Why is politics so slow?

Author: TheUnderdog ,

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  • TheUnderdog
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    When Donald Trump was President, there was a time when he had the house and the senate.  Trump could have enacted a bunch of right wing legislation and the democrats couldn't stop them since they wouldn't have the votes.

    Joe Biden is President now.  He now has the House and the Senate.  He can enact a bunch of left wing stuff.  He could ban AR 15s and AK 47s in the entire country.  He could enact his healthcare ideal right now.  I don't want him to do these things, but he has the votes.  Despite this, if he gets this done, it won't be for a long time.  This is like this in every country in the world.  Politicians are so slow.

    Why are politicians so slow?
  • Theweakeredge
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    --> @TheUnderdog
    Bureaucracy 
  • TheUnderdog
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    Why is Bureaucracy  so slow?
  • Theweakeredge
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    Paper work and democracy -- getting everybody to agree on specifics - even if they agree on the broad policy - takes forever - because people are stubborn. 
  • TheUnderdog
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    If they agree on broad policy, they can just make policy then.  They agree on enough that they can get it done.  Politicians aren't that stubborn.
  • Theweakeredge
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    Uh.... that is factually untrue, especially senators and congress people - you can't just make a broad policy, all policies are very specific, this is how a lot of legal matter has to be, otherwise, you get extremely vague text law, which isn't a very good thing.
  • TheUnderdog
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    In terms of banning "assault weapons", they can make a law saying that anyone who owns an AR 15 or AK 47 gets 10 years in jail if caught with it.  I hope they don't make the law, but that law isn't vague.  It gets what the dems want and the GOP can't do anything about it because they don't have the votes.
  • Theweakeredge
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    That wouldn't be the entirity of the law, check out some slated legislature given gun restrictions, take this 24 page bill from the 1960s: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/STATUTE-82/pdf/STATUTE-82-Pg1213-2.pdf#page=1


    Or take this 260 page bill from last year: https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hr5717/BILLS-116hr5717ih.pdf
  • TheUnderdog
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    Why does it have to be so big and complex though?  Can't laws just be simple?  If you say, "AR 15s and AK 47s are banned and punished by 10 years in prison for having at least one" and make that into law, there are no loopholes, it is simple and easy to create, and you don't have to waste so much time making laws very hard to read.  I hope this law never passes, but what's stopping congress from making simple laws that anybody who can read understands?
  • Theweakeredge
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    Um... there are several loopholes, and there have to be complex establishment and reasoning for the laws - its simply not feasible from a legal standpoint
  • TheUnderdog
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    What loophole would exist with that law?  The reasoning could be to reduce homicide(assuming they believed it would reduce homicide).
  • fauxlaw
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    1. Trump was not a politician.
    2. Biden is, and has also figured out he has a phone and a pen, only he doesn't know how to use his phone, and his pen has a mind of its own, signing more EOs than any president in history. At his rate, he will have signed over 350 EOs by the time he reaches his first year. If he reaches it. I figure he has 100 days before Kammie raise the 25A for incompetency.
  • oromagi
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    Democracies are slow to legislate by design.  Dictatorships are fast.

    Frank Herbert wrote this character in a couple of novels named Jorj X. McKie who was an agent of the US Bureau of Sabotage.  By the 21st Century, Americans had gotten so good at quick, efficient legislation that they would enforce terrible policy without really testing or challenging the laws in advance.  The Saboteur's job was to secretly, randomly throw wrenches into the cogs of government- delays where no necessity existed without actually endangering citizens.
  • ILikePie5
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    --> @TheUnderdog
    When Donald Trump was President, there was a time when he had the house and the senate.  Trump could have enacted a bunch of right wing legislation and the democrats couldn't stop them since they wouldn't have the votes.
    No he couldn’t because Democrats threatened to filibuster every bill in the Senate and you need 60 Senators to invoke cloture to end debate. Neither said has those. The Tax Reform Bill was passed under Budget Reconciliation Rules which only require a simple majority in the Senate (no filibuster possible) but is very limited to what can be in the bill (must changes spending, revenues, or the federal debt limit). 

    The process is the same for Democrats. Plus I think you can only have one budget reconciliation per fiscal year, which makes it harder. Of course you can avoid the filibuster in general by voting to eliminate the filibuster, but there’s not sufficient support for that and would create a bad precedent.
  • fauxlaw
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    Politics is slow because it fails at the outset to accomplish what it is meant to accomplish, but it uses the wrong tools.
    It is for that reason that I do not call myself a Republican, a Democrat, a Conservative, or a Liberal [let alone Progressive, which harkens back to an idea dating to 1848, therefore "progressing" by looking in the rearview mirror, or its ultimate journey, a Communist]

