Investor's Business Daily editorial, 8/9/10:
[GOP Rep. Tom] Price has good reason to think the Democrats will throw a tantrum on their way out. White House energy and environment adviser Carol Browner said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that an energy bill — likely cap-and-trade — could "potentially" be brought up in a post-election session.
Browner should be reminded that lawmakers are representatives of the people who put them in office. If they are told by voters to back off an agenda, it's their duty to retreat.
Ramming through contentious legislation after they've been asked to leave is not only rude; it also goes against everything their party name is supposed to stand for.
I'm so old, I remember when IBD editorials scoffed at the notion that members of congress in lame-duck sessions should pay attention to election results -- or, as IBD preferred to call them, "popularity contests" and "polls." Here's Investor's Business Daily's November 11, 1998 editorial:
The possibility that the president will be removed from office is now much more remote than it was a week ago. The election seemed to indicate that taking down President Clinton would be politically unpopular. For months, his allies have been saying as much.
The president is not free, though.
Away from the pageantry of our national popularity contests - sometimes called elections - the president's scandals are still a serious matter. The rule of law must not be ignored, many still say.
The elections gave everyone the chance to drop an unpopular process. But parties from both sides are determined to see it through. To them, the rule of law is more important than polls. And for that, they should be commended.
So, to sum up: When IBD wants to impeach a Democratic president against the will of the American people, elections are inconsequential "popularity contests." But when IBD opposes "yet another stimulus," elections are clear expressions of the nation's will that members of Congress have a "duty" to obey.