Sorry, America: GOP has suspended democracy and the republic; no film at 11:00

You know those guys running around screaming about Obama establishing tyranny?

I think they’re providing cover for the real tyrants.

Rules of the House of Representatives; available at for $104, but worth much less to the GOP.

Rules of the House of Representatives; available at for $104, but worth much less to the GOP.

This video is pretty amazing: Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) in the Speaker’s chair, announcing that the GOP sneaked through a rule change so that no Democrat, no Republican, can bring up any issue of the American people in the House of Representatives, if Emperor Boehner does not approve and do it himself.

Quick, call the Ladies at Mt. Vernon. This is the sort of tyranny that is liable to bring George Washington out of his tomb. Is the bell ringing?

Here’s an exchange from the floor of the House, on September 30, 2013:

Late in the evening on September 30, 2013, the House Rules Committee Republicans changed the Rules of the House so that the ONLY Member allowed to call up the Senate’s clean CR for a vote was Majority Leader Eric Cantor or his designee — all but guaranteeing the government would shut down a few hours later and would stay shut down. Previously, any Member would have had the right to bring the CR up for a vote. Democracy has been suspended in the House of Representatives.

(Oddly enough, via Mia Farrow)

It’s a lot of inside baseball, but not so much that you can’t understand it.

Unlike the Senate, where the rules say anyone can propose just about anything at any time, the House has too many  members to allow for such free-for-alls on legislation.  Under House rules, most bills come to the floor with a special rule about how it will be discussed, whether it can can be amended, how it can be amended, and by whom.  These rules get created by the House Committee on Rules.  There should be a specific rule on every bill.  When the bill is brought up, the rules on how that bill can be discussed are proposed, and usually accepted by the majority without much fuss.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland,  found some difficulties in the rule on the CR, and the way the GOP leadership interprets it to mean that no other Member of the House of Representatives counts for anything.  Unfortunately for U.S., Jason Chaffetz for the GOP confirmed that House is cut out of key parts of process for funding government — probably contrary to Constitution, but who could enforce the Constitution on the GOP?

Weird. Troubling. Not productive.


7 Responses to Sorry, America: GOP has suspended democracy and the republic; no film at 11:00

  1. Ellie says:

    Slaughter should not be underestimated just because she’s a bit older than the average Congresscritter. She’s still very aware of what’s going on. That’s why she was reelected.


  2. Ed Darrell says:

    Who will pay attention?

    Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) was there first.


  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Surely, in the entire history of North Dakota, some time there was a Bismarck Sausage company.

    Nice turn of the phrase there.


  4. JamesK says:

    To quote: Yes, to Ed – if men who have been elected do things that Ed does not agree with, then it is an affront to democracy.

    So the majority should let the minority hijack the government in an attempt to kill a law that was duly passed and duly held constitutional?

    Sorry, child, your party spent the years after the 2010 election obstructing everything and trying to kill the ACA at every turn.

    THe 2012 election resulted in you guys losing seats in the senate and the house and losing the White House.

    Time for you guys to buy a clue. In a democracy when one party loses they learn from that and do better next election. THey don’t blackmail the majority party into enacting all the policies the party that lost would have done had they won.

    If you guys want to shutdown the government, and make no mistake that is purely your party’s fault, then you better not kvetch when your party gets its arse kicked next year.

    because I guarantee you, child, that is what will happen. You teabaggers have killed the GOP just because you couldn’t accept the fact that you lost.


  5. onkelbob says:

    So they still make Bismarck sausage, eh… It is understandable when you consider that this prevents a revolt among the members. The Party Whip’s job is to enforce order, and when something as controversial but important to the leadership as this comes along, well I understand. I reserve judgment whether this technique is out of bounds. Has it been used before, and for which bills? Ayup, they are putting party above country when they behave as such, but such behavior is not unprecedented and is not going away soon.
    It can very easily backfire on them. I am of the opinion that throwing the debt ceiling and fourteenth amendment to the USSC would be a nice way to kill off that tomfoolery,


  6. Ellie says:

    And now we know what Markwayne Mullins’ fourth branch of government is — Eric Cantor.


  7. Black Flag® says:

    Yes, to Ed – if men who have been elected do things that Ed does not agree with, then it is an affront to democracy.

    If other men who are elected do what Ed agrees with, it is profoundly democratic.

    Ed’s ego-centric world view at work.
    No grounding principles, just “what Ed wants”.


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