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Democrats' Parliamentary Privilege

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) today offered a privileged resolution condemning the "culture of corruption surrounding the prescription drug bill," the latest in a series of parliamentary gambits by congressional Democrats intended to highlight alleged abuses of power by the Republican majority.

The resolution involves a November 2003 vote on a Republican-backed bill adding a prescription drug benefit to Medicare. Although House votes are typically scheduled for 15 minutes, the prescription drug vote was held open for several hours until Republicans secured a majority. She offered a similar privileged measure in Dec. 2003.

In her resolution, Pelosi said House Republicans have held votes "for the sole purpose of overturning the will of the majority" eight times since 2003 and three times during the current Congress. Pelosi's resolution was quickly defeated on a party-line vote.

Carl Forti, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, decried Pelosi's move as a "political stunt," pointing out that she missed yesterday's House vote that curtailed the effects of the alternative minimum tax. "Actions speak louder than words," said Forti. 

Pelosi's office explained the missed vote, saying the minority leader had to fly to California to attend several meetings last evening and took the red-eye back to Washington today.

Pelosi has offered privileged resolutions on at least two other topics this year. Last month she proposed a measure condemning the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq; it was defeated on a party line 220-191 vote.

In March and then again in April, Pelosi offered resolutions calling for the creation of a bipartisan committee of members to study the ethics process in Congress. Both were defeated.

On the Senate side, Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) drew national media attention on Nov. 1 with his successful call for a closed session of the chamber to discuss problems with intelligence-sharing in the run-up to the Iraq war. A few days later, New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) proposed the deficit reduction bill be renamed the "Moral Disaster of Monumental Proportion Reconciliation Act."

Are these small acts of disobedience meaningful in the overall political debate? Do they leave a lasting imprint in the minds of voters? And will they make a difference come 2006?  Post your thoughts below in the comments section.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 8, 2005; 4:35 PM ET
Categories:  House , Senate  
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Next: Democrats' 2008 Primary Calendar Coming Into Focus

Comments

Merna is actually a deranged former RNC staffer. Because pharmaceutical companies double drug prices every 5-6 years to give their CEOs multi-million dollar salaries, Merna can't afford her medication anymore. And with rising poverty and falling wages, not to mention education, health, and welfare cuts, she can't afford the services she needs to stay afloat or books to actually learn facts. She can only regurgitate the right-wing's echo chamber of propaganda she gets on TV from Pat Robertson and Bill O'Reilly, with occasional doses of Ann Coulter thrown in.

Give her a break, she knows not what she does.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | December 9, 2005 7:18 PM | Report abuse

you're crazy. see a therapist. anyone reading this can see how rabid you are

Posted by: rich | December 9, 2005 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Democratic supporters should be awarded the Nobel Stupidity prize for staying joined at the hip to Democratic leaders that continually diss them.
When Scott McCllean compaired Murtha to Michael Moore, all the Dem's Pelosi included came out screaming indignantly what a shameful and degrading comparison for Scott to have made!

What?? The Michael Moore that had the cat-bird seat next to Jimmy Carter at the Democratic convention is now no longer a favorite of the Democratic party?
Michael Moore, who raised so much money for the Dem's, whose propaganda movie was so praised by The Democratic leadership, is now a figure scorned by the Democratic leaders?
Looks like Michael Moores fifteen minutes with the Dem's is over, their true colors came flying through.

Moore and all his groupies will take this kick in the groan, and keep on keepin' on for those two-faced Dem's that love to use them. Why?
They've been staring at the bug-light too long?

Posted by: Merna | December 9, 2005 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Rich,
The petty spelling police come out to play when they can't refute the facts.

BTW, Zealot is spelled Democrat.

Zealots carry torches and run bug-eyed into the night screaming about the 2000 election in 2005.
Zealots refuse to face facts. Zealots claim to support the troops while counting body-bags like votes and cheering for nancy Pelosi's bug-out brigade.
Zealots slash tires to stop Republicans from voting, smash republican campaign windows and attack their workers.
Zealots scream free speech while shouting others down.
Zealots in the left-wing press and Democratic operatives selectively-edit facts in articles and reports, and doctor photos in order to paint the blackest picture possible of our military and their mission in Iraq.
Treasonous Zealots selectively leak and publish classified material in a coordinated effort to undermine the military and their mission by alledging torture and misconduct in order to undermine public support for the war.

