One of the things that used to raise my blood pressure when I worked in a governmental affairs office was when one of the houses of California’s Legislature would drop everything, and spend a few hours on a ridiculous, pointless debate on some non-binding resolution memorializing either Congress or the President to take action on an issue of foreign policy.
Well, the State Assembly has really outdone itself this time, voting yesterday to place a measure on the statewide ballot that would urge President Bush to “achieve the immediate, complete, safe and orderly withdrawal of United States forces” from Iraq. OK, whatever. Would there really be any doubt on the outcome of such an initiative in this, the bluest of blue states? And for that matter, does anyone outside of California care what we think about foreign policy issues?
What moves this from being a complete and total waste of time into the realm of shameful acts is the fact that California has numerous pressing problems of its own, problems that the Legislature has shown an increasing inability to grasp and/or deal with in recent years: education, health care, retiree benefits, the list goes on…
Yet, as we stand here today, with a little more than two weeks left in this year’s legislative session, this is how the Legislature spends its time – on a pointless and meaningless debate on Iraq.