Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What happens when your representative has "leaders" ...

In the first week of November, 1999, (there are more recent examples, I just found this one in my database of party slime) ... Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert named 12 Republicans to a House-Senate conference committee for a health care industry bill. Of the 12 appointees, 10 had voted against the House bill, which was passed against the orders of Hastert and the Republican leadership. One of the remaining two didn't vote on the measure at all.

So of the members sent to conference to supposedly "defend" the House bill (a stronger version than the Senate one), only one Hastert appointee voted for the bill and that did not include either of the bill's authors.

You see, 68 Republicans (only about 30% of the majority party's members) joined with almost all Democrats to pass the House bill. Hastert denies punishment was a part of his actions. But note that soon thereafter, his henchman, Tom DeLay, announced a new leadership policy: If a majority of the majority was not in favor of a bill, it would no longer make it to the floor for a vote.

Some people call this representative democracy. I call it oligarchy.

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