Republican Convention 2008

No-Major-Legislation Watch


Back when John Kerry was getting raked over the coals for, among other things, not having authored enough major legislation, I put out the sophistic argument that this should actually be a point in his favor: If there's one thing America doesn't need, it's any more laws.

The argument was sophistic because Kerry's record overall demonstrated that his lack of monogrammed his-and-hers legislation stemmed from something other than a Ron Pauline commitment to small government.

In Obama's case, the argument is probably just as sophistic, but at least his newness to his position leaves open the possible interpretation that he's guided by a welcome legislative caution. (At least the ethics reform he worked on in Illinois ended up focusing on disclosure and reining in elected officials, rather than contribution limits aimed at individuals.)

OK, I don't really think there's anything to this argument. But you're going to hear a lot more tonight about how Obama hasn't written any new laws in Illinois or Washington because he's always had his eye on the White House. I just wish Obama would fire back by saying: "Yeah, I didn't pass any new laws, you can thank me later. And come on, who cares that I didn't spend a lot of energy on a bunch of Mickey Mouse lawmaking in Illinois when I can move on to something more interesting?"

NEXT: They Don't Call Him Honest Iago for Nothing

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Tim posted “I just wish Obama would fire back by saying: “Yeah, I didn’t pass any new laws, you can thank me later.”

    Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you Tim?
    BO is campagining on a platform of nationalizing health care, federalizing elementary schools, defacto nationalizing oil companies.
    He is a goddam socialist who believes the Feds should run everything. He believes equality means everyone be equally dependent on the government.
    Are you drunk or high or both? How can you write that if your not?

  2. “BO is campagining on a platform of nationalizing health care,”

    Medicare Part D?

    “ederalizing elementary schools”

    No Child Left Behind?

    Save the bitching for your own party.

  3. Barack Obama wants domestic legislation like double-W on steroids!

  4. OK, I don’t really think there’s anything to this argument

    Good save, Tim.

  5. OTOH, Obama isn’t authoring legislation to repeal laws, either.

  6. Barack Obama has authored a lot of legislation, given his time in office.

    My favorite the the bill he wrote in the Illinois senate, requiring the police to videotape interrogations and confessions in murder cases. Remember the Illinois death row scandals?

    When we introduced the bill, the governor was against it, the police unions were against it, the police chiefs were against it, the Mayor Chicago was against it, victims rights groups were against it, the Republicans were against it, and so the Democrats were mostly against it. Then Barack Obama worked to bring every one of those groups on board, and the bill passed the senate unanimously, passed the house by a large margin, and was signed into law. It’s served as a model of similar legislation in other states.

    I dunno, I guess that’s just work-a-day stuff, and not “major” legislation. I like his record, though.

  7. “we” -> “he”

  8. I especially like this one.
    Obama bill: $845 billion more for global poverty

    Obviously in a struggling economy we should spend almost 1% of the GDP on poor people in other countries…

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.