Another Bipartisan ‘Grand Bargain’?

The mind recoils. But apparently it’s in the works, probably to be sprung on us after the elections. According to David Dayen, The Hill (see below for link) says that, in Dayen’s words, “Republicans have joined a bipartisan working group that is preparing a document on deficit reduction.” Yes, of course, some Democrats… with full White House support… are rumored to be ready and willing to cut “Medicare and other social programs” (Dayen).

Not surprisingly, this is apparently in part the work of Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House minority whipped. Whip, I mean… yeah, whipped. Damn, I did it again! I wonder why that keeps coming out…

Then there’s this, which Dayen quotes from The Hill:

The core House group of roughly 10 negotiators is derived from a larger Gang of 100 lawmakers led by Reps. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) and Health Shuler (D-N.C.), who urged the debt supercommittee to strike a grand bargain last year.

And it’s all being negotiated… and apparently already drafted… in secret. That seems to be the pattern of legislation lately: we peasants don’t get to see the action. Sometimes we get to see it after it’s in place as law; sometimes not even that. Sometimes it’s implemented in trials held in ordinary courts at law; sometimes it’s litigated in secret courts. (I have no reason to believe this particular law will be secret, only the process of legislating it.) I never thought I’d live to see the day. But it’s here: we not only do not control our government, we aren’t even witnesses to it.

I’ve never been a fan of “bipartisanship” … why have parties, if they don’t oppose each other? But even if “bipartisanship” is something I have to accept as today’s reality… why all the secretiveness? If the shit is about to hit the fan, can’t we be given at least a minimal opportunity to duck?

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