Posted by: Merna | December 9, 2005 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Finally a Dem leader (Polosi)has the guts to say what needed to have been said years ago. When the Dems stop worrying about their political backsides and start concerning themselves about the sorry state of America, we will see a real turn around in this nation. Contrary to what many Rep are saying, we do not need to be in Iraq, we not not need to continue to issue tax rebates to the riches americans, we not need to rebuild the middle east when New Orleans lays in waste. Kudos to Ms. Polosi and I hope that she and all the right (not conservative)but right thinking legs will stand and be counted.

Posted by: Kato Sherman | December 9, 2005 3:47 PM | Report abuse

How many Democrats do you think would have the moral fortitude to demand pelosi to step down over her FEC conviction? My guess is "0"
How many times have you heard a Democrat scream that the "Buck stops at the top!" then whine their way out of corruption by blaming it on one or more aids?
When J Rockefeller was caught red-handed with a six page document outlining the democratic party strategy to use, twist and manipulate classified material available to those democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, to undermine the president and the war effort, was there and investigation? No
Did rockefeller take responsibility? No, he blamed it on an aid, a zelous staffer. He was more than willing to pass the buck and hang a staffer out to dry rather than admit the dem's strategy to defeat this nations war effort for political gain.

When two of Chuck Schumers aids were caught red-handed breaking federal law by stealing Republican Lt. Gov. Miachel Steeles credit report, did Schumer take responsibility? No he paassed the buck and full responsibility to the staffers, no investigation.

When Joe Wilson was caught red-handed lying in his N.Y. times op-ed piece, was there outcry from the Democratic party about his lies? Was there an investigation into if he, a Kerry staffer, political partisan, very vocal Bush hater, along with others were trying to manipulate the outcome of a federal election? Did anti-Bush forces in the CIA put Wilson up to his politically motivated lies?
Was the plame-game just an artful distraction by Democratic operatives to deflect attention from Wilson in order to avoid an investigation into his bungled attempt at sabotage?

One thing I have to give the Democrats, they have been very successful in manipulating what does aand does not get investigated.

Edward Kennedy's manipulation of the Justice Committee, his collusion with an lobbiest-attorney to stall judical appointments until certain cases had been ajudicated. The missing hard-drive, given by Kennedy to the sargent-of-arms, himself a democrat?

The only corruption the Democrats are interested in investigating is that which they can alledge against Republicans in order to distract from their own very deep, very treacherous corruption.

Posted by: Merna | December 9, 2005 3:41 PM | Report abuse

How many Democrats do you think would have the moral fortitude to demand pelosi to step down over her FEC conviction? My guess is "0"
How many times have you heard a Democrat scream that the "Buck stops at the top!" then whine their way out of corruption by blaming it on one or more aids?
When J Rockefeller was caught red-handed with a six page document outlining the democratic party strategy to use, twist and manipulate classified material available to those democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, to undermine the president and the war effort, was there and investigation? No
Did rockefeller take responsibility? No, he blamed it on an aid, a zelous staffer. He was more than willing to pass the buck and hang a staffer out to dry rather than admit the dem's strategy to defeat this nations war effort for political gain.

When two of Chuck Schumers aids were caught red-handed breaking federal law by stealing Republican Lt. Gov. Miachel Steeles credit report, did Schumer take responsibility? No he paassed the buck and full responsibility to the staffers, no investigation.

When Joe Wilson was caught red-handed lying in his N.Y. times op-ed piece, was there outcry from the Democratic party about his lies? Was there an investigation into if he, a Kerry staffer, political partisan, very vocal Bush hater, along with others were trying to manipulate the outcome of a federal election? Did anti-Bush forces in the CIA put Wilson up to his politically motivated lies?
Was the plame-game just an artful distraction by Democratic operatives to deflect attention from Wilson in order to avoid an investigation into his bungled attempt at sabotage?

