“Regular order” is a new technical phrase to most people. It is also a pivotal dimension in making law the right way. It simply means that Congress will handle bills that are proposed with hearings, mark-up (amendment process) and debate in a public forum.
In the Obama Administration, the Democrats evoked Republican anger by not following “regular order” in passing what has become known as Obamacare. The Republicans, less cohesively, have tried to do the same thing but failed. A key senator, John McCain, refused to go along and was pilloried by a wide range of so-called conservative pundits. I will miss McCain.
Do conservatives prefer disorder or backroom deals guided by lobbyists? A failure to follow regular order is anti-conservative.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas shooter, was not on any law enforcement radar. It is shocking that a person can assemble enough weaponry to start a small war, without a trace, at a time when Amazon, Google and Facebook know the details of our private lives.
Conservatives should, by nature, be cautious. Blocking attempts to track gun sales is not conservative. When Paddock’s purchases hit a high-risk tipping point, he should have been on the radar.
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Paddock was not buying a musket so that he could become a part of a “well regulated militia.”
The prospective tax-cut plans have been dribbling out for the last several months. It is no surprise that the debate is quickly becoming polarized, even though details are in short supply.
I happen to believe we are in need of tax reform and applaud reform initiatives. But, reform will not be conservative if it adds to the national debt. And, as noted above, if it is not shaped by a rigorous public process, the American public will be right to believe that the K Street crowd (a tax lobbyist hangout) will have subordinated the public by having more influence than its representatives.
Photo by Mike Saechang
Al Sikes’ leadership helped shape the arc of 21st century communication technologies from positions as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and then President of Hearst New Media. In 2004, the Manhattan Institute chose Sikes as one of eight winners of the Social Entrepreneurship Award for having founded READ ALLIANCE, which trains teenagers to tutor children with reading deficiencies. Sikes second book, Culture Leads Leaders Follow was recently published by Koehler Books.