Video: Conyers scoffs at doing his job

posted at 11:36 am on July 27, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

John Conyers must have thought he provided the ultimate beat-down to people who strangely insist that lawmakers should actually read legislation before it passes. Unfortunately for Conyers, all he did was prove that (a) he’s been in Congress far too long, and (b) Democratic leadership and the White House are rushing legislation when everyone should take their time to understand it. CNS’ Nicholas Ballasy reports:

During his speech at a National Press Club luncheon, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Democratic Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.), questioned the point of lawmakers reading the health care bill.

“I love these members, they get up and say, ‘Read the bill,’” said Conyers.

“What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?”

Of course, the answer to that is — what’s the freaking rush? Why not take two days and a couple of lawyers from your staff to figure out what’s in the bill before you pass it into law, Rep. Conyers? Representative democracy rests on having the people send Congressmen and Senators to Washington DC to vote on legislation so that we don’t have to hold constant national referendums on issues. If the elected representatives don’t bother to read the legislation, then we have surrendered representative democracy and adopted an autocracy of Capitol Hill staffers and lobbyists.

It may be difficult to find anyone as clueless as John Conyers in this clip. In fact, one has to go back 30 years and enter the world of comedy to come close to it. Behold one of the greatest moments in sitcom history, teaching a lesson that Conyers and his colleagues should well heed: Slow down.


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I hope the RNC is taking notes…..

HornetSting on July 27, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Me too… but not holding my breath.

Upstater85 on July 27, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Somebody hand this guy a letter of resignation and ask him to sign it.

NellE on July 27, 2009 at 12:17 PM

That’d be great but he’d still need 2 days and 2 lawyers to manage that.

I wish I could throw up on every single one of these feckless rumps.

scalleywag on July 27, 2009 at 1:15 PM

“What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?”

That’s like the McDonalds cook saying….I don’t have time to wash my hands after using the restroom. I have burgers to make. Blaaaaatch!

In both cases, that’s cause for firing!!!

capejasmine on July 27, 2009 at 1:16 PM

Is this what we teach people, DON’T read your contract it’s too long and complicated. Anything written with that much legaleaze is probably not worth passing. It should be written in plainer English and ALWAYS read before voting. This is OUR lives they are messing with and they should have more respect for their EMPLOYERS. One of many reasons these people should be removed from office, whether they be D’s or R’s.

hillbilly on July 27, 2009 at 1:19 PM

When you have a bunch of lawyers writing legislation, you usually need a bunch of lawyers to decipher it.

Solution: write a bill that even a monkey could understand (which would include just about every member of congress). Then stop bitching and read the damn thing; it’s your job.

redfoxbluestate on July 27, 2009 at 1:20 PM

someone needs to slip in the banning of dihydrogen monoxide and make illegal for any municipality to provide it to its citizens. And then that someone should point out due to the complete and utter lack of cognitive reading skills congress has banned water and its supply to the people.

theguardianii on July 27, 2009 at 1:22 PM

Last I heard there were more than 2 lawyers in D.C. and, as luck would have it, the world is not supposed to end until 2012, so we have more than 2 days. Heck that gives us more than 2 years, so get to reading.

Lily on July 27, 2009 at 1:25 PM

The right has way more material than it can use in the 2010 elections…are they gonna use it or are they gonna pull a McCain and play nice and be above it all….and lose?

CCRWM on July 27, 2009 at 1:34 PM

damn…..this guy is in CONGRESS? The RNC should use this as an ADVERTISEMENT all the time!!! A flipping TRILLION dollars and this horse’s rear does not even want to read the bill…..

RECALL this idiot…it is time to stop laying down for this crap….

SDarchitect on July 27, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Whaaaat…doooeesss…thhhe…bbiiilll…meeeaan?

kirkill on July 27, 2009 at 11:56 AM

In a nutshell?
It means working taxpayers are scrude!
It means the quaint notion of ‘Personal Responsibility’ is a thing of the soon-to-be-rewritten past.
It means indentured servitude (in the form of excessive taxation) for those of us who refuse to suckle the federal t!t.
It means ‘Freedom of Choice’ will be nothing more than a Devo album.

Tom_OC on July 27, 2009 at 1:43 PM

…and a big thanks to Ed for the classic clip. I was in tears the first time I saw it so many years ago. Like any classic culture moment something will come up every few years that gives cause to reference this hysterical bit. It can brighten one’s day and lighten some dour moods when you can drop a reference to something like this Rev. Jim moment into unrelated conversation.

Tom_OC on July 27, 2009 at 1:47 PM

theguardianii on July 27, 2009 at 1:22 PM

hahaha, that’s priceless. Although I bet this bill contains worse.

scalleywag on July 27, 2009 at 1:56 PM

Is this what we teach people, DON’T read your contract it’s too long and complicated. Anything written with that much legaleaze is probably not worth passing. It should be written in plainer English and ALWAYS read before voting. This is OUR lives they are messing with and they should have more respect for their EMPLOYERS. One of many reasons these people should be removed from office, whether they be D’s or R’s.

hillbilly on July 27, 2009 at 1:19 PM

It seems that congress has a history of passing bigger and bigger bills. I don’t think it was meant to be that way. Law is supposed to clarify what is not understood and not obfusciate. Congress has been attempting to pass nothing but confusing laws lately.

shick on July 27, 2009 at 1:57 PM

RECALL this idiot…it is time to stop laying down for this crap….

