Thursday, October 29, 2009

Where's the Outrage?

Where's the outrage is the question raised by our frequent commenter Fishy Jay. It came in an e-mail, copied and pasted here.

When the “guns in national parks” bill passed, many anti-gunowner columnists were outraged (outraged!) that it was as an amendment to a credit card bill. They huffed and they puffed about how awfully unrelated it was.

Now, expansion of “hate crimes” to include sexual orientation is about to pass…as an amendment to a military spending bill.

Now, one’s position on guns in national parks does not dictate or even indicate a certain position an hate crimes & sexual orientation – however, one might expect those who were so outraged by “guns in national parks” as an amendment to a credit card bill to now also be outraged by hate crimes & sexual orientation as an amendment to a military spending bill.

Strange…where’s that outrage?

I think Jay has a good point. I've seen nothing at all about this until today when Mud_Rake posted on it. Muddy had a slightly different tack on the issue, not really focusing on the fact that it was attached to a larger and unrelated bill.

Theys already passing bills says I can't carry but two weapons at a time, too! More damned taxes ever time I turn around, also. Damned socialist government, just like Hitler as well etc..

Now I got to be nice to them homos, also.

Unfortunately some folks fail to appreciate his sense of humor. You know, those contentious types who never want to give an inch. In any case, what about the observation of Fishy Jay?

What's your opinion? Was there much outrage at the fact that the "guns in parks" bill was tacked on to the credit card bill? I remember reading that many times; I suppose that counts as outrage. I personally never got too excited about that aspect of it myself.

Is it a fair comparison that the "sexual orientation / hate crimes" bill was tacked on to a military spending bill? Do you agree that the same folks who complained about the one should complain about the other? Or should liberals complain about the gun bill and conservatives complain about the sexual orientation bill? But, how would that work? That would be even harder than getting people to admit to being racists. What do you think?

Please leave a comment.


  1. I think it's interesting how you guys like to hide behind the excuse of "Humor" for your bigotry.

    Worked well for Michael Richards too!

  2. It's only "outrage" when the unrelated attached amendment is something they don't like.

    Note the hypocrisy.

  3. Personally, I'd support a Constitutional Amendment to prevent unrelated issues on the same bill.

    I'm sick of seeing mixed things like this where someone votes against a bill due to its rider, then get accused of not supporting the original bill. Vote against an education bill that has a rider requiring the sacrifice of a puppy every full moon, and you'd get accused of not supporting education.

    Just break the bills down and deal with the true issues at hand. Hmm, I think I'm starting to sound like a broken record.

  4. cj, That makes perfect sense to me. Do you think the reason this is done is to sometimes get things passed that might not otherwise pass? That would mean the "outrage" is justified, no?

  5. cj & Mikeb,

    It sounds good to me too -- but have you given any thought to defining "unrelated" for the legal purposes of an amendment?

    I predict that related bills would be challenged by opponents as not related enough, and that sponsors of unrelated bills would give some sort of reason as to why it's really related, and that every bill would wind up before the Supreme Court.

  6. Mike -

    Yes, that's exactly why I think they do it. Constituents, big donors of campaign contributions, political friends...all reasons for the pork and non-related issues that get tacked on to something that they're sure will pass, or is so big they hope no one will care enough to notice.

  7. I support tacking on unrelated amendments. It helps ensure that a minority party has some power over the process. Otherwise, you would devolve into elected mob rule. For the same reason I oppose any constitutional amendment to give the president a line item veto. If he has that power, then he is essentially making the legislation. The constitution gives that responsibility to congress. Sure it may sound nice when your guy or gal is in office, but your guy or gal isn't going to be in office for ever. And we really don't want to de-evolve into a Massachusetts-like state where they change their election/succession laws based on who is the governor.