    I am a Sermonist. That is, I believe the Sermon on the Mount is the best political philosophy ever to be expressed in the history of man's politics. By these principles, even applied just secularly, we would solve every single social ill we suffer today if they were fully practiced by all.
  • TheUnderdog
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    Democracies are slow to legislate by design.
    Democracies don't have to be slow.  In my home state, democrats make up 2/3 of the senate and the governor is a democrat.  They can pass a bunch of left wing policy right now because the GOP can't do anything about it since they don't have the votes.  Democrats control the house, the senate, and the presidency.  They can pass a bunch of left wing stuff right now and the GOP can't do anything about it.
  • TheUnderdog
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    No he couldn’t because Democrats threatened to filibuster every bill in the Senate and you need 60 Senators to invoke cloture to end debate.
    The democrats when Trump had the house and the senate wouldn't have the votes to make a filibuster.  They all may vote no on a tax cut, but all of the GOP would vote yes on the tax cut.  The dems can't do anything about it since they don't have the votes.  What is a filibuster?
  • TheUnderdog
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    I am a Sermonist. 
    Does this mean theocrat?

    By these principles, even applied just secularly, we would solve every single social ill we suffer today if they were fully practiced by all.
    How?
  • ILikePie5
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    --> @TheUnderdog
    The democrats when Trump had the house and the senate wouldn't have the votes to make a filibuster.  They all may vote no on a tax cut, but all of the GOP would vote yes on the tax cut.  The dems can't do anything about it since they don't have the votes.  What is a filibuster?
    When a bill (other than a reconciliation bill) is brought to the Senate floor, the bill gets unlimited time for debate. Senators can make speeches for as long as they want and can pass the floor off to other Senators as well so they can give speeches. Essentially the bill gets debated non stop and never reaches a final vote. To maneuver around this, you have to invoke cloture on debate. To do this you need 60 Senators to vote yes the motion to invoke cloture, otherwise debate goes on indefinitely.
  • TheUnderdog
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    Essentially the bill gets debated non stop and never reaches a final vote.
    I'd expect many of the senators to change their minds on the bill eventually if they are debating the bill for a long time in DC.  If they can get a majority vote in one way or another, then the bill becomes law.
  • ILikePie5
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    I'd expect many of the senators to change their minds on the bill eventually if they are debating the bill for a long time in DC.  If they can get a majority vote in one way or another, then the bill becomes law.
    GOP needed 8 Democratic Senators to end the filibuster but they couldn’t cause Orangeman Bad. There’s no way in hell Democrats get 10 GOP Senators to end debate during the Biden Administration.

    Endless filibustering means the impression that Congress cannot get anything done, which doesn’t benefit the Majority Party especially if they hold Congress and the Presidency 
  • Double_R
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    I'd expect many of the senators to change their minds on the bill eventually if they are debating the bill for a long time in DC.  If they can get a majority vote in one way or another, then the bill becomes law.
    The problem is that the rules aren’t what they used to be. In the past if you wanted to filibuster a bill you had to stand on the senate floor and make your case. Most people are not willing to hang around for 20 straight hours so it was only done for really big and important things. Now all you have to do is send an email, so essentially any single senator can indefinitely halt legislation  by hitting “send” unless there are 60 votes in favor of the bill, which is not realistic in today’s politics. 70% of the American people supported the relief bill yet all 50 republican senators still voted against it.

    I think democrats should eliminate it, but there are at least two of them who have said they will not support that, so here we are.
  • Imabench
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    --> @TheUnderdog
    Even when political parties have majorities in every branch of legislative-crafting government, attention can only be focused on one major topic at a time, two at the most. 

    When Obama was elected in 2008, he had to split time between the Economic Crisis and Healthcare which is why the Dems couldn't do much else about things like gun control, he minimum wage, police reform, etc. Then the 2010 midterm elections rolled around and Dems lost a lot of seats forcing them to play defense for the next 6 years. 

    When Trump won in 2016, the GOP only had control of the Senate by a 3 vote margin which wasnt big enough to try to repeal Obamacare, the big goal of the GOP. Then in 2018 when the GOP got hammered in House elections, and forced them to play defense for the remainder of Trumps term.

    Heavily partisan issues are always very difficult to pass legislation on because it only takes 1 little setback to kill any major move, and then after that the opportunity to get anything big passed into law has passed. 
  • Imabench
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    "I'd expect many of the senators to change their minds"
    Changing your mind on something is practically illegal in American politics at this point. You commit to a position and you are ride-or-die on that as if your whole political career depends on it, otherwise you get labeled as a flip-flopper, a turn-coat, traitor to the party ("RINO's") or basically dismissed as not a REAL insert-political-party-name-here
  • Greyparrot
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     otherwise you get labeled as a flip-flopper, a turn-coat, traitor to the party 
    Or worse, get labeled by lobbyists as a politician that won't play by the rules of Washington DC. The career politicians know how to stay bought.