One thing I have to give the Democrats, they have been very successful in manipulating what does aand does not get investigated.

Edward Kennedy's manipulation of the Justice Committee, his collusion with an lobbiest-attorney to stall judical appointments until certain cases had been ajudicated. The missing hard-drive, given by Kennedy to the sargent-of-arms, himself a democrat?

The only corruption the Democrats are interested in investigating is that which they can alledge against Republicans in order to distract from their own very deep, very treacherous corruption.

Posted by: Merna | December 9, 2005 3:32 PM | Report abuse

coal is spelled c-o-a-l, not cole... existence is spelled e-x-i-s-t-e-n-c-e, not existance... confiscated is spelled c-o-n-f-i-s-c-a-t-e-d not conviscaated.
Maybe if your put a little more thought into your arguments (and your spelling), you wouldn't come off as such a crazy zealot.

Posted by: rich | December 9, 2005 3:30 PM | Report abuse

How many Democrats do you think would have the moral fortitude to demand pelosi to step down over her FEC conviction? My guess is "0"
How many times have you heard a Democrat scream that the "Buck stops at the top!" then whine their way out of corruption by blaming it on one or more aids?

When J Rockefeller was caught red-handed with a six page document outlining the democratic party strategy to use, twist and manipulate classified material available to those democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, to undermine the president and the war effort, was there and investigation? No
Did rockefeller take responsibility? No, he blamed it on an aid, a zelous staffer. He was more than willing to pass the buck and hang a staffer out to dry rather than admit the dem's strategy to defeat this nations war effort for political gain.

When two of Chuck Schumers aids were caught red-handed breaking federal law by stealing Republican Lt. Gov. Miachel Steeles credit report, did Schumer take responsibility? No he paassed the buck and full responsibility to the staffers, no investigation.

When Joe Wilson was caught red-handed lying in his N.Y. times op-ed piece, was there outcry from the Democratic party about his lies? Was there an investigation into if he, a Kerry staffer, political partisan, very vocal Bush hater, along with others were trying to manipulate the outcome of a federal election? Did anti-Bush forces in the CIA put Wilson up to his politically motivated lies?
Was the plame-game just aan artful distraction by Democratic operatives to deflect attention from Wilson in order to avoid an investigation into his bungled attempt at sabotage?

One thing I have to give the Democrats, they have been very successful in manipulating what does aand does not get investigated.

Edward Kennedy's manipulation of the Justice Committee, his collusion with an lobbiest-attorney to stall judical appointments until certain cases had been ajudicated. The missing hard-drive, given by Kennedy to the sargent-of-arms, himself a democrat?

The only corruption the Democrats are interested in investigating is that which they can alledge against Republicans in order to distract from their own very deep, very treacherous corruption.

Posted by: Merna | December 9, 2005 3:23 PM | Report abuse

If the Democrats were for honesty on office, would they not adopt ethical rules such as those adopted by the GOP?
If the Democrats really were appalled by the mear thought of an elected official having been alledged of wrong-doing, would they have not required Nancy Pelosi to step down from her leadership position over her FEC conviction for campagin finance fraud and money laundering?

I think Pelosi ought to be made to put up or shut up over her hypocritical "culture of corruption" charges.
If she really hates corruption, let her do the right thing and step down.

Posted by: Merna | December 9, 2005 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: http://therelaiblesource.blogspot.com/ | December 9, 2005 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Crazy Politico,

I agree, the Dem's stunts just show how gullible they really think the public is.
Did your see the Dems parlor stunts yesterday? The moron with the chunk of cole slayed me!
I kept waiting to see if he asked Santa if he had paid the gift tax on that cole!
Maybe there was nothing left in Santa's sack because the Dem's had taxed and conviscaated it out of existance.
We elect and pay these morons to play with Christmas stockings?

I also get a kick out of every plan the Dem's claim will work or suggest, is something this administration is already doing. Like, they think we aren't paying attention?
Watching these Dem's spout off is funnier than any sitcom or reality show on tv, except for the fact that we are paying millions for their time wasting, nation endangering antics.

