thorough debate and consultation. The mere fact of the secrecy overshadowed the actual content of the bill. After all, Republicans said, if it was such a great bill, then why can't it be defended in public? They were absolutely right.

The energy bill is also a plan that would impact a huge portion of the American economy and affect the lives of nearly every American. It should also have been done in public, with thorough debate and consultation. Thrusting an enormous bill on Democrats literally on the eve of the vote does not qualify as consultation. Maybe next year, Republicans will operate with the openness they called on Democrats to use a decade ago.

Secrecy is the enemy of democracy. It was in 1994 and remains so today.

No comments: