Michael: A Little Life (on the) Left?Watch as the GOP holds open a 5 minute vote for nearly an hour and Democrats chant "Shame!" on the House floor. (Quicktime) It seems the GOP needed to twist a few arms to float an oil industry subsidy through the House on the bloated bodies of Katrina's dead.
Once again, a bill to line the pockets of a chosen industry was wholly rewritten in the GOP House caucus, from which Democrats are excluded, and circulated just hours before a vote was scheduled, giving Democrats, and even some Republicans, no time to even read the bill. Our House is being run like a seedy third-world junta.
After the Democrats rose repeatedly to voice their outrage with points of parlementary inquiry, the acting Speaker closed the vote after three swing Republicans were finally browbeaten or bribed into changing their votes. One wonders how many ethics admonitions this shameful chapter in Congressional history will generate. As Speaker gaveled the vote closed, the Democrats chanted angrily, "Shame! Shame! Shame!" For a moment, it felt like we live in a nation with a functional democracy.
But then I recalled that the ones abusing our democratic process won once again, and the Democrats' justified rage was futile. I hope voters will begin to feel that same anger at the dictatorial tactics the GOP are using to service K Street's boundless lust for pork and preference, and vote accordingly in 2006.