Let’s All Stop Talking About the Base-Closing Commissions


Peter Diamond thinks we should set up a bunch of expert committees to solve our fiscal problems, with Congress agreeing beforehand to an up-or-down vote on their recommendations. It worked for the base-closing committees, after all. Atrios pushes back:

The base closing commission was a unique thing for a unique situation. Everybody wanted to close some bases, but no politician wanted to be responsible for closing bases in their states. Nothing else is similar to that.

Stop advocating for politicians to find ways to remove democratic accountability. In our system they already have enough ways of doing that.

Yep. The very fact that the base-closing committees are unique should tell you something. Just like the fact that the 1986 tax reform law was unique. When something has only ever worked once, that’s not primarily evidence that it’s possible, it’s primarily evidence that it’s really, really hard to pull it off.

Enough with paeans to the base-closing commissions. Let’s never mention them again. They were a unique solution to a unique problem, not an all-purpose cure-all for every difficult political disagreement. I’m tired of hearing about them. One way or another, we have to make politics work. There are no magical shortcuts.

OUR NEW CORRUPTION PROJECT

The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate