Terminate the Lame Duck – Revised (12/2/10)
See if you can tell what's wrong with this picture:
You own a business. You're unhappy with your General Manager's performance. So you terminate him and choose a successor to take things in a different direction.
But the guy you fired still gets to make all the important decisions for the next month.
Crazy? Yes, but that's essentially what America does every two years when it holds Congressional elections in November and then sends everyone – including the losers – back to Washington to make policy until January. And given the conflicting motivations of those looking to the future vs. those just clinging to the past for a final month, it's almost impossible to accomplish anything.
This time around, Congressional leaders on both sides assure us they'll work together to avoid delay in dealing with the critical issues of tax cuts, unemployment benefits and health care. But given the massive egos involved and the current atmosphere in Washington that values political advantage over public service, I'm skeptical. And even if they do pass anything of substance, why on earth should we let short term people participate in making long term decisions?
If "Justice delayed is justice denied," the same thing applies to election results. So why not find a way to do away with these lame-duck sessions in the future, and instead, let our new representatives get to work as soon as possible?
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.