Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Procedural Politics Gamesmanship

Someone needs to break down the differences between Hugo Chavez and Nancy Pelosi for me, because I see only similarities in their desire to disregard or discard any rules standing in their way of implementing their socialist visions.

Republicans Claim Victory in Rules Fight: Republicans claimed victory Wednesday in a flash-pan fight with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) over 185-year-old House rules that allow the minority party to block legislation.

Reports Thursday afternoon suggested that Pelosi would alter the "motion to commit," which allow the minority party to send legislation back to committee before the full House is allowed to vote on it. In a Congress where Pelosi has repeatedly blocked Republican attempts to amend bills headed for floor votes, the "motion to recommit" is often the only opportunity for Republicans to block or change bills.

Reports suggested Pelosi was frustrated with Republican success using the motion to recommit, and wanted to change the rule, established in 1822. But Chief Deputy Republican Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia wrote on his blog Thursday that "House Democrats just blinked" after Republican stalling efforts brought floor progress to a halt.

"House Democrats wanted to change the rules to make it easier to raise taxes," Cantor wrote. "They wanted to change rules on minority floor rights that have been in place since 1822. They failed."

It is so much easier to impose radical change when there are no minority rights. A power grab, ill conceived and poorly timed, manages to be countered by a display of Republican unity on principle – self serving as this one is – amazing. -- H/T The Right Side of Wisconsin