Idiots’ Delight

Among the idiotic policies proposed by our president is that every time a new federal regulation is adopted, two must be identified for elimination. What about a rule that could prevent an Ebola epidemic? Should two medical rules be abolished? Or would killing a rule on ground beef and one on school lunches be sufficient? And what sense would it make either way?

In a Jan. 30 executive order, our subnormal president had someone write for him: “it is important that for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination”. The order also demands that “the total incremental cost of all new regulations, including repealed regulations, to be finalized this year shall be no greater than zero.”

The military and “national security,” of course, are exempted from the order, which is called “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.”

This executive order is so simplistic and jejune as nearly to defy analysis. It decrees law in strokes a mile wide, though any lawmaker of sense understands that laws of such breadth will almost inevitably fail under our Constitution.

(Oh! Texas Governor Greg Abbott last week called for a new Constitutional Convention. And since Republicans control all branches of 33 state governments today, and need only 38 to call a Constitutional Convention, this Constitution of Vampires may actually happen, some dark night. I wonder how they’ll rewrite the First Amendment.)

Returning from the hell of insanity to normal idiocy, let us consider Trump’s executive order on reducing regulation. Lay aside for the moment Trump’s claims, and those of the Republican Party, that virtually every time President Barack Obama issued an executive order, it was “an assault upon the U.S. Constitution.”

I return to the original question.

If a new federal regulation will stop an Ebola epidemic, or prevent midair collisions of commercial airplanes, why should four other rules be abolished?

And if four rules are abolished, should they be rules involving medicine and airlines? Or will any four rules do?

And why, for God’s sake, and our own, should the cost of preventing an Ebola epidemic in the United States be “no greater than zero,” when the cost of dealing with an epidemic would be so much greater?

The executive order doesn’t say.

Let us consider, since our president did not, whether the rules to be eliminated must come within the purview of the agency to be tasked with enforcing the new rule: Health and Human Services to prevent an Ebola outbreak, or the Federal Aeronautical Administration for commercial airline safety.

Science proceeds at a rapid pace, despite all the efforts of Republicans to impede it.

Should a technological breakthrough make midair collisions of passenger jets absolutely impossible, why should the FAA have to repeal two other safety rules?

And if repealing any old two regulations will do, why on God’s green Earth should regulations on hamburgers or school lunches be repealed because airline passengers will be safer?

Should the Ebola virus emerge again, as it surely will, and rage around the world, and U.S. scientists come up with an absolutely safe and inexpensive vaccine, administered by sugar cube, as was the Sabin vaccine for polio, why should two other medical regulations be repealed?

Or would it be sufficient to repeal a rule on tractor safety and one on the acceptable number of insect parts per ounce of peanut butter?

I leave it to you, my fellow Americans. Though as a responsible purveyor of Real News, I feel I should explain the headline.

Idiot’s Delight is a solitaire card game. It is also known as “Firing Squad” and “Drivel.”

I quote from the website “Your chances of winning are not too high, maybe 1 in 20.”