My Christmas present from Congress


Last week was an interesting one for me. Just before the break for the holidays, Congress delivered (or failed to deliver) on three items of particular note: ANWAR drilling, the Patriot Act renewal, and Senator McCain's anti-torture provisions.

To be assured, movement on each of these is not exactly what one might ask for, but I believe that the failure to permanently extend the Patriot Act, the commitment to sign the McCain anti-torture provisions, and the failure of the ANWAR drilling amendment are all a sign that Congress (or at least the Senate) has started to pay some attention to their own responsibilities in this country.

For too long, the republicans in both houses of Congress have been too willing to back whatever provisions that the Bush administration was asking for without taking responsibility for their own analysis and determination of what is right. Understandably, the republican-dominated House and Senate are expected to stick with the President on many issues, but the lack of any considerable deliberation over such issues that show the world what this country stands for has been disappointing at least.

Hopefully, those in power will have this same feeling of responsibility when they get back from their vacations and reconvene for business next year.

In the case of the House, they need to be paying particular attention, as the election is a mere 11 months away now...