Ken Cook, the ag-wonk-meister over at Mulchblog, has an insightful post on the political dynamics of the farm bill in the House of Representatives. Now wait! Before you finish that yawn, consider that the way the endgame is being played out may mean that the unprecedented attempt to break the farm bill monopoly may falter. And what would that mean? No change in the subsidies, little new money for nutrition instead of king corn, and all those sustainable agriculture initiatives - as they used to say where I grew up - fugetaboutit!
Cook reports that House Agriculture Committee chairman Colin Peterson - a reasonable, open-minded Democrat - has heard a wide spectrum of views. "All this openness doesn't amount to much, of course, if the
committee fails to act on any of the ideas proposed, and the
committee's word is the last word on final legislation, with no views
to the contrary entertained on the House floor," he writes. The committee has historically represented special ag interests rather than the newcomers at the door who want reform.
So, despite the open hearings and warm welcome given to these new voices, it looks like it's the same-old, same-old at the Capitol. And I thought the Dems would be able to break the hammer-lock of these entrenched farm interests. Silly me.