Posted by: Merna | December 9, 2005 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Mentioning gambit without mentioning the game of chess rather misses the point. The gambit is working, we're writing about it right now. It may cost a pawn or two to be seen by true believers as a trick or dirty trick etc. but, the game is in play. Minority or majority parties can turn the debate when they open with a gambit that resonates. As has been done.

Posted by: Dryrot | December 9, 2005 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Brian O'Connell Sr.

Correction: the Democrats would give YOUR last dime.

The Dem's fight every move to tighten government spending. They prefer to dig deeper into your pocket. Their answer to everything is raise taxes.

The Dem's real reason for fighting Social Security reform is that they were in power for so long they feel assured they will retun to power and they want that slush fund left intact.

Allowing citizens to have partial-private accounts would allow citizens to see how much more secure and how much faster their retirement funds would grow.

Right now the so-called trust fund in nothing more than a worthless IOU.

When greedy politicians like Murtha (D),Daniel Inouye (D) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) pack the DOD budget with 1.5 Billion for Cancer-research, (and then have the gall to complain the Army is broken, the troops are ill-equipped, blaming in on Rumsfield and the Bush administration) the money for armor and bullet proof vest for our military has to be found elsewhere.
When Budgets for schools are packed with pork, the money to support the schools has to come from somewhere.
The politicians slush fund of choice? the social security trust fund.

If the money collected by social security were in seperate, individual trust accounts, like the one congress has for itself, they could not take your retirement fund to finance their pork fix.

Democrats don't care if you have money to retire on. They care about keeping the funds available for running the government, so that they can loot the education, transportation and Department of Defense budgets of funds in order to impress their voters or pet lobbists.

While Nasty Nancy Pelosi self-rightiously claims the Dem's as the party of fiscal restraint, check out how many millions she brags to her constituents she has brought back from Washington to the benifit of her pet projects, and whose budget these funds were looted from.

The Democrats play a political shell-game with your retirment, now you see it, now you don't.

Posted by: Merna | December 9, 2005 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I believe Americans need to take a carefull look at what is going on today in our Country and change there voting habits.It is a shame that we american allow "Fair of an attack/Gay marriage/abotions" as issues to vote a government in office...now we talking about the have and the have not? WMD? and all the things that was in play for the past election.I sad wonder what we will vote for in 2006...while we still don't have.kids don't have proper schools. MY grandparents have to pay alot of moneies to stay alive...

Look at the world out there and see what's on the political agenda...

Then we say we are the leaders of a free world.

Posted by: Cbrent | December 9, 2005 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi is transparent in her hypocritical self-rightious indignation.
She herself was convicted by the FEC for campagin finance fraud and money laundering.
She barely escaped criminal charges. The difference between the Dem's and the GOP is that the Dem's have set themselves no moral or ethical boundries, the GOP has. Like the terrorists the Dem's find ways to exploit the GOP's doctrine of ethics to suit their own dishonest agenda.
They (the Dem's) exploited the GOP rule in order to slander Tom DelLay out of his House leadership position.
She has the guts and morals of the best snake-oil-salesman ever to sell his trumped up bilge-water to a gullible public.
You people sit around and talk as if the garbage these Dem's are peddling were fact. Do yourself a favor and get off the DNC website and off Moveon's website and do real research into the facts.
You will find four times as many Democrats have been arrested, sent to prison and indicted than Republicans.
The Dem's have adapted the strategy that the communist used against us in the cold war: accuse the us of doing exactly what they were doing. Everytime the communist accused us of doing something we knew they themselves had already done it. Everytime a Dem accuses a Republican, look in that Dems closet for the answer.

The are playing you like a big base fiddle.

The repeat their lies over and over and over counting on those they see as weak-minded and gullible to swallow every word.

They set you up by arrousing your passions of hate, duping you into thinking the 2000 election was stolen from them.
They stir your hate like it was a witches brew, counting on anger to cloud the issues and pave their way to power.
Like a hateful sibling they have told you there is a monster under the bed and in the closet, and they delight knowing that you will sit cowering in your bed, rather than checking to see if they lied.

Never have so many been fooled by so few with so little effort.

