17 March 2009

Well-taken?

"Well taken."

That's the term that, I believe, describes whether a legislator agrees with a statement. (I'd say, "acknowledges the validity of a statement," but, Heaven help us, that would incriminate a majority of Senators!)

At any rate, this term has been used recently in the Senate over the assertion that what they did in granting Washington, DC its own House representation was unconstitutional. Here's the run-down:
2/25/2009:
Point of order that the measure violates the Constitution raised in Senate.
...
2/25/2009:
By a decision of the Senate the point of order that the measure violates the Constitution was not well taken by Yea-Nay Vote. 36 - 62. Record Vote Number: 67.
In other words, they didn't want to hear it.

What this tells me is that 36 Senators can read, and 62 can't.

There's also a remote possibility that the suggestion actually stung what's left of 62 itty-bitty consciences. (Sen. Hatch, you're a bought man.)

The phrase they use is "Notwithstanding any other provision of law," yadda, yadda, let's give DC a voting seat in the House.

The problem with that phrase is that the "law" they're "notwithstanding"-ing is the United States Constitution.

And when the text of the Constitution is "not well taken," the People just get taken.

---
Now for some late-night editorializing: if we had to choose anywhere in the country to have a vote in Congress, that currently doesn't, would DC really be our choice? I mean, I think American Samoa would be a much better choice, provided we could get the chiefs to consent to mingle with Congress; and as long as we're disregarding Constitutional requirements, why not allow US nationals to serve as Representatives? So discriminatory! Plus, it sounds a bit elitist to me to say that DC can vote in the House, but it's not going to be voting in the Senate... why not, Senators???

1 comment:

Jennifer Dunn said...

Thanks for deciphering this! It seems to me that double negatives and other types of wording are often used to confuse the issues--making it difficult at best for those of us (and Senators) who can't read!

Like the somewhat recent gambling law for reservations in Idaho, in which a vote "no" meant "yes" for gaming, and vice versa. Or in this instance, a vote "no" means "yes" to changing the Constitution.

I think I would be in favor of changing the constitution to include term limits for members of Congress. Senators like Orrin Hatch wouldn't have time to be corrupted.