Sunday, September 25, 2005

Dumb Idea #13,814

Minnesota Senator Mark Dayton has recently introduced legislation to create the U.S. Department of Peace and Nonviolence. This is a carryover of an idea Mr. Kucinich expressed during the Democratic primaries. Several Democratic House members from Minnesota have supported this proposal as well.

Hey wait! I think we already have one of those! (And what about this?)

Let's say that we do end up with a U.S. Department of Peace -- an eventuality that Dayton, Kucinich, et al. know quite well will never come about in a million years. It would be a policy arm of the federal government, with patronage appointments just like those of Michael Brown and others at FEMA, and career bureaucrats with minimal accountability (the vaguer the objective, the easier to say "Well, it's a complex issue... we're still working on it.").

Democratic administrations would set their own agendas for the Peace Department (as well as the Defense, State, Treasury, Commerce, etc. Departments) in their own way, and Republican administrations would set their own agendas for those departments in their own way.

Can you imagine the Orwellian acrobatics of vocabulary and P.R. associated with this? If the policy of the U.S. government was to refrain from engaging a certain rival militarily, then the Peace Secretary would say "X" and explain that the policy was the way it was in order to promote "peace." If the policy of the government shifted so that it planned to engage that same rival militarily, then the Secretary of Peace would assert the opposite of "X" and explain that that policy was the way it was in order to promote "peace." Given the way G.W. has been holding seances to ask FDR for suggestions for new federal to-do lists, I'm surprised he hasn't jumped on this himself.

Just to keep things fair and balanced, here's Dumb Idea #13,815. Maybe this is a good time to get on board the Porkbusters bandwagon.


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