Special interests doom Zika funding

12 thoughts on “Special interests doom Zika funding”

  1. A week ago I would have agreed with you, PT, but not now. I too used to think of things like ear-marking and political pork as bad. An article in the Atlantic changed my thinking. The argument starts something like this:

    Our intricate, informal system of political intermediation, which took many decades to build, did not commit suicide or die of old age; we reformed it to death. For decades, well-meaning political reformers have attacked intermediaries as corrupt, undemocratic, unnecessary, or (usually) all of the above. Americans have been busy demonizing and disempowering political professionals and parties, which is like spending decades abusing and attacking your own immune system. Eventually, you will get sick.

    I am curious to see whether How American Politics Became So Ineffective will change your minds as well.

    1. Even as I wrote, I was aware that all those unrelated sections of the bill were part of a system of compromise and give-and-take (that unfortunately didn’t work this time). And also aware that such “kitchen sink” bills are just the way things get done in Washington. It’s as though the lawmakers can hammer out compromises behind the scenes, but putting it all in writing in such bills is how they guarantee it gets done as agreed. They don’t trust each other enough to say, “If you’ll support my bill on oranges, I’ll support your bill on apples.” They’re afraid that would result in a lot of oranges and very few apples in return.

      It shouldn’t have to be that way. We ought to have the transparency of roll call votes on single-issue bills. But I understand why it won’t happen. It’s the same reason that as much as I often despise the old-school politicos in Washington, I have to support at least some of them if I want to see anything get done. Newly elected greenhorns should go in with the idea that they’ll probably spend years accruing knowledge, building friendships and alliances, and earning seniority before they have a realistic chance to advance their own special interests. Just ask Pres. Obama about his promise to close Gitmo.

      I seriously doubt that Donald Trump could even begin to navigate the maelstrom of Washington politics.

          1. Hope you’re right. But I won’t rest easy till the election’s over and all the votes are counted. Or maybe not even then, given the way the world is going.

  2. One Bill one topic…that makes perfect sense. Riders on Bills beg for pork barrel spending. The real reason a lot of Bills are voted against is because it has additional authorization for spending money or approving legislation on unresolved problems. Politicians think we are stupid!

    1. Yep, I’m not at all amused with their sneaking unrelated provisions into bills, knowing full well that the provision, if it stood on its own, would never pass.

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