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Congress Becomes Madison's "Overbearing Majority"

Unmoored from the American people.

12:00 AM, Apr 15, 2010 • By JEAN KAUFMAN
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(3) Never before have a party and a president so publicly and boldly discounted the very idea that procedures in the legislature matter.

And all of this for a bill that no one seems to like very much. The purpose of this bill is—as Pelosi put it—to “kick through this door” to prepare the way for even further “reform.” But what does this metaphor even suggest? Who kicks through doors, anyway? It is ordinarily the police—or even the secret police. Not a constitutional legislative body of the United States of America.

Pelosi’s phrase was profoundly aggressive, although perhaps she used it without complete consciousness of what she might be conveying. But it was no accident. This is an extraordinary way for a speaker of the House to talk, congruent with the Democratic Party’s newly combative attitude towards the wishes of the American people. This approach is (to use one of Obama’s favorite words) unprecedented for a major political party—at least in this country.

Jean Kaufman is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.

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