Patterico's Pontifications


Lawmaker: I Approved That Evil Un-Environmental Fracking By . . . Pushing the Wrong Button!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:41 pm

Well. If her intent was to push the red buttton instead of the green one, who are we to give effect to the button she actually pressed?

State House lawmakers have apparently accidentally legalized fracking in North Carolina, due to a deciding vote one Democrat says was a mistake.

Rep. Becky Carney, D-Mecklenburg, says she did not intend to cast the key vote that overrode the governor’s veto of the bill.  

The vote was 72-47, exactly the number needed for an override. Without Carney’s vote, the veto would have been sustained. 

Carney characterized her vote as “very accidental.”

Maybe it was.

Or maybe she had a change of heart after seeing that her vote was actually the deciding vote.

Carney pointed out that she has voted against fracking in the past, and said she spent the day lobbying other Democrats to uphold the veto of Senate Bill 820.

“And then I push the green button,” she said.

Just after the vote, Carney’s voice could be heard on her microphone, saying “Oh my gosh. I pushed green.”

Inexplicable, eh? Unless she did a bit of logrolling, and promised this unlikely vote in return for a favor from another lawmaker.

Absent a compelling confession, we’ll likely never know.

Which is why I claim that, for purposes of a publicly passed law, we have to go with what lawmakers actually do — and not what they later claim their intent was.

UPDATE: From 11B40 in comments, referring to the fact that the lawmaker’s buttons were red and green:

Please, someone tell me the woman doesn’t have a driver’s license.

David Brooks: Stop Whining About the ObamaCare Decision

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:22 pm

This fellow certainly has the ability to get under your skin — and this column is no exception. His piece is titled “A Choice, Not a Whine”:

Hostility toward the Supreme Court has risen sharply since Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. upheld the Obama health care law. People are apparently angry that the court didn’t rid them of a law they detest. But that’s silly. If Americans want to replace this thing, they should do it themselves.

. . . .

Critics of the bill shouldn’t be hating on Chief Justice Roberts. If they can’t make this case to the voters, they really shouldn’t be in public life.

. . . .

Republicans say they trust the people. If that’s true, then they won’t waste another futile breath bashing the court for upholding Obamacare. They’ll explicitly tell the country how they would replace it. Democracy is a contest between alternatives, not a deus ex machina stroke from the lords in black robes.

Mr. Brooks. We’re not “whining” because of policy. We’re upset about the fundamental restructuring of our federalist system.

I do not see a single word in Brooks’s piece about the Constitution. About federalism, and the structure of our government, and its balance between state power and federal power. Or about using the tax authority as an end run around limitations on the Commerce Clause.

What I see is a smug jerk talking about politics as if he were at a cocktail party at the Hamptons, defending the Republican position, half-heartedly, with a shrug.

David Brooks, we don’t need or want your “support.” If you can’t understand what the fight is about, find something else to talk about.

Romney Advisor: Romney Thinks Mandate Is a Penalty

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:58 am

And thus the club that Romney could have used to beat Obama is laid down:

Via Hot Air.

Advisor Eric Fehrnstrom did a decent job for most of that, but “most” doesn’t cut it. Journalists don’t care about Obama’s hypocrisy; they care about taking away the club. Yeah, sure, he said one thing, he sent his lawyers to court to say the opposite, now he goes back to the original, blah, blah, blah. So Romney agrees with Obama it’s a penalty, huh?!

And Fehrnstrom should have seen that coming.

Watch how it gets portrayed in a short clip, even on Fox News:

So how does one avoid this trap? Look to Romney advisor Andrea Saul:

“The federal individual mandate in Obamacare is either a constitutional tax or an unconstitutional penalty. Governor Romney thinks it is an unconstitutional penalty. What is President Obama’s position?”

Never, ever say the word “penalty” without the word unconstitutional. It is an unconstitutional penalty. And always toss in the idea that the only way it could be constitutional is if it were a tax.

Romney had better play this better in the debates than his advisor did. Trouble is, no matter how well he plays it, his advisors have now given Obama a quote to use against him.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

UPDATE: I don’t believe the mandate is a tax. But the Supreme Court has said it’s a tax. If the President wants to pretend this is constitutional, he is going to have to deal with the fact that it’s only considered constitutional if it’s a tax.

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