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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

 
Impulse Control

Quick, somebody ask head security mom, Cokie Roberts, if she thinks it's ok for Republicans to act like juvenile delinquents on the taxpayers dime? The children are rewriting Democratic amendments to make them sound as if Democrats are trying to protect sexual predators. And no, this isn't happening in some obscure local backwater. It's in the US House of Representatives:

DEMS: a Nadler amendment allows an adult who could be prosecuted under the bill to go to a Federal district court and seek a waiver to the state’s parental notice laws if this remedy is not available in the state court. (no 11-16)

GOP REWRITE:. Mr. Nadler offered an amendment that would have created an additional layer of Federal court review that could be used by sexual predators to escape conviction under the bill. By a roll call vote of 11 yeas to 16 nays, the amendment was defeated.

DEMS: a Nadler amendment to exempt a grandparent or adult sibling from the criminal and civil provisions in the bill (no 12-19)

GOP REWRITE: . Mr. Nadler offered an amendment that would have exempted sexual predators from prosecution under the bill if they were grandparents or adult siblings of a minor. By a roll call vote of 12 yeas to 19 nays, the amendment was defeated.


Thank goodness the chairman of the committee stepped in and took control of his unruly charges.

Oh wait; he didn't:

"And instead of decrying what I certainly expected would be revealed as a mistake by an overzealous staffer...The Chairman stood by those altered
amendment descriptions.

"He made very clear to the Rules Committee that the alterations to these members' amendments were deliberate.

"When pressed as to why his committee staff took such an unprecedented action, the Chairman immediately offered up his own anger over the manner in which Democrats had chosen to debate and oppose this unfortunate piece of legislation we have before us today.

"In fact...He said, and I quote..."You don't like what we wrote about your amendments, and we don't like what you said about our bill."



Oh boo fucking hoo. The Republicans are in total control. The Democrats can sit around all day long and call them a bunch of fascist nazi bastards and it doesn't mean anything. And they still can't stop whining.

The problem is that these people don't really want to achieve anything. They are both in love with being victims and insist on being right. And they want everyone to acknowledge they are both right and victimized. What a bunch of big babies. It's not enough to win, the other side must completely capitulate --- and apologize.

As Tim Noah observed in this Slate article:

The fact is that the GOP doesn't have an agenda. It has impulses: to cut taxes, to increase Pentagon spending, and to mollify the Christian right wherever possible. Does it act on these impulses? Of course. But what mostly gives the party appeal to the electorate is its ability to scream and yell while seldom being granted the opportunity to ban abortion or eliminate the Securities and Exchange Commission or declare war on France. It stirs things up satisfyingly, while never requiring anybody to pay the price.



The Republican party has a bunch of action items and a bunch of constituencies who want specific things, but this erstwhile great party of sober, prudent conservatism has shown that when it comes to running the country is more like an wild gang of teen-agers, terrorizing the neighborhood and drawing graffitti on the capital building. They operate on impulses that they cannot control.

There is a strain of macho, pouty, puerile, "Lost Cause" psychology in American politics going back a long way. These same people wielding almost total power and attempting to run our government as an expression of their sense of righteous victimhood is a uniquely undignified and degrading spectacle.



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