Wednesday, August 4, 2010

No lame duck

From Newt Gingrich on Human Events on Aug. 4:
In the election of 1800, the country thoroughly repudiated the Federalist Party. President John Adams was defeated in his reelection campaign by Thomas Jefferson and the Democrat-Republicans gained majorities in the House and Senate.

The Federalists had clearly lost the support of the people. Yet, in a “lame duck” congressional session, which is when the outgoing Congress returns to Washington before the newly elected Congress takes over in, the Federalists enacted the Judiciary Act of 1801. The Act nearly doubled the number of federal judgeships, which President Adams filled with his Federalist allies. These appointments were an explicit, and ultimately futile, action to hamstring the newly elected President and Congress (the Jeffersonians simply repealed the Act with the Judiciary Act of 1802).

With this action, the Federalists made the ultimate mistake in a governmental system that derives its authority from the consent of the governed. Instead of heeding the will of the people, John Adams and the Federalists decided to thwart it. In the process, they set their party on a course toward extinction. The Federalists never regained power, eventually disappearing by the 1820s.

Are the Democrats about to make the same mistake the Federalists made?

Democratic leaders today have been sending clear signals that they are willing to use the lame duck session of Congress to pass the most unpopular and destructive parts of their agenda. Like the Federalists’ actions in 1801, any attempt by the outgoing Congress to pass legislation they were unwilling to defend in an election would be an attempt to thwart the will of the people.

As destructive as the Democratic Congress and President Obama have been in the past 18 months, it is worth remembering that things could have been a lot worse if not for the vocal and consistent activism of the American people opposing the Democrats’ radical agenda.

The Orwellian named Employee Free Choice Act, which would strip workers of the right to a secret ballot when deciding when to join a union, is not yet law.

The job killing energy tax – or cap and trade – passed the House but remains hung up in the Senate.

The Democrats have also not been able to pass an amnesty bill for illegal immigrants.

And let’s not forget that President Obama’s ‘Deficit Commission’ is expected to recommend tax increases, possibly in the form of a value added tax (VAT), that could raise the cost of everything Americans buy. Conveniently, the Commission will not report its findings until after the November 2nd elections, just in time for a lame duck Congressional session.


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