Brushing Off the Button

It’s 12 days now, or thereabouts, that the Democrats have controlled Congress. Having fumigated the old stink of corruption from the GOP side, it’s time to start the sniffers up for early signs of Democratic putrescence. So far, we have a minor ding for Harry Reid – worth John Cole dusting off the Democratic Stupidity button. It’s fair to note from the comments that Reid’s maneuver was within the rules, and was meant to give a leg up to *his version* of an anti-earmark bill (arguably one more lenient with abusers like himself):

Here’s what actually happened.

Sen. DeMint offered the Republican amendment. There was debate, the Democrats moved to table the amendment, that motion was defeated. This is all standard. Since the amendment wasn’t tabled, that means it comes up for a full roll call vote.

Now, as a matter of Senate tradition and courtesy, such a roll call vote is never taken. Instead, once a motion to table is defeated, the losing side typically agrees via unanimous consent to approve the amendment by voice vote. However, in this case one of the Democrats objected to the unanimous consent request, hoping to be able to talk people around to the other side before the roll call vote on Friday.

Like I said, this is a breach of the usual courtesies relating to unanimous consent, and it’s good that Reid decided to apologize and work out a deal. (The truth is that the competing earmark provisions both had good points and bad points.) But this is light-years away from being like anything Tom DeLay did, or anything Reid could get censured for. It’s 100% within the rules.

Reid backed down on this – making his ding into a minor one.

Next up – Nancy Pelosi… although the Red-Staters are probably a little mixed up about her motives – Del Monte in her district probably had more to do with it than her husband’s tiny share in a parent company of a parent company of StarKist – she gets a major ding for trying to get in the way of extending labor laws to American Samoa. Ummm, this is the same thing that Abramoff’s Republican thugs were bribed to do. It is unconscionable that Americans will accomodate what are essentially sweatshop practices in our own territories. That Pelosi will sign on to the extension of minimum wage protections to the Marianas but hold out on Samoa is disgraceful.

That she has thought better of it is the one redeeming feature to this story.

For scoring purposes:
Harry Reid – 10 demerits
Nancy Pelosi – 100 demerits

I’ll try to keep this a running total and add characters when necessary. I won’t count the GOP demerits, as they are currently countable only by very sophisticated computer equipment available only in the labs of well funded research organizations. Here’s hoping that the Democrats will be duly shamed by their own party when they try these tricks and will therefore not follow in the GOP footsteps.

No comments yet to Brushing Off the Button

  • RW

    I appreciate your candor & willingness to keep tabs, but I’m afraid that you’re spitting into a strong wind. It’s the nature of the beast for politicians to become hypocrites when they get into power, both sides.

    Besides, we now know that the $17 million in tuna stock that Pelosi’s husband (meaning, her as well) owns is a heckuva lot more by way of tainted legislation than anything that Newt Gingrich had designed by way of writing a book for Rupert Murdoch’s publishing company.

    Remember that HUGE story, back in the 90s? My, that tuna thing sure went a way quick by way of comparison, didn’t it?

  • It’s also a tiny stream of spittle to go into that strong wind. But, through the last 6 years, I wished to God in Heaven that this is what the conservatives would do when their guys got out of line… So, I don’t want to drop the ball when our guys do.

    That said, I don’t think hubby’s stock had much to do with it. It’s a tiny share of the company, and it isn’t directly invested in Starkist – it’s a parent company twice removed. Del Monte’s lobbyists in Pelosi’s district probably had a lot more to do with this than what amounts to chump change to hubby, very indirectly tied to the operations in question.

  • What is the ratio for converting these demerits to a Stephen Colbert “Wag of the Finger”*?


  • RW

    But, through the last 6 years, I wished to God in Heaven that this is what the conservatives would do when their guys got out of line… So, I don’t want to drop the ball when our guys do.

    Well, I’d say that a lot did (the Harriet Miers incident wasn’t any actual wrongdoing, but those on the right did not care if it hurt the stature of the admin when they rose up in anger……for the most part, those on the right lambasted those who did wrong – Foley) albeit not to the level that many on the left wished. I’ll never forget way back in ’02 (IIRC) when I went off on Haley Barbour for having a bar-b-que with a group that had racist ties. Drum linked to me & his comments section was filled with folks who were decrying ME because I was still aligned with the GOP. No, the only ‘real’ remedy would’ve been for me to forego the party and announce my allegiance with the Democratic party.

    The next day, when the news was released that Barbour’s opponent in the gubernatorial election had also staged a fund-raising luncheon with the exact same group, I couldn’t get a single commenter to even chime in……and I even taunted. Still, zip. Politics trumps all.

    Once again, we have the prism through which we all see. I saw George Allen as someone incapable of being a serious candidate for president due to an incompetent campaign, you saw a racist. The left saw Karl Rove as someone who should’ve been, as Joe Wilson said, “frogmarched” out in handcuffs….the right (and the evidence) saw no agent being outed and virtually every person on the right that I’ve seen has said that if Scooter Libby actually lied, then he should pay the price.

    That said, I don’t think hubby’s stock had much to do with it.

    Oh, I agree. They’re already filthy rich like most pols (great representatives for the average citizen, eh?). Then again, I didn’t thik Newt Gingrich’s book deal with Rupert Murdoch had ANYTHING – not much, anything – to do with the tax cut bill that the GOP had been proposing/promising for a long tim, but which finally came to fruition when they won the house for the first time in 40 years.

    I was among the many who in that case was shouted down & Newt was driven by the wave of negative coverage into forfeiting his advance, because the appearance was all it took to pounce.

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