They think you are stupid and everytime you swallow their lies without question, without researching the truth, you prove them right.

Posted by: Merna | December 9, 2005 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I find Nancy Pelosi's repeated use of the phrase "culture of corruption" offensive. Couldn't she come up with something original rather than corrupting the late Pope's "culture of life" philosophy? She offends me every time she uses the phrase and reminds me once again how empty of original ideas and thought she and her party are at the present time.

Posted by: MGTillotson | December 9, 2005 11:56 AM | Report abuse

The difference is a matter of philosophy and all these little maneuvers relate directly to philosophical dispositions. The Republicans are married to the Industrial-Military complex,Big Oil, Insurance companies and Pharmecutical interests. The Democrats are married to Trial Lawyers, minorities, Civil Rights,Hollywood and Social Security. The Republicans abuse power the Democrats manipulate power. Given two rich gentlemen walking down the street, one Republican one Democrat, facing a poor person with a tin cup; the Democrat would give his last dime,the Republican would tell the person "get the hell out of here " I'm working this side of the street".

Posted by: Brian O'Connell Sr. | December 9, 2005 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Both parties do this kind of stuff, and voters expect it. Why would it change any minds?

Posted by: Yo Mama | December 9, 2005 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I beleive that te Dems shoudldn't worry about what the Repus are doing in regards to extending the votes. The Repubs obviously have good measure to do whatever they want. I gotta a rememdy for the prescription drug dilemma, if you don't weant to pay the reasonable and fair prices of good Ole' US of A drug companies, then don't get sick! Repubs don't get sick....obviously!

REpublicans=YOUR BOSS!!!

Posted by: Uncle Tom | December 9, 2005 9:24 AM | Report abuse

These are standard parlimentary stunts to draw attention to the Democrats, and try and build issues for 2006.

I personally think that if Reid and Pelosi would spend as much time coming out with actual plans and proposals as they do "stupid parlimentary tricks" they might have a chance at getting the House back next year.

Posted by: Crazy Politico | December 9, 2005 5:13 AM | Report abuse

I would like to respond to Mr. Gold's comments. I appreciate how sharp his observations were, but it seems that he was much too defensive. I think that Cillizza asks some really important questions: What seems to be the Democratic tactics in combating Republican domination? Is there any cohesive strategy within the Democratic Party?

Here is where, perhaps, Cillizza is critical of Dems. Obviously there is no cohesive strategy within the Democratic Party, and their lack of solidarity has led to repeated defeats. The question though is whether we really want to resort to the same tactics that Republicans have successfully used. Do we want to encourage brainless uniformity within parties? Do we want Democrats to resort to the same sort of rhetoric wars that Republicans (most notably the executive branch) have used to their advantage (Hello, "freedom fries", "axis of evil" "war on terrorism" and the "Patriot" Act)? I honestly cannot answer those questions. I want to say yes, but ideally I would say no.

Back to Cillizza's main question: Morals aside, will these gestures by Pelosi and Reid, for example, affect the 2006 elections? Are they getting through to voters? Well first I would say that Reid's move to close the Senate Session was much more powerful than any of Pelosi's verbal attacks. He really showed some backbone there, but I don't think that it's the politicians that get through to voters and matter in the end; it's the media. If the media doesn't nuance debates and cover issues such as Sami Al-Arian's courtroom victory, how can any Democrat convince anyone of anything?

See Howard Kurtz's "Dean's Delayed Day": http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2005/12/08/BL2005120800487.html?nav=rss_politics

Posted by: Ashley Wooten | December 9, 2005 1:29 AM | Report abuse

What, the Congressional Democrats think having an emotional crisis every time the Republicans give America an unlubricated colonoscopy constitutes opposition? Aren't these the same fools who stampeded across the Capitol supporting Bush so they'd look "tough"? How many people are dead now as a result of their complete and total lack of fortitude?


The Democrats gave Republicans the green light to loot the treasury and pillage our kids' futures. They didn't show a semblance of a spine while they rolled over and showed the GOP their bellies.

Shame on them for being cowards then and phonies now.

