Whorled View

August 4, 2007

Congress’s Creative Corruption

Filed under: Corruption,partisan politics,Politics — lullabyman @ 7:21 pm

Yesterday’s congressional mayhem was telling of the corruption rife in D.C. It looks unintentional at the onset, but the way it’s upheld and reinforced tells an uglier story. Although strong handed tactics were rumored when the republicans were in power, what the democrats did yesterday in broad daylight while in session went straight for the jugular of corruption. The corrupt result stands too, although the democrats have “apologized” they refuse to rectify the wrongdoing. At best the travesty will be brought before the house ethics committee where it will quietly die in what Boehner (Former Speaker) calls a “black hole”.

The corrupt result stands too, although they democrats have “apologized” they refuse to rectify the wrongdoing.

The content of the bill itself is nowhere near as important as the voting corruption that surrounded it – even congressmen all admitted that that the bill was relatively benign (which is why the democrats will get away with this) – in fact the bill itself is hardly worth mentioning here. What is worth mentioning is exactly what happened… and in plain English (most descriptions I’ve read about it seemed geared more toward political pundits).

Imagine that you had the power to decide the outcome of a vote while votes where changing left and right, by closing the voting process just before the result would be out of favor … then demand a re-vote if anyone complains. Only a corrupt gavel-wielding administrator would do that, right?

Imagine that you had the power to decide the outcome of a vote while votes where changing left and right, by closing the voting process just before the result would be out of favor (even though in in this case it really wasn’t in the closer’s favor). Only a corrupt gavel-wielding administrator would do that, right? Well, that’s exactly what happened. Then some more corruption followed, and then some more. All within the space of about an hour.

The republican sponsored bill on first vote was tied 214-214 (which is a failed bill – it must have a majority to pass, ie. 215-213). Congressmen are allowed to change their vote afterwards until all deliberations are complete. Two democrats changed then their votes to “no”, probably to insure that it wouldn’t pass. Three republicans then changed their votes to “yes” so it would pass. Note that these three republicans are all Cuban Americans and almost always vote identically – if one or two change their votes often the rest will follow suit.

… but as the last republican vote was called out the Speaker Pro Tempore (the temporary Speaker of the House) banged his gavel at the same time, and claimed that in doing so he invalidated the last republican vote.

All 5 changes were called out by the house recording clerk – so everyone would know it would pass at that point, but as the last republican vote was called out the Speaker Pro Tempore (the temporary Speaker of the House) banged his gavel at the same time, and claimed that in doing so he invalidated the last republican vote.

What’s more is that BEFORE the gavel actually hit the block the electronic scoreboard showed all 5 new changes (the bill passed) with the word “FINAL”. Surely this, combined with the clerks announcement, would establish it’s passage, yes? Not according to democrats, and in fact the gavel-slamming speaker (pro-tempore) later said on television “I called it 214-214”, as if he had the power to discount a vote that was both announced and on the scoreboard prior to the gavel drop. Now if that isn’t willfull corruption of the system I don’t know what is.

… the democrats were still unwilling to concede defeat and tried to vacate the vote (pronounce it null and void). Okay, so if you don’t like the outcome you just invalidate it?

But the ensuing corruption then continued even deeper. After it was obvious that it passed before the gavel had dropped, a bunch of democrat congressmen changed their votes to “no” in order to overturn the decision. Hey! If the “Speaker” said it was over after discounting republican changes already established, why should even later democrat changes be considered?

Now this is where it gets really ugly (as if it wasn’t ugly enough). After the republicans chanted “Shame! Shame!” (among other things) the democrats were still unwilling to concede defeat and tried to vacate the vote (pronounce it null and void). Okay, so if you don’t like the outcome you just invalidate it? Republicans were understandably incensed, but since the democrats are in power the democrats can reconsider any vote they want (call it to another vote), which is exactly what they did. Now it was about politics. Nobody even cared what the bill was originally about. It was about the democrats vs. the republicans. Over half of the republicans protested and left the room while it was re-voted upon and failed (duh! Everyone knows the majority wins a popularity contest and democrats are in the majority). At this point all the democrats that voted for the bill voted against it so their party could win the battle.  Corruption with a capital C.

Now it was about politics. Nobody even cared what the bill was originally about. [the re-vote] was about the democrats vs. the republicans. Everyone knows the majority wins a popularity contest.

Former Republican Speaker Hastert then grabbed the arm of existing Democrat Speaker Hoyer, poking him in the chest saying ““This doesn’t reflect well on the House”. When the argument ended, Hastert released Hoyer’s arm with a shove and pushed past him. Frankly I think Hasert was all too kind in his words, but Hasert is a classy guy and believes in respecting authority even if it is invested poorly.

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3 Comments »

  1. […] Sorry Democrats, Justice was served. Filed under: Blogroll, Corruption, Politics, democracy, media bias, partisan politics — lullabyman @ 6:36 am This is a bit of a belated followup to a post I did over a year ago: Congress’ Creative Corruption. […]

    Pingback by Sorry Democrats, Justice was served. « Whorled View — November 12, 2008 @ 6:36 am

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