CPSIA: handing the GOP an issue?

by Walter Olson on March 26, 2009

Two can stir more easilyAccording to one of Rick Woldenberg’s sources, the leadership on Capitol Hill ordered a Democratic member “in no uncertain terms” not to address next Wednesday’s rally calling for legislative reform of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. The bill was rushed to passage this year with overwhelming support from both parties; the public outcry in recent months has stirred proposals mostly but not entirely from Republicans for legislative relief.

You’d think the Democrats would be smart enough to want to be perceived as listening to public outrage on this issue rather than letting the Republicans develop it as a source of partisan advantage. But apparently you’d be wrong.

P.S. Deputy Headmistress now has up a very interesting post on the partisanship/non-partisanship angle. The movement to protest and reform or repeal CPSIA, as she notes, is truly diverse ideologically, politically, and in almost every other way: it brings together persons of astoundingly disparate views and manners of living. On the other hand — as she demonstrates by citing particulars of the news coverage a year or two back — the maneuvering that got CPSIA passed in the first place was remarkable for its jealous partisanship, something easily overlooked in retrospect given the near-unanimous eventual vote in favor of the law.
Public domain image: Yankee Mother Goose (1902), illustrator Ella S. Brison, courtesy ChildrensLibrary.org.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Ed Driscoll » CPSIA: Handing The GOP An issue?
03.29.09 at 11:29 pm
CPSIA: Things I learned at the rally :
04.07.09 at 12:40 am

{ 8 comments }

1 Commentor 03.26.09 at 8:31 am

It just doesn’t seem like the CPSIA has become a mainstream issue.

2 Nicolas Martin 03.26.09 at 9:46 am

Partisan advantage for the Republicans? How many Republican members of the House voted against CPSIA? Exactly one. And that one was Ron Paul, a Republican party pariah. CPSIA is a great reason to turn out incumbents like the Republican hack in whose district I live, Dan Burton. The lone Republican senator from my state, Richard Lugar, voted for CPSIA, as did almost all Republican senators. New-found Republican opposition to CPSIA is as insincere as all other claims by that party to support free markets and small government. With friends like the Republicans, capitalism needs no enemies.

3 Mars Feeney 03.26.09 at 12:20 pm

Yes it is an advantage to the Republicans.

I have been a Democrat all my life. I would like to continue to be one. But if the Democrats in Congress continue their stance on the CPSIA I will feel forced to register as a Republican.

Passing the law was unfortunate.

Continuing to stand behind it is untenable.

Refusing to even talk about it is utterly unacceptable.

If the Democrats in Congress are not willing to face the American people on this then they are not leading us, they are herding us. We are not cattle! If they continue to make us feel as if we are I do not believe I will be the only Democrat lost.

The problem with the CPSIA is that it is so broad that the real issues of lead are buried under a mountain of collateral damage.

4 Lora 03.26.09 at 12:23 pm

yup! Nicolas Martin.
Nothing more than a case of good cop/bad cop. Truth is, they all want to police the world.

5 ras 03.26.09 at 1:20 pm

The Democratic member will have to decide whether his loyalty and duty to his constituents is more important than his loyalty and duty to his party, or vice-versa.

6 Tristan Benz 03.26.09 at 3:15 pm

I’m not in the LEAST bit surprised.

It’s unfortunate, but, as much as CPSIA has filled our OWN scope of vision, it does not appear that the outcry is truly widespread enough yet. Only when it becomes nothing other than absolutely DEAFENING, from one end of the nation to the other (not just from industry, libraries, etc. – but fromALL citizens / parents who put their money where their mouth is when it comes to caring about their voice being heard, authority being respected, etc.), ONLY then will it will be much harder for the games of party politics to continue to rule the day.

Plainly, I don’t know why we aren’t attacking the problem of our Congressional representatives failing to hear our will re: CPSIA in conjunction with the We Surround Them and Tea Party movements.. Seems to be an excellent fit! The We Surround Them groups across the nation aren’t about R vs L (see my current blog post at tristansepinion.blogspot.com) – they’re about WE the people taking political actions, simultaneously, to remind our “representatives” that we are not their slaves, but their masters.

In the case of CPSIA (as I put in one video on YouTube) are WE parents really going to ALLOW our Congress to replace “Mother Approved” with “Big Brother Approved?”

There is a great and growing movement of solidarity that has nothing to do with feeding partisan political games and everything to do with supporting our authority to govern by our will and good common sense. People are surely entitled to pull in any direction they wish, but I believe it’s definitely time for all who want to see the utterly poorly written law of CPSIA repealed to find a way to capitalize on this actively growing momentum.

We really don’t need such an enormous Big Brother dictating “what’s best for OUR children”…UNLESS, of course, we truly have become “We the Sheeple.”

Thanks for your updates – they’re right on target!

Kind Regards,
Tristan Benz

7 Bumper 03.26.09 at 9:57 pm

From my experiences with our local representative and senator, both Republicans, either they are clueless to the problem, or don’t want to have to admit they were duped. Because other than a canned response from one of them, Nada, Zip, Zero, Nothing. Both are Catholic and I couldn’t shake ‘em with the story of the Catholic bookstore. Maybe when the SHTF around “Toys for Tots” time they will wake, but by then it will probably be too late.

8 Andrew_M_Garland 03.27.09 at 12:47 am

The CPSIA issue seems to be another in the long line of decisions based on the idea that “If it saves the life of even one child, then it is worth it”.

One can point out that hundreds or thousands of businesses will be ended, and much income and enjoyment in life will end. They answer that it is monstrous to compare a child’s life to a bit of economic welfare for businesspeople.

The proper argument is that economic well-being is not separate from life, but also saves and improves lives. Business supports better autos, car maintenance, medical care, and the ability to by more expensive toys that don’t have lead attached. It is not lives versus dollars, but lives versus lives. The regulation that saves the life of one identifiable child acts to make people poorer, and so kills more than one anonymous child.

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