Posted by: John Stamey | December 9, 2005 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Someone, (Sen. Lautenburg and Sen. Reid) must at least bring attention to the abuse of power going on in the Senate. Being a little disobiedent at least lets the general public know that the leadership is running roughshod over the House and Senate, with very little consideration of rules(holding 15 min. votes open for hours) or what is right.

Posted by: Kevin McCarn | December 8, 2005 10:16 PM | Report abuse

These tactics are similar to what Republicans did in the minority in the early 1990s, led by a brilliant firebrand tactitian named Newt Gingrich. That worked pretty well. Whether the Dems are executing as effectively remains to be seen, but this *type* of strategy is already proven.

Posted by: Joe | December 8, 2005 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Jack Valenti offered Sen. Tausin over a million in salary plus perks and he turned hime down for a very prestigious job. Sen. Tausin was chairman of the committee that drafted and passed this disastrous drug bill for Medicare with the added point that Congress could not change it. He later took the job as head lobyist for Pharmacia at two million plus perks. If that is not a crime what is? Congress should and must work to change the Medicare Drug bill.

Posted by: MacScott | December 8, 2005 6:12 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans know there only chance to get these tax cuts thru the process is now, they do not want to wait until election 2006 and try to explain why they stuck it to 78% of the American taxpayers, to benefit the people making 1 million or more per year. They staved off the AMT to save the people making 100-200,000 a year. What chance does an american making 40,000 a year have. That doesn't even qualify for middle calss in most areas any longer. It's a shame that there are places in this country where a family of five qualifies for free lunches at school and food stamps. Class warfare, it hasn't even started yet, wait until the middle class disappears altogether and you have the have's and have nots, with all the social programs cutback to bare bones, then you will see class warfare, and even middle of the road republicans who have been victimized by this tax plan of this administration will seek representation from other than the "established republicans" even veterans are waking up to the smoke and mirrors, and many are complaining about the facts of the VA, instead of waiting 30 days for an appointment, you may end up waiting 3 months to a year. Is this the best healthcare this country can afford it's veterans. veterans deserve mandatory healthcare just like medicare, service connected veterans should not be waiting 6 months to a year for dentures, heart caths, or just flat denied tests that are needed to diagnose health issues. Wake up America, this is not for the faint of heart. Buy your own vaseline, you are going to need it.

Posted by: Mike Bailey | December 8, 2005 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps when Ried or Lautenberg or Pelosi use these so called "parlimentary agmbits" to call out the GOP on it's tomfoolery, they are acting on the will of their constituents!! Here in the gardenstate, plenty of folks were pretty pleased at Lautenburg's sardonic attempt to call a spade a spade. Everytime the president opens his mouth i feel less safe. It's a patriotic imperative that the democratic leadership do whatever they can to stay engaged and on the offense.
http://einkleinesblog.blogspot.com/

Posted by: jay lassiter | December 8, 2005 5:31 PM | Report abuse

TO: JohnJ
With regard to looking "silly" I believe the Republicans looked very silly when they tried to paint Congressman Murtha as weak on the war vs. terrorism simply because he advocated an early pullout from Iraq. History will show that it was silly to invade Iraq due to WMD threat when none existed. My hunch is that history will also show it was silly for Bush to spend over $200 billion from the pockets of US taxpayers to attempt installation of a secular democracy into a region dominated for centuries by Islamic tradition and where church/state separation has no precedent.

Posted by: Bill | December 8, 2005 5:30 PM | Report abuse

In defense of Chris, I must say that he was only quoting a Republican, he wasn't blasting Leader Pelosi for missing a vote.

Though, I must say that, for the most part, I think these pinpricks will be quickly forgotten about by voters. I highly doubt anyone is going to go "I'm voting for Senator Lautenberg because he made a motion to rename the deficit reduction bill the "Moral Disaster of Monumental Proportion Reconciliation Act."" The people who will remember those incidents most likely decided whom they will support years (if not decades) before election day.

