Saturday, June 20, 2009

Being Wrong Is Hard Work

Adamantly insisting that black is white has become so ingrained with wingers that they are now inventing ways to get around all rational behavior. Instead of seeing the light and voting for what the public wants, the minority is now filibustering by amendment.

In an attempt to get appropriations passed that are overdue because of stalling tactics last term, House officials invented a few ways to prevent delay. It's dull, but the process involves required pre-printed amendments. So instead of the usual maximum thirty, your minority produced more than a hundred. House officials were faced with either letting appropriations last weeks instead of days, or put their foot down. The foot went down, and the wingers insist they're being victimized. Last week, the House wasted several days in a manufactured debate over meaningless amendments that saw some amazing moments.

In one attempt to get the determinedly action-oriented Democrats into debate that wastedyet more time, I watched Rep. Gohmert of TX, (I apologize that my state produces particularly vile wingers), insist that Rep. Miller of CA was ineligible to work on amendments related to DOJ. The best description of this is pretense is at GantDaily, and I gave you the link, but, in case you don't recognize the title, it is a libertarian stew. The reason, in brief, is because he is part of the leadership, that is involved in a far-fetched attempt by the wingers to smear the Democratic party, and the DOJ at one time was involved in an investigation of fundraising by Dems. It's the usual tactic of calling some one a criminal because you've brought an indictment into play.

The Democrats earned a lot of respect from me by adamantly avoiding entering into particularly vicious debate by these tactics. They listened stoically to hours of such attacks, and went on to vote down the filibuster, disguised as amendments.

One of the few posts I found on this debacle was FrontRowWashington at Reuters, and it outlined one telling event.

Republican Representative Mike Pence said it was “an outrageous abuse of the legislative process” for Democrats to cut off debate after 30 minutes during the first amendment. He insisted that it was not about the process but about “runaway federal spending.”

Democrats shot back that Republicans were making it harder to finish the annual spending bills and also complete healthcare and climate change legislation quickly. Republican demands for a recorded vote on even amendments they supported — taking additional time — also angered Democrats.

“We have to pass 12 major appropriations bills in six weeks and still leave enough time on the calendar to deal with healthcare, to deal with climate change, to deal with the military authorization bill and several other crucial issues,” said Democratic Representative David Obey, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

He said Republicans rebuffed Democratic attempts to reach a deal on handling amendments quickly. “We have tried every way we can to involve the minority,” he said. “We recognize a filibuster by amendment when we see it.”

When Pence was asked why seeking a recorded vote on an amendment that both sides supported wasn’t a stall tactic, he grinned and walked away from reporters.

The debate outlined above saw the same wingers who have insisted that black Americans should get over their victim psychology insisting they were the victims of evil power politics that deprived their few remaining voters of a voice.

A trio of Republican congressmen, comprised of California’s David Dreier, Michigan’s Pete Hoekstra and John Culberson of Texas claimed equivalence with oppressed Iranian protestors for democracy, because they Twittered their carping about abuse at the hands of Democrats. This in spite of the President exerting acrobatic efforts at bipartisanship.

This is all leading up to a no-holds-barred fight to prevent the voters from getting health care.

Few who haven't shepherded legislation through the depths of the process will take an interest; that's what the wingers seem to count on. Frustration with this kind of tactic is going to keep a lot of involved liberals from watching, staying up on legislative action, and keeping the pressure on.

As Diane reported earlier, the drug companies are seeing the light - they have overcharged and about to pay for it. They are acting to make up for their years of taking advantage of the public through misuse of powers. The minority party, though, hasn't evolved so far as all that.

That consistently wrong right wing is really hard at work keeping from allowing the public interest - that it has taken a vow to protect - from being served.

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Blogger shrimplate said...

It's a Constitutional flaw. It deliberately allows small minorities to stall legislation.

It would be far less of a problem if more people were fully aware of these proceedings.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

But if the foot is on the other shoe - okay, get offa my toe.

I am watching this debacle, but knowing what would be happening if wingers were again able to shove thru anything at all they wanted, because they had the votes. And feel that maybe protections for the minority are something we need to suffer.

11:57 AM  

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