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Reader's View: Lee should focus on politics’ real problem — money

Sen. Mike Lee's "National View" column of July 3, "America can rediscover greatness by rediscovering the Constitution," was disappointingly shallow. He expended a great deal of verbiage imploring us to "rediscover" the Constitution but failed to ...

Sen. Mike Lee’s “National View” column of July 3, “America can rediscover greatness by rediscovering the Constitution,” was disappointingly shallow. He expended a great deal of verbiage imploring us to “rediscover” the Constitution but failed to substantiate his claim it was ever forgotten.
Aside from the usual right-wing boilerplate about lower taxes and smaller government, his main complaint seemed to be that too much law is written by bureaucrats rather than elected legislators. He maintained that Congress has delegated lawmaking authority to the executive branch by “legislating in broad, lofty terms and then outsourcing the tedious and often controversial task of filling in the details.”
If Lee had a point, and I think did, his diagnosis of the cause of the problem was faulty. It had nothing to do with forgetting the Constitution. The main problem is that most of a legislator’s time must be devoted to fundraising. The enormous amount of money needed to run a modern campaign is the real reason for so much delegation of responsibility. Who has time to attend to legislative details when so many fat cats must be stroked in order to extract the requisite campaign cash?
The irony is that Lee’s own party is principally responsible for selling off our democracy to the highest bidder. The Republican Party fiercely resists all attempts at campaign-finance reform in a transparent attempt to seize political advantage. Rather than whining about a “forgotten” Constitution, Lee would have done better by trying to get the big money out of politics.
James J. Amato
Duluth

 

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