Stop making sense!

Every election cycle we see a few incumbents replaced by voters and a few politicians calling it quits on their own. Some of these politicians are missed by their constituents and colleagues in Columbia…others, not so much.

Earlier this year Representative Michael Thompson (R-Anderson) decided it would be his last. Like few before him, his on-target, common-sense approach to government will be missed in Columbia.

As will his humor.

After ten years in office he’s calling it quits; but not before filing a handful of bills that, if ever voted upon, would probably pass because they contain sentiments felt by many in (and outside) of Columbia.

Earlier this year, he filed House Resolution 4468 which would call for a study of our study committees often put together by the General Assembly. Obviously, a tongue and cheek statement about a much used practice many of us inside (and outside) the Chamber agree happens too often.

This week, he followed that up with something that could save hours of our time and keep us focused on matters we were sent to focus on. What is it? House Resolution 4754….full text below.

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A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO URGE THE MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA TO REFRAIN FROM MEMORIALIZING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS WITH CONCURRENT RESOLUTIONS SEEKING ARGUABLY UNATTAINABLE RESULTS.

Whereas, on a frequent basis the General Assembly passes concurrent resolutions memorializing the United States Congress to take various actions desired by the General Assembly; and

Whereas, these memorializations occasionally seek arguably unattainable results, and consequently fail to constitute an appropriate use of the limited resources available to the General Assembly, a particularly troublesome practice in these times of economic hardship; and

Whereas, a proliferation of these memorializations might diminish the impact of the voice of this General Assembly when it seeks to speak to the United States Congress on issues of grave importance to the citizens of the Palmetto State, thus endangering the value of this useful legislative tool as a means for securing assistance from the federal government; and

Whereas, the members of the General Assembly express their desire that its members, when contemplating whether to memorialize the United States Congress, give pause to consider whether the memorialization prudently uses the State’s limited resources, demonstrates appropriate respect to the institution of Congress, and does not diminish the value of a memorialization to the point that future memorializations might not be received with the level of attention and serious consideration desired when the General Assembly seeks action by Congress on matters of substance and meaning to the Palmetto State. Now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:

That the members of the General Assembly urge its members to refrain from memorializing the United States Congress with concurrent resolutions seeking arguably unattainable results.
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These “memoralization” resolutions Thompson references are really nothing more than (a) statements of the obvious or (b) partisan statements to try to score points with voters or (c) both. Anyone who thinks they actually DO anything is only fooling himself. As Thompson points out, the overuse of these “memoralizations” can also lead to a “boy that cried wolf” perception in Washington when we “really” need to send them a statement. Not sure WHEN that time would be though.

Instead of these memoralizations, can’t we just pick up the phone or send a letter to our US Senators and Reps? Sometimes they pass unanimously because they’re so obvious, other times, we actually have debate over what words we want to send Washington.

Last, but not least, are his bills that would limit the time we spend on congratulatory introductions everday (a practice which has drawn criticism before) and limit the time for Roll-Call (taking attendance) to fifteen minutes.

Unfortunately, these bills and resolutions won’t make it to the House floor this year and, like hundreds of bills every session, they’ll die…much like common-sense who passed away years ago.