Posted by: Michael Rubenstein | December 8, 2005 5:29 PM | Report abuse

TO: JohnJ
With regard to looking "silly" I believe the Republicans looked very silly when they tried to paint Congressman Murtha as weak on the war vs. terrorism simply because he advocated an early pullout from Iraq. History will show that it was silly to invade Iraq due to WMD threat when none existed. My hunch is that history will also show it was silly for Bush to spend over $200 billion from the pockets of US taxpayers to attempt installation of a secular democracy into a region dominated for centuries by Islamic tradition and where church/state separation has no precedent.

Posted by: Bill | December 8, 2005 5:28 PM | Report abuse

ice cold

Posted by: Rick James | December 8, 2005 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm interested in Chris Cillizza's use of language. I think "gambit" is a pretty interesting choice to describe Miss Pelosi's action, a word synonomous with ploy, maneuver, strategy, and scheme and a word that has a pretty negative connotation. Would he use such a word to describe a Republican challenge to some unscrupulous use of politics on the part of Democrats? Probably not. My guess is he would be a little more docile and use a word like "complaint" or "grievance."
For the record, I attended a vote like this-- held by Republicans to cut student aid by 4.5 billion dollars. The Republicans couldnt get the vote in the light of day, so they scheduled it in the middle of the night, hoping to veil their actions and suppress the number of Congressmen turning out. As soon as the Republicans got the numbers they wanted, they closed the vote. I watched with a number of other students from the balcony, and let me tell you it was a truly slimy, slimy use of politics. Everyone was sickened by it. And many Republican reps wouldnt even look us in the eye as they walked by into the chamber. They knew it was slimy too.
But, back to Mr. Cillizza's article, I'm also interested in the author's subject matter. What starts as an article about this disputed practice, suddenly changes into an indictment of Nancy Pelosi for missing a single vote because she's visiting her home district. Does the author mention that Congressmen miss votes all the time? More importantly, is the fact that she missed a vote even relevant to the issue at hand-- an article that started about the corrupt use of open-ended votes? Does the author even consider the possibility that the RNC's response to Miss Pelosi is complete spin, perhaps a "gambit," in order to direct the author away from his story; a gambit that succeded by the way.
Chris, it was a good effort and you started well. I just wished youd kept your eye on the ball and finished the story youd set out to write. Just call a spade a spade. In the interest of giving each side a fair crack-- 3 paragraphs each-- you allow the subject matter of YOUR article to be changed. If the Republicans want to comment on YOUR story, then they deserve the 3 paragraphs. If they want to talk about something else, they're gonna have to wait for another journalist who's writing another story.
Good luck in the future.
Sincerely,
Andrew Gold

Posted by: Andrew Gold | December 8, 2005 5:21 PM | Report abuse

The party out of power has to highlight what it sees as the bad points of the party that is IN power. It has no ability to drive the legislative agenda, so if it believes that the party that is IN power is taking us in the wrong direction (which it is) then it is the opposition party's responsibility to highlight that fact whenever possible.

I think that repetition gets the point through eventually. Heck, it has worked for Dubya. ("Compassionate Conservative", "Stay the Course", "Fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here", "We must never forget the lessons of 9-11" etc. etc. etc.)

Posted by: J. Crozier | December 8, 2005 5:06 PM | Report abuse

The repetition will make a difference. Every time "Culture of Corruption" is mentioned, it will help Pelosi and the Democratic Party.

A better question to ask, is why is the NRSC going state to state to pin Jack Abramoff to the Dems? Wouldn't the GOP want to oh, I dunno, not even mention this guy's name around reporters? It only keeps the unfolding investigations alive really.

Posted by: Sam Loomis | December 8, 2005 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Desperate people (read Dems w/with no ideas) often do desperate things that make them look silly.

Posted by: John J. | December 8, 2005 4:57 PM | Report abuse

At least we can call the pitches as we see them.. But Republican corruption and unethical behavior begins when they join the party, se it isn't like this is new information.

Posted by: Calling Strikes | December 8, 2005 4:56 PM | Report abuse


Pelosi absolutely must continue to point out every unethical or immoral thing the GOP does, how else can the Dems fight back? Their constituents MUST know they are trying to make this country a decent place again.

Posted by: Julie K. Smith | December 8, 2005 4:51 PM | Report abuse

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