Legislative Proposal: The Voter Responsibility and Pervert Politician Reduction Act
I had an idea today that got some positive response on Twitter and I think it warrants more discussion. It’s a simple idea in response to the recent revelation that taxpayers have been shelling out to settle sexual harassment complaints against members of Congress. In short, if you send a creep to Congress, you’re responsible for cleaning up his messes. It’s not fair to distribute that responsibility to the rest of the American taxpayers.
Arguably, no one should be paying to bail out the dirtbags other than the dirtbags themselves, but in any other employment situation, employers take on a certain amount of legal responsibility for the actions of their employees. The primary differences are that 1) the employers are made aware of the employee’s behavior and 2) have the authority to take disciplinary action against the employee in order to prevent future offenses. The system that was being used in Congress denied both of those tradeoffs to the employers (i.e. the offender’s constituents).
Some in Congress are proposing legislation requiring that the names of politicians who have used taxpayer dollars to settle harassment complaints be made public. This is a good idea but it doesn’t go far enough. It fixes the problem of the employers’ being denied knowledge of the employee’s actions but it doesn’t give them any real power to rectify the matter.
It also doesn’t distribute the legal responsibility fairly. We’re supposed to be all about fairness these days, right? Well, it’s not fair if Joe Schmudlap of Umptysquat, North Dakota has to share the burden of paying off the victims of a creepy congress critter from Lower Slobbovia, Arkansas.
The Voter Responsibility and Pervert Politician Reduction Act will require the following:
I think we could make some progress toward cleaning out the hive of scum and villainy with this sort of legislation while boosting voter registration and participation in problematic districts that tend to elect creeps.