Friday, October 2, 2009

The Secret Government

I’m not sure if State Senator Bob Jauch drives to Madison from his home up in Poplar - a tiny little burg on HiWay 2 up in Wisconsin’s far north woods - but I suspect he does, and that those long drives give him plenty of time to think.
But that can sometimes be a dangerous thing.

A few days ago, he decided it was best to table his “secret successors” bill. It would allow each state legislator to pick three to seven successors, to take their seat, should (God forbid!) there be some sort of natural disaster, pandemic, or otherwise apocalyptic event that decimated the ranks of the politicians. And the names would be kept secret.

The pundits, of course, had a field day.

They opined that this gang of ruffians up there under the Big Top would pick their deer hunting buddies, their big-money contributors, their in-laws, their bookies, their spouses, their mistresses, or lord-knows-who. After a week or so of ridicule, Senator Jauch pulled the bill.

I, of course, have other thoughts.

No matter who the 33 Senators and 99 Representatives put on their secret successor list, we’d probably end up with a group of folks who could get along better and make more progress than the chumps in office now. Perhaps they’d even have the insight to take up only things that really matter, and meet once every couple months for a day or so.

I’m thinking of those cell phone commercials on TV where lumberjacks run divorce courts, delivery service people run the schools, and particularly the one where firefighters run government. No foolishness, straight to the point. Git ‘r done!

I’ve also been involved scores of times with news coverage of events where emergency government agencies take over - blizzards, ice storms, chemical spills, things of that sort. And the last thing emergency government needs is 132 politicians arguing about what should be done. If it’s a true emergency, it’s time for action, not political debate.

Any event that would trigger a scenario where Senator Jauch’s secret successors plan would kick in, would render the legislature useless. There were other things in Jauch’s bill the media didn’t talk about, like the provision to allow the Legislature to meet at a “temporary capital” of its choosing (something which is now the purview of the Governor) and a provision to allow the legislature to hold “virtual” meetings if they couldn’t physically meet.

A real doomsday scenario.

In which case, we’d be better off calling Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Indiana Jones, G.I. Joe, or the Fantastic Four.

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