SDarchitect on July 27, 2009 at 1:38 PM

He’s the majority, not the exception. We need to herd them all out and start all over.

scalleywag on July 27, 2009 at 1:58 PM

When you have a bunch of lawyers writing legislation, you usually need a bunch of lawyers to decipher it.

Solution: write a bill that even a monkey could understand (which would include just about every member of congress). Then stop bitching and read the damn thing; it’s your job.

redfoxbluestate on July 27, 2009 at 1:20 PM

Bingo!!!

Wonder what the Constitution would look like if these maroons had written it.

Tom

marinetbryant on July 27, 2009 at 1:59 PM

R = reboot

Great clip.

Mojave Mark on July 27, 2009 at 2:06 PM

John Conyers can’t afford to waste his time doing his job!

Speedwagon82 on July 27, 2009 at 2:09 PM

No better example of the garbage that needs to be picked up in D.C. Where is the sanitation dept.?

ultracon on July 27, 2009 at 2:30 PM

Marty, we’re sending you Back To The Future!

eaglewingz08 on July 27, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Perfect,Absolutly perfect.

DDT on July 27, 2009 at 2:42 PM

BTW why are all the libtards who complained about Bush’s thirteen month ‘rush to war’ in Iraq, not spitting blood on the democraps’ ‘rush to war’ on healthcare?

eaglewingz08 on July 27, 2009 at 2:43 PM

and yet, he continues to garner votes……..which is why one of the main problems lies with the electorate.

search4truth on July 27, 2009 at 2:44 PM

That’d be great but he’d still need 2 days and 2 lawyers to manage that.

scalleywag on July 27, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Aren’t a lot of these Congressmen lawyers themselves?

Of course, that’s a big chunk of the problem.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 27, 2009 at 2:57 PM

Affirmative action at work.

bitsy on July 27, 2009 at 3:03 PM

I’m with Garandfan,if these bastards crapping on the Constitution don’t fit the description of enemies domestic who does?

McBride on July 27, 2009 at 3:43 PM

The great Christopher Lloyd. As a big Back To The Future fan, I almost cried when I heard he lost everything in a California wildfire last year.

L.N. Smithee on July 27, 2009 at 3:50 PM

Ed,

In D.C., it is illegal to go through a yellow light. Essentially, it means the same thing as red. And, of course, the warning light for yellow is green. Diplomatic plates excluded, of course.

Christien on July 27, 2009 at 4:24 PM

Why don’t they just drag Conyer’s demented, crooked ass into a home somewhere. People like him, Schumer, Nadler, Reid and Pelosi should not be allowed to mingle with the regular folks.

Dukehoopsfan on July 27, 2009 at 4:57 PM

Her I thought that the problem with all the legislation was that lawyers were taking care of their own. Now I see, it is much worse.

darktood on July 27, 2009 at 5:31 PM

It’s got what plants crave!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0O7_3o3BrI&feature=related

Pole-Cat on July 27, 2009 at 8:37 PM

It wouldn’t do any good for someone else to take his place. That person would probably be another leftist jackass.

NathanG on July 27, 2009 at 8:39 PM

Ya got the whole month of august, wait, strike that. Ya have until 2013 Conyers. Read at your liesure.

boomer on July 27, 2009 at 9:02 PM

Gaia, I love my state. Don’t feel too surprised, John isn’t bright enough to notice $50k in bribes show up in his wife’s checking account, much less read bills before he votes on them for us lesser mortals.

Techie on July 27, 2009 at 11:51 PM

Agreed, Conyers has others do his job. If in his position I would owe it to my constituents to read and understand it. Then pare it down to focus on the key points that impact them and give them the information and let them tell me what they think and stand up for their viewpoint – that is what representation is about.

MSGTAS on July 28, 2009 at 10:50 AM

Ed,

That may be the funniest sit-com episode of all time — not just of Taxi, but of any episode on any show. I can remember watching it as if it was on last night.

At the beginning of the show, they all decided to invite Jim to join them for a beer at the local bar. Bobby was “elected” to approach him, and he went up to Jim and said, “We were wondering if you would like to join us for a beer?” Jim looked at him for a few seconds and said, “Well . . . what did you decide?

At the end of the show, Jim had his license and a job as a hack. He gave Alex the “symbolic” ride as his first “customer” . . . and promptly backed right through the wall of the building. He hesitated for a moment, then turned around, put out his hand and said, “That’ll be five bucks.

This may be the perfect metaphor for what is about to happen to an estimated 17% of the gross national product of the United States.

This idiot Congressman publicly boasts that he has no time to read the bill. But he had the power to force the consequences of it on all of the rest of us! And even well deserved ridicule won’t get to him because he’s safe in his district.

Trochilus on July 28, 2009 at 12:13 PM

Interesting further note — this is not the first time John Conyers has sounded off on the topic of Members of Congress not reading the bills.

One involved a cameo appearance in a Michael Moore movie, where his comment about other Congress members was used as a way of critizing those who do not read the bills!

From the Wikipedia bio of Conyers (internal links in original):

He appeared in Michael Moore’s documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 discussing the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks, stating that members of Congress “don’t read most of the bills“.

Now he boasts that he can’t read them with out two other lawyers in the room to help him decipher what he has read. Conyers is himself the holder of a a JD degree — from Wayne State.

Trochilus on July 28, 2009 at 1:37 PM

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