Friday, August 03, 2007

Chaos! Outrage! Politics as usual

By Libby

The Politico shows its alleged non-partisan political stripes today in their colorful description of the hijinks in the House last night.
In a massive flare-up of partisan tensions (video link courtesy, Republicans walked out on a House vote late Thursday night to protest what they believed to be Democratic maneuvers to reverse an unfavorable outcome for them.

The flap represents a complete breakdown in parliamentary procedure and an unprecedented low for the sometimes bitterly divided chamber.

Unprecendented low? How soon the Politico forgets. For a publication that bills itself as the ultimate professional Beltway insiders, it seems rather odd they would have omitted a little historical reference that sprang immediately in all the amateurs' minds. James Joyner, who couldn't be called liberal by any stretch of the imagination recalls a similar incident.
The Republicans would certainly be in a better position to take the moral high ground on this one had they not done essentially the same thing when they had the majority. It happened two years ago on the Central America Free Trade Area bill:

The 217 to 215 vote came just after midnight, in a dramatic finish that highlighted the intensity brought by both sides to the battle. When the usual 15-minute voting period expired at 11:17 p.m., the no votes outnumbered the yes votes by 180 to 175, with dozens of members undeclared. House Republican leaders kept the voting open for another 47 minutes, furiously rounding up holdouts in their own party until they had secured just enough to ensure approval.

Not that this stopped GOP Rep. Cantor from shrieking the sky is falling...
An outrage. Is this a democracy or a dictatorship?

Where was he while the president is accumlating dictatorial powers under the mythical executive privilege? This was all just parliamentary grandstanding, on both parties' parts and frankly I don't get why the GOP didn't just go for this, if they really had the votes to pass it.
Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) eventually offered a motion to reconsider, according to floor staff on either side, ostensibly giving members a chance to recast their votes. But the maneuver sparked a chorus of angry protests from the Republicans, yelling “shame” on Democrats, while they returned fire with angry volleys of their own.

Shame on all of them for wasting the taxpayer's dime on these sort of theatrics. We have bigger problems than worrying about how to punish illegal immigrants with under the table measures. I continue to think if we simply abolished amendments, our laws would be more comprehensible, our legislators would be more accountable for their votes and would also get a lot more done.

[cross-posted to The Reaction]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hear!Hear! I couldn't agree more. What a disgusting, infantile display of partisan politics. We need to remind our reps just who they work for. I wonder how many of us would still have our jobs tomorrow if we participated in such antics today. My message will be a simple one; GROW UP! ACT LIKE ADULTS! GET THE JOB YOU WERE PAID TO DO, DONE!

1:34:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Really Rocky. These people need to get on the stick and get something done.

7:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, but, last night's happy little incident, the chair declared a different vote tally than the one that was on the official count.

Holding a vote open long is asinine, but you can still round your own voters up if you really want something to pass.

Changing a vote tally removes that recourse, and if permitted to continue calls into question why one would even have votes at all.

Harry Voyager

7:27:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Harry, I often wonder why we bother to send any of them to DC at all. They get nearly nothing of practical value to the average Jake accomplished at all anymore. Even the stuff that looks good to the average Jake is loaded with corporate welfare as a rule.

7:35:00 PM  

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