What exactly happened in the House today?

I sometimes browse a few conservative blogs, just to get a sense of what “the other side” is talking about. Today there seems to be a lot of attention on something that happened in the House of Representatives today (or last night). From what I can tell, the assertion is that the majority used some sort of tactic (similar to, but not exactly the same as, something the previous majority had done before, to outrage) to change the votes on a particular issue, completely reversing the result.

One link, two links, three links that exemplify what I’m referring to. All relatively to very conservative, of course, but as I said, that’s where I first heard of this.

I’m afraid, despite the explanations therein, I don’t fully understand just what happened. Is what happened proper, procedurally and ethically? Is the outrage justified? (Outrage validity, I’ve found, varies widely across the board, so I’m not assuming yet that this is nothing.)

Jesus…I have no idea what happened but now I feel like I’ve been covered in slime just from reading some of the delusional responses to those stories (delusional as far as their understanding of the past six years in politics goes, not as their reaction to the current brouhaha…as I said, I have no clue what happened).

It looks like what happened was that the vote was very close, and there was some arm-twisting going on. The democrats thought they had gotten it to the point where they would win and gaveled the vote closed. They were mistaken though, and they actually lost the vote. Once they realized they lost, they made a motion for a do-over. Since the Republicans won, and they were going to lose if the re-vote happened they got pretty pissed.

The Pubbies don’t like their own brand of political sauce?
Fuck em.
If they want peace, they can make the first move by calling off their filibuster crusade in the Senate. Sure, on an honest up or down vote, we’d be out of Iraq within months, but is peace such a terrible price to pay for peace?

Filibusters are a legitimate part of the process used by both parties. I don’t like them when the Republicans use them and I do like them when the Democrats use them – for the most part. But they are nothing new.

I don’t like what happened last night even if the Republicans did it once before. If this way of counting votes is to become a legal procedure, everyone should know the rules and have an equal playing field. It seems terribly off the cuff to me. Anthing like this in Roberts Rules of Order?

It was good to see some enthusiasm for a change though.

(Liberal Democrat)

Squink, one difference here is that the Dems appeared to gavel the vote closed, then re-opened it when the result wasn’t what they wanted, while the Pubbies never actually closed the vote.

I have to agree with the anti side on this. You have to have rules that define, conclusively, when the voting is over. You have to draw a line in the sand that says “Cross this line, and the vote counts.” If that point is when you gavel the vote closed, then the Democrats should have let the vote count.

It’s kind of like the “I still got my finger on it!” rule in checkers, the Pubbies had their finger down, the Dems didn’t.

Nope. The Republicans may have played fast and lose in that one, but didn’t break any established rules. The Democrats actually broke a rule in re-opening the vote after it was closed.

As for the filibuster, both sides use it to their advantage when in the minority. It’s a legitimate parliamentary rule, and if you want to lead in the Senate you have to compromise with the other side. That’s just the way it is.

One man’s waterboarding is another mans torture.
Regarding filibusters:

Is there some rule that limits the number of filibusters allowed?

Of course not. The so called ‘nuclear option’ is hardly talked about anymore, now that the former majority is in the minority. However, if the Republicans keep up their obstructionist ways, it may be worth looking into again

Why bother? If the Dems are simply going to ignore the rules when it suits them, no change is needed.


Well, gee, that’s a shock.

So, the nuclear option was bad when proposed by the Republicans, but it would be good if it were to proposed by the Democrats. Got it.

Frankly, I wouldn’t mind if the filibuster were gotten rid of entirely-- by whichever party happened to be in the majority at the time. It’s an anti-democratic parliamentary rule that perhaps has outlived its usefulness. I say “perhaps” only because a certain caution is due when making a change to a long standing rule such as the filibuster. And one must admit that the Senate itself has an anti-democratic aspect to it, and seems to act as a break on government action-- which is often a good thing.

So, maybe the problem isn’t that the Republicans use the filibuster too often, but that the Democrats didn’t use it often enough.

If only they would keep themselves to the sterling example of propriety and virtue offered by the Pubbies, and such palladins of integrity as Tom DeLay…

Likewise, being anal about the rules is good when it supports the Republicans racist agenda, huh?
Let the minority die by the rules, and slight extensions to the rules. I’m certain a good lawyer, such as Gonzales, could find a decent enough justification for the Democrats actions here.
Republicans ruled with gloves off for 6 years, now they whine because it’s payback time? That seems pretty wimpy.

Careful, Squink. You’re starting to sound like Ann Coulter and the Freepers here when they say that whatever they do or say, it’s OK, and if you criticize them you’re a hypocrite, because your side does the same thing.

I mean, come on! It’s OK if we play dirty pool 'cuz the pubbies did it first? This is legislation, not the sixth grade. If you catch the pubbies doing it, expose them, but if you take that as a right to start breaking the rules too . . . Well, that leads to bad things. For really stupid reasons.

Bad things have already been lead to, and playing nicey nice won’t stop them. Democrats could use a bit more of the freeper/Coulter combativeness.

Gonzales has been exposed. Is he gone? It seems exposure isn’t such a useful tactic against some kinds of wrongdoers.

So your solution to stupidity and ethical wrongs involves . . . more stupidity and ethical wrongs? :dubious:

I’m not saying that dems have to play nicey-nice, but they still have to play by the rules. As bad as things are, and I agree that they are bad, fucking with protocol when making policy will only make them worse.

You know, back when Tom DeLay was house majority leader, this sort of kerfuffle wouldn’t have raised even a ripple beyond the walls of the house. It’s stupid and self-defeating to insist of applying the Marquess of Queensberry rules to the actions of just one party. Sure, you’ll get to wear the white hat, but when you lose, you’ll still be a loser. Why are so many Democrats willing to deny the current reality of the political process? Do they enjoy losing? Sometimes it seems so.

Those Marquess of Queensberry rules, as you put them, have served this country for the past 200+ years. I’ll take them over the sanctioned anarchy you’re proposing any day of the week.

Part of the burden of being in the right, Squink is remaining calm and dignified in the face of utter stupidity and corruption. I don’t see any dems denying the reality. We know what’s going on, OK? Besides, we haven’t lost. We gained a majority of seats in the house and senate, remember? Political shit takes time. The republicans lost the house and senate because of this kind of happy horseshit. Maybe we shouldn’t be imitating them.

Also, the last time I checked, Tom DeLay was disgraced and out on his ass. And our side did it by following the rules. The system works, Squink. It just doesn’t work as quickly as you’d like it to, and you don’t win every match, but hey, that’s politics.

Nah, Ronnie Earl bent the rules to get DeLay: Texas court refuses to reinstate DeLay charge