The Phantom Session, Part II
Having thoroughly enjoyed their revival-style meeting on the House floor Friday, a group of Republican lawmakers plan to return to the chamber today to deliver more speeches on why they believe Congress should come back from its August break to vote on allowing more domestic and offshore oil drilling.
The first thing to note here is that Capitol Briefing is going to keep calling this spectacle "The Phantom Session," in hopes that the phrase catches on so he can trademark it, print T-shirts, cash in and retire to an island where no one cares about gasoline prices because we can walk from our villas to the beach.
The second key point is that, once again, today's proceedings will not be broadcast because the House cameras are off when the chamber is not in session. So readers looking for updates will have to rely on reporters' descriptions or on members who use Twitter, Qik and other electronic applications which sound vaguely like breakfast cereals.
If the voting public, other than the tourists who happen to be visiting the Capitol, can't see or hear these sessions, what's the point? On Friday, House Republicans succeeded in drawing attention to their efforts because although their message -- DRILL! DRILL! -- was not new, their presentation of it was decidedly novel. And the GOP managed to catch the Capitol press corps just as it was finishing up work on a fleet of "the politics of energy" stories, with reporters still in the building to witness what Republicans were doing.
As of Sunday evening, more than a dozen GOP lawmakers were confirmed to speak today. Their stated goal -- to force Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to bring the House back into session to vote on drilling -- will never be achieved, so the coverage-starved minority's primary hope is to earn some valuable free media.
But now that everyone has written their stories and blogged their posts on the unusual non-session, what will we all write today? How many reporters will even be in the Capitol press galleries, which are normally deserted in August? And if today's session gets a lot less attention than Friday's, and tomorrow's gets even less than today's, will Republicans bother to keep it up?
Posted by: Wiel | August 4, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Fred | August 4, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Eric Reagan | August 4, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: RiverGuy | August 4, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: westcan46 | August 4, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Patrick Huss | August 4, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bywaterorfire | August 4, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: American Worker | August 8, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: pga301 | August 9, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.