Friday, January 19, 2007

Fulfilling Promises by Breaking Promises

So, after only about 14 days and 340 hours, House Democrats have done 42 hours of work. They delivered on their promise to pass 6 major legislative items, and to do it in less than 100 hours - at least by their count. the only question is why it took so long. After all, if you stifle debate, eliminate committee consideration, and refuse to allow any debate on amendments and alternatives, it doesn't have to take long.

In delivering on their campaign agenda, the Democrats allowed 41 House votes. Take a look at them here. How many amendments were offered? None. That's how you accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. To get a sense as to what House debate normally looks like, check out a sample of 100 votes from the last - Republican - Congress. You'll recall that the press and the Democrats endlessly droned on about how the Republicans were abusing the minority and the democratic process, and were 'ramming bills through' on a partisan basis. They weren't allowing any input from the Democrats. It was a disgrace.

Do you know what you see if you look at the 100 votes from last Congress? Dozens of amendments and Democratic alternatives. It's a simple, graphic way of showing how open a debate is. The Democrats regarded it as repressive and closed. But how did they behave in the first month of their rule? They eliminate it entirely.

And what reason did the Democrats give for not allowing any alternatives to be discussed? They said they had to eliminate debate in order to deliver on their promise to pass all these measures in 100 hours. But we see that by fixing the clock and counting only the hours they wanted to count, they came nowhere near using 'all 100 hours.' They clearly could have allowed at least some debate and stayed within the 100 hours; they just preferred to dictate the outcome.

They really have changed the way Washington works. Just a few months ago, the major media criticized Congress for lies and hypocrisy. Now they get lauded for it.

Read Pejman Yousefzadeh and Patrick Ruffini as well.

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1 comment:

Philo-Junius said...

The Super Bowl only lasts 60 minutes, too--It's in the rule book and everything.