Thursday, January 27, 2011

The New Civility In Action

Yesterday, the PA House decided to reflect the new tone of civility in politics... by channeling the Taiwanese parliament.

OK. So it wasn't really quite as bad as this:

But it was bad. And, to be blunt, I think both parties behaved shamefully. Check 'em out (fireworks start about 4 minutes in):

You can't even pick up the most colorful remarks in that video, but you get the gist.

So, what the hell is going on? Here's the deal...

The Republicans have seven reform bills they're trying to push. These bills were, for the most part, approved in the last session and not sent to the Governor.

The Democrats added 43 amendments to bills they'd already agreed upon. The Republicans viewed the numerous amendments as obstructionism, and decided to change House rules.

Majority Leader Mike Turzai said, “We’re not going to be having people doing this nuclear stuff. So if that’s how it’s going to be done, we’re going to make the needed changes..."

What changes? Well, for starters, the ability to table amendments without debate and without tabling the entire bill. Not too bad so far.

But the Republicans didn't stop there. They also want to change committee memberships, by reducing the number of Democrats on each committee.

Democrats reacted... well... loudly.

Reactions ranged from shouts of "Kangaroo court!" to "Welcome to the gulag!" to the ultra-blunt "This is bullshit!"

Basically, we have the Democrats apparently embracing the same kind of obstructionist, waste-of-time shenanigans that Republicans have been (rightly) accused of.

AND, we have Republicans trying to further reduce representation by the party already in the minority, the kind of arrogant power grab and "we won" attitude they complained of when the Democrats were doing it.

Mix it together and you get the kind of shouting and name calling usually found in cranky kindergartners.

If I may direct my remarks to the elected representatives of Pennsylvania.... Ahem:

What the hell is wrong with you idiots?! You're an embarrassment. ALL of you! If it was wrong when the other party did it (and it was wrong) don't you do it now that the situation has reversed! And fer the luvva gawd, can you learn to comport yourselves with some kind of dignity? Grow up!

One clear head, Republican Glen Grell, worried that "We're off to a very bad start, if this is the way its going to be."

Buddy, you said a mouthful.

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