Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
The lame duck session of Congress is finally over.
This session of congress has been called “the most ambitious legislative agenda that’s ever been pursued in a lame-duck session since the 20th Amendment.”
Since the what amendment?
The 20th amendment. That is the amendment to the Constitution that was supposed to kill lame duck congresses forever. Now we have Zombie Duck Congresses.
Lame duck sessions of Congress have always seemed wrong to Americans. We just voted the bums out, why should they get to decide anything? They shouldn’t.
So the Congress passed and the states ratified the 20th amendment. The headline in the 1933 Washington Post declared “Present Lame Duck Session Will Be Last.”
Then came the Zombie Duck.
See, the framers of the 20th amendment were too clever by half. Instead of just banning the practice outright, they simply moved the inauguration and the start of the new Congress to January from March. With travel being what it was in the 1930’s, it was impractical to have a quorum in the intervening months post-November. Problem solved? Nope.
The dead lame duck was given unholy resurrection by the airplane, giving us the Zombie Duck.
This unholy Zombie repealed DADT and approved a treaty that would never have passed under the Congress the American people have elected. Zombue duck sessions are now routinely used to pass legislation that the American people has expressly rejected. When elections have consequences, just not yet—we are living under tyranny.
Just as the Americans of the 1930’s., we understand that it is “immoral” for unaccountable congressmen already handed their walking papers to be voting on anything, never mind legislation of such importance. It should be kept in mind that these votes were purposefully postponed until after November specifically so that voters could not hold lawmakers accountable for their votes at the ballot box in November. That is immoral.
The 20th amendment did not do the job. We need to ban the practice outright except in case of the need for a declaration of war.