Thursday, March 26, 2020

Unanimous

Just on general principles, I get worried when legislative decisions are unanimous, as the Senate bill was today.  I am not offering any specific criticisms that I think they have overlooked.  It is unanimity, in and of itself, which makes me nervous.

I have heard, though can't verify in a quick search, that large rabbinical courts such as the Sanhedrin had a practice that if a vote was unanimous it was considered defeated, because it was likely to be impulsive and ill thought-out.  It would have to be introduced again at the next gathering. Even one irrascible opponent on either side would make me feel better about this.

Speaking about either side, half of the very few conservatives where I work are not entirely happy with what Trump is doing at present, while a surprising number of liberals have said (unbidden, not working around me enough to know that I am emphatically not liberal) that while they don't like Trump much, they have been impressed with what he is doing in this crisis.  With all the emphasis on how divided this country is ever since, oh, the 1998 elections, worsening every year, I have to consider that people's ability to move off entrenched positions is in and of itself a good thing.

4 comments:

Grim said...

It does sound like there's a dissenter, who's making them haul all their butts back to DC to take a voice vote on it. I'm with you, though: I don't like it when they all get together. It's suspicious. Especially since they're voting on a bill none of them has had time to read. That always goes well.

Donna B. said...

"they're voting on a bill none of them has had time to read"

They have to pass it so they can find out what's in it, right?

james said...

https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/3548/text

Unknown said...

I thought that if they could agree ahead that it would be unopposed, then by a procedural fluke they would not need to gather in person to vote - preferred by many, especially as there are members of both parties in quarantine or ill.

So I'm expecting in this case that it's not overexhuberance for an ill-considered bill, however ill-considered it might be.

There's a group of a handful of UK MPs that have clubbed together such that any bills are scheduled to be voted on without debate, even routine necessary things that all agree are very necessary, have one of them sure to be in the house as a dissenting vote. It makes it easy to vilify them, as there are so many bills that at least by their name or stated intent are unalloyed good, but it means that the leadership can't slip things in that can't get noticed until they are a fait accompli.