August 8, 2010

Open democracy, Ron Johnson-style

'The Senate is not an entry-level job.' ― Erick Erickson
According to today's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Ron Johnson's most pointed comments were directed at Senator Russ Feingold, saying that when [Feingold] and other senators "come out and start demanding a U.S. pullout and that kind of thing in public, it just undermines what our troops are trying to do."

Said Johnson: "That's not saying if you have real grave concerns as a member of Congress you should not be talking to the administration. It's just extremely harmful to our nation when it's all done in public."
But a few days ago, according to, "GOP U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson [said] he wants to restore the tradition of Congress declaring war before the military is sent abroad."

So all those committee and subcommittee hearings, to which members of the public are invited to testify and inform Congress, and all those floor debates and votes, they should be held in private?

Just between Ron Johnson and Barack Obama, or maybe just Ron Johnson and one of Obama's underlings? An Obama "czar" or two?

Free and open and public debate in and out of Congress is "extremely harmful to our nation," according to Johnson. That's good to know.
Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require secrecy ... [art. I, sec. 5, cl. 3.]
It sounds as if Ron Johnson wants to turn an exception into a rule. Then again, Ron Johnson did say he found the U.S. Constitution "difficult" to read, after the three or four times he attempted it.

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