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?"