Sunday, September 30, 2007

Inattentive Legislators

The October issue of Reason Magazine closes with a short piece (apparently not yet on-line) by Radley Balko on Dan Frazier, a Flagstaff activist who sells t-shirts superimposing the names of soldiers killed in Iraq over the phrases "Bush Lied" and "They Died". The article focuses on state legislatures in Arizona, Oklahoma and Louisiana that have passed bills (and attempts in Congress to do the same) prohibiting anyone from selling goods displaying the names of dead soldiers. Several of the legislators who voted in favor later acknowledged that the bills were probably unconstitutional.

Their excuses ranged from "A senior moment", to "failed to read the final version", or "hadn't read any version of the bill, despite voting for it twice." I'm outraged that they think these qualify as excuses. It seems to me that anyone who ever excuses a vote in a legislative body in this way should immediately be removed. If someone has "a senior moment" while driving, their license should be taken away. Isn't a congressional or a legislative seat a more dangerous weapon in the hands of an inattentive legislator?

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