Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Emily Post or Twenty Lashes?

The House of Representatives' Committee on Rules publishes guidelines and rules for appropriate behavior and decorum when engaged in the business of government; the current Chair is Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY). In light of the last week's unpleasantness on the floor of the House, the specific Rules for "referring" to the President during debate have been bouncing around the blogosphere and testy emails. Under section 370 of the House Rules and Manual it has been held that a Member may not:

-call the President a “liar.”
-call the President a “hypocrite.”
-describe the President’s veto of a bill as “cowardly.”
-charge that the President has been “intellectually dishonest.”
-refer to the President as “giving aid and comfort to the enemy.”
-refer to alleged “sexual misconduct on the President’s part.”

(Even so, a Member may refer to a Presidential message as a “disgrace to the country,” or
refer to unnamed officials as “our half-baked nitwits handling foreign affairs.” That makes it infinitely more convenient to debate.)

A perfunctory reading suggests that these rules refer to floor or committee debate, not to what transpired last week on national television's "Prez-a-thon, Part who-can-remember-what-number."

I think Emily Post probably trumps the Rules when the Prez is an invited guest to one's chamber (we'd have to ask Monica to be certain. Oops! I've just violated one of the "thou shalt nots!"), so Rep Wilson was out of line and rude during Obama's sermon to the choir last week; but, the Young President has also rudely refused to meet with Members who have asked for his time, contrary to his public pronouncement in the chamber last week and elsewhere, beginning in July. On Wilson's part, apologies have been offered and accepted, if we're to believe Rahm Emanuel. For this outrage du jour to come to an end, does Wilson really have to be tied to the whipping post? (Oops -- there I go again, this time with a racist remark.)

I vividly remember Hillary and her pals chuckling and rolling their eyes during any number of Bush 43's addresses, without consequence.

Today, I am SO fed up with every single living, breathing body that occupies, or has occupied, an elected office in D.C., and many who have already been buried. Double-triple-quadruple standards accompany double-triple-quadruple entendres, subterfuge, and usurpation of states' and citizens' rights, responsibilities, and duties -- and they just cozy up and multiply in our governments, federal, state, and local alike. They ALL need to be unceremoniously chucked out on their high-pensioned, overly-bussed derrieres.

BOTH major parties and their adherents need to make nice.

Our friend from Virginia suggests that the Republican party is behaving like "screaming assholes" since the new Administration moved into the White House. That could be. My thought, however, is that there is no party presently in existence that doesn't have its "screaming assholes," as our friend so gallantly phrases it. None. But, I do know one thing: there needs to be some sort of release brought to bear soon -- not only for the anger that is fermenting across the country, but also for the fear. Overly-taxed pressure cookers make for a pretty big mess. How's that for a double-entendre?

A good start would be to take the race card out of the deck and hide it somewhere so it can't be dealt.

You can call someone pretty much anything in Great Britain's Parliament if you have a good enough vocabulary. I'm working on it. Let's send a Thesaurus to our Congressmen.

9/12 MARCH UPDATE: Redistributing Knowledge posts a panoramic photo of the 9/12 crowd in D.C. reportedly taken from atop the Capitol Building via congressional escort. Pretty dang impressive!!

1 comment:

  1. You can call someone pretty much anything in Great Britain's Parliament if you have a good enough vocabulary.

    One of the most entertaining half-hours on teevee is when C-SPAN runs "PM's Question Time." Parliament is in recess now, so it won't return until October. But one can learn some IMMENSELY valuable and unique ways to insult people by watching the show. :D