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Fixing Congress
by G.R. Dieckmann

How many times in my writings have I objected to "Republicans acting like Democrats"? It's not all of them of course, only a few, but enough to allow absurd liberal legislation to get through Congress, usually attached to other bills. This is not new, it has been going on since Bush has been in the Whitehouse. You can see their names on the list of Senators who voted for cloture on the amnesty bill Thursday which I have posted on GAJ. These are the liberal Republicans who must be thrown out of Congress, along with a few others who were forced by their constituents to vote against cloture in the final vote.

Even though some others voted for cloture on the Amendment phase last Monday, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. They may have only wanted to end that phase so that they could move on to killing the bill during the debate phase or had amendments they wanted to add to the bill to fix some of the problems with it.

But some are telling me that it would be better to stay with the Republican party and try to pull it back to it's conservative roots. The involvement by the people on the amnesty bill was a success, and that gives some hope that Washington Republicans might listen if they hear from enough of us. Because of our efforts on the amnesty bill, we shut down the Senate phone bank the other day from too many calls that the equipment was unable to handle. You could say that we crashed the server and noise was heard on the Senate Floor.  Considering who we are dealing with in Congress today, I don't know that it would be possible to bring them back to their conservative Republican roots.

But there is another problem in Congress other than a few RINOS. Trent Lott said it: "We have to get something done." It doesn't matter what gets done as long as something gets done just to justify their own existence. Republicans are willing to sacrifice their values and compromise with the Left just for the sake of getting something done. At least they can stand up, pat each other on the back, and say "we did our job, we earned our raise." Just think about that. I have made this point before. We need results from Congress, not just more compromised legislation that only complicates the problem.

They think they can put together legislation that serves both political views even when one paragraph cancels out another.  That is like adding water to your gas tank to appease the environmentalists.  Sure, the immigration bill had some good things put into it by Republicans, but they were cancelled out by other things put into it by Democrats and President Bush.  That's what you end up with when the Right tries to compromise with the Left.  Compromised legislation is useless and serves no one.  It's about as useful as a corrupted computer file.  The only real thing it accomplishes is to spend more of our tax dollars on special interest groups. 

And that is exactly what is wrong with the Republican party in Congress today. I would prefer that they do nothing and pass nothing rather than pass bad legislation like they tried to do with the amnesty bill. Compromise has become the order of the day and will resolve nothing, but will only complicate the problem.  We use to have a saying "KISS" which stands for "Keep It Simple Stupid".  Maybe Congress just needs a big KISS from all of us.

Or perhaps the problem is Senators like George Voinovich who apparently don't even know what is going on in their own place of employment, much less what is contained in the legislation they are voting on. Please see Voinovich self-destructs on Hannity. This is brief but says it all. How many others in Congress are ignoring their duties to the office and don't have a clue what they are voting on? Half of them, perhaps? More? The legislation they try to produce clearly shows that Congress is totally ignorant, or largely uninformed on much of what they are voting for most of the time.

The result of the 2002 McCain/Feingold Voter Reform Act was to flood the polling places with millions of uninformed voters who have no interest in or knowledge of government, US history, or the candidates and issues.  They simply let some political action committee worker show them where to mark the ballot. As a result, we have people elected by ignorant masses with no stake in the outcome of the election.  Most of them don't even know who the Vice President is.  Some think Bill Clinton is still the President.  You think I'm kidding?  Just listen to Hannity's "Man on the Street" interviews on his Thursday radio show.  His intern is lucky if he or she can find one out of ten who knows what the three branches of government are. But they all know who Paris Hilton is, thanks to our astute media.

The only way this problem is every going to be solved is by informed voters taking back control of the government. That is going to require major voter reform. 

1. Voter registration to be applied for no later than 60 days before an election.  That's enough time for officials to verify eligibility and citizenship.

2. No more 527 groups pushing voter registration in our faces in front of grocery stores. Voters who wish to vote should make the effort to register with legitimate representatives of the Registrar of Voters.

3. All registrations to be handled exclusively by the country registrar of voters either by mail, in person, or over the internet.

4. Require verifiable proof of citizenship with the application. The 60 days above should allow enough time for verification.

5. All voter registration, information, and documents to be solely in English.

6. Voter application shall require passing a competency test of from 10 to 20 basic questions on government, American history, and recent current events done in a way similar to the written driving test.

7. The McCain/Feingold Election Reform Act shall be repealed.

8. No partisan persons or groups associated with any political party shall be involved in any way with voter registration or the voting process including the providing of transportation, or language problems.

9. Valid identification to be presented at place of polling before any ballot is given out.

10. Pre-screened voter registration cards to be made presented at all polling places, and to be accepted only in the voter's home precinct.

The idea is filter out those who really have no interest in voting or knowledge of what they are voting for, and those who are ineligible to vote. In other words, reverse the voter fraud created by the McCain/Feingold Act. Voting should be done only by those who are informed on the candidates and issues. Anything less is anarchy.

J.R. Dieckmann is Editor, Publisher, Writer, and Webmaster of GreatAmericanJournal.com.  He also sometimes works as an electrician in Los Angeles, Ca. His articles also appear on The Conservative Voice, Real Clear Politics, New Media Journal, Mich News, Daley Times-Post, Great Minds Think Right, and other conservative websites.