Thursday, October 06, 2005


The Washington Post has a short piece describing how congress has been abandoning its oversight role. As I discussed in an earlier post, the role of oversight, or critical review, of what the other branches are doing, is an essential role that is absolutely necessary for government to work properly. We will only get good policy if the branches of government seriously check each others work. The trend described in the article is something we should be very concerned about. The trend has certainly accelerated with the current congress and current administration. Congressional oversight of the administration is a shadow of what it once was, typified by the congressional Katrina investigation which is shaping up to be a whitewash.

This trend is now not only affecting congress, but the executive has abandoned its oversight role as well. Bush has vetoed exactly zero pieces of legislation. It the branches of government do not check each others work we can only expect poor results. And we are seeing that in the aftermath of the Iraq war, the aftermath of Katrina, the bloated highway bill, and the rest of this current government's efforts.

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