Monday, August 11, 2008

Will Someone Please Tell Me What Party Our President Is In?

I mean really. I understand the whole hatred of lawyers. You couldn't get into law school, only made it through undergrad because his father was who he was. Managed to avoid not being cashiered from the Air National Guard... because of who his father is. I get all that.

But can someone please explain this to me.

Now, I have a left lean when it comes to some things, so perhaps I am missing something. But as I understand it, Republicans are supposed to champion small government. That way, the freedom of the people are maximized. To that end, governmental bureaucracy is most bad and should only exist when it cannot be avoided.

Let me know when I am wrong about the basics. I really want to understand this.

So how does that philosophy, which I am told is at the heart of the Republican party, produce President Bush's latest policy: ending the protections found in the Endangered Species Act. Agree with the act, disagree with the act, thats not the issue. The issue is the way in which the Bush Administration seeks to achieve their end: by strengthening the bureaucracy. Apparently the plan is to use a loophole in the act to have the various agencies pass regulations.

The regulations will prevent agencies from considering whether projects are contributing to greenhouse gases and the effect of global warming on species. Sounds a little on the innocuous side right? Global warming is still being debated and maybe it is and maybe it is not junk science. However, under the current regulations, the various departments go run their assessments by Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Call me crazy, but based on their names ("
Fish and Wildlife Service" and "National Marine Fisheries Service"), they seem to be two agencies which would seem to know something about the environment.

Under the new regulations, the various departments will no longer need to do this. because they Instead, apparently the various departments and agencies have developed a certain amount of expertise in evaluating the environmental impact of projects on the environment. While I trust the Department of Transportation to tell me if a planned project will be safe transport wise, how many of the people there spend their time actually investigating the effect of their projects on the environment? Or say the Department of Energy?

Then again, I guess its easier to get projects approved when science is taken out of the assessment all together.

But getting back to my point. The Bush Administration is not doing this through a law. Instead, they are doing this through a regulation. A regulation made by a faceless bureaucrat. A bureaucrat who will not face the voters. A bureaucrat who, in many cases, received his position because he is a party loyalist, not because he is qualified for the position.

If the Democrats had anyone in congress worth their salt, this would not be such a problem. It would mean a vote to change the law and then override the president's veto and science would be kept in the equation when making decisions regarding the environment. However, since Democrats in congress are all talk and no hat, I doubt that they will do anything of the sort.

As I was asking earlier, is this the action of a man committed to having government closer to the people, or closer to the Oval Office?

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