The Decline Of Legislatures

Scott Morgan taunts law-makers over cannabis reform:

If public officials don't want to see laws enacted by popular vote, then the obvious solution is to go ahead and fix failed policies instead of endeavoring desperately to defend them year after year. Given the popularity of Prop 19, there's no reason California legislators couldn't have enacted some of these reforms a long time ago. The same goes for every other state where polling shows strong support for significant marijuana reforms. Unless legislators begin taking the issue seriously, the next generation of marijuana laws will be written by activists.

Increasingly, it seems to me, the legislative branch is really not about legislating. It's about getting re-elected with often symbolic partisan gestures and passing laws to benefit those interests that will get you re-elected. Serious attempts to take collective bipartisan responsibility for state and federal debt, for example, seem rare. That's what commissions are for, apparently! But what's a legislature responsible for if not the budget it passes?

Ditto on something like Don't Ask, Don't Tell, of course. But then, I guess, when legislators do take a stand, as they did in California on marriage equality, they get vetoed or side-swiped by initiatives. And when they do tackle a momentous and complicated issue like health insurance reform and achieve something, they get demagogued. They won't try to solve that kind of problem again, will they?