Nancy Pelosi Is In Your House and Killing Your Doodz!

This is excellent:

What was supposed to be a routine vote in the House — to knock down an amendment authored by conservative Republicans — turned into pandemonium on the House floor Friday, as Democrats tried to jam the plan through, and hang it around the GOP’s necks.

The vote was on the Republican Study Committee’s alternative budget — a radical plan that annihilates the social contract in America by putting the GOP budget on steroids. Deeper tax cuts for the wealthy, more severe entitlement rollbacks.

Normally something like that would fail by a large bipartisan margin in either the House or the Senate. Conservative Republicans would vote for it, but it would be defeated by a coalition of Democrats and more moderate Republicans. But today that formula didn’t hold. In an attempt to highlight deep divides in the Republican caucus. Dems switched their votes — from “no” to “present.”

Panic ensued. In the House, legislation passes by a simple majority of members voting. The Dems took themselves out of the equation, leaving Republicans to decide whether the House should adopt the more-conservative RSC budget instead of the one authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. As Dems flipped to present, Republicans realized that a majority of their members had indeed gone on the record in support of the RSC plan — and if the vote closed, it would pass. That would be a slap in the face to Ryan, and a politically toxic outcome for the Republican party.

So they started flipping their votes from “yes” to “no.”

In the end, the plan went down by a small margin, 119-136. A full 172 Democrats voted “present.”

True, Nancy no longer possesses the Hammer of Thor, but she still has a few tricks up her sleeve.

Hey media? When is John Boehner going to get control of his caucus, and when are those “Republicans in disarray story” going to start appearing?

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167 replies
  1. 1
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Normally something like that would fail by a large bipartisan margin in either the House or the Senate. Conservative Republicans would vote for it, but it would be defeated by a coalition of Democrats and more moderate Republicans. But today that formula didn’t hold. In an attempt to highlight deep divides in the Republican caucus. Dems switched their votes—from “no” to “present.”

    That is all kinds of awesome.

  2. 2
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    I’m with Fuckhead. Awesome indeed.

    But they are very very serious people. Top serious people. Top. Top or Bottom. Wait, how did this post get onto Sully?

  3. 3
    dcdl says:

    Ha Ha

  4. 4
    JCT says:

    Nancy SMASH does it again — hey, anyone get a shot of Boehner CRYING? Might have been an appropriate response this time.

    Talk about checkers and chess. Can you imagine the fun she had cooking this one up? Too, too bad for the 119 guys who voted for the psychotic budget, should make some nice campaign ads.

  5. 5
    Jack Bauer says:

    Winning.

  6. 6
    John PM says:

    Could it be that the Republican “race to the bottom” is finally going to backfire on the Republicans as their members become too stupid to actually implement their evil agenda? Or is the concept of a “too stupid Republican” like peak wingnut?

  7. 7
    TooManyJens says:

    I am *so* glad that the caucus didn’t listen to the whiners who wanted a new, “less extreme” Minority Leader.

  8. 8
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @John PM:

    Could it be that the Republican “race to the bottom” is finally going to backfire on the Republicans as their members become too stupid to actually implement their evil agenda?

    I predict good news for Republicans.

  9. 9
    dmsilev says:

    I read the descriptions and just started laughing. I have this mental image of the GOP leadership team thinking “Wait, we don’t want people knowing what we *really* believe. Abort! Abort!” and some large fraction of the Reps frantically hitting the Undo button on their VoteMaster 3000s.

    dms

  10. 10
    fasteddie9318 says:

    The awesomeness of this is only tempered in comparison to how much more awesome it would have been if they’d actually passed the RSC’s budget.

  11. 11
    TooManyJens says:

    @dmsilev: Between this and the earlier comment somebody made about Sullivan’s probably reaction to Cole being quoted in Krugman’s column, I am going to be enjoying some delicious Schadenfreude Pie with my lunch today.

  12. 12
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    This is simply brilliant.

    Hoist these assholes on their own diseased petards.

  13. 13
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    That is complete awesomeness covered in awesome sauce.

  14. 14
    Citizen_X says:

    This is good news for Donald Trump!

  15. 15
    stuckinred says:

    Sandbagged those fuckers, now listen to them whine!

  16. 16
    geg6 says:

    Nancy no longer possesses the Hammer of Thor

    Nancy IS the fucking Hammer of Thor. Oh, man. She is showing that asshole Boehner exactly how it’s done.

    I adore her.

  17. 17

    When is John Boehner going to get control of his caucus, and when are those “Republicans in disarray story” going to start appearing?

    Don’t hold your breath, on MSNBC this morning they were talking about what a great leader Boehner is because he passed a budget. Heads they win, tails we lose.

  18. 18
    dmsilev says:

    It’s also fun to think about what this (and more seriously, the number of defections for the budget vote yesterday) means in terms of Beohner’s control over his caucus. Or lack thereof.

    Tom DeLay he is not.

    dms

  19. 19
    DonkeyKong says:

    Brass ovaries bitches!

  20. 20
    kdaug says:

    As Boehner drowns in his lake of tears, Nancy throws him Thor’s Anvil. Fucking brilliant.

  21. 21
    danimal says:

    At some point, the Stupid is going to backfire for the GOP. We’re not there yet.

  22. 22
    gnomedad says:

    Memo to Republicans: be careful what you wish for.

  23. 23
    scav says:

    @kdaug: oh yes.

  24. 24
    Paul in KY says:

    @John PM: I think ‘too stupid’, like absolute zero, does have a bottom. When you’re too stupid to breath or eat & then die, you can’t fulfill your duties as GOP-Stooge.

    However, peak wingnut has no theoretical limit, sorta like the state of matter within a singularity.

  25. 25
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    Nancy Pelosi wins the morning.

  26. 26
    Rick Taylor says:

    Democrats are sooo mean!

  27. 27
    slag says:

    @TooManyJens: And if you have heard the audio that Elia Isquire posted in the previous thread, your pie would taste even better: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-50.....03544.html. Obama-Pelosi 2012 (sorry, Joe, we still love you but we love her more).

  28. 28
    Rick Taylor says:

    Democrats should remember this when it comes time to raise the debt ceiling, and Republicans opine that unless Democrats make serious concessions, they will be unable to prevent their more radical members from hitting the destruct button.

  29. 29
    Bob Loblaw says:

    When is John Boehner going to get control of his caucus, and when are those “Republicans in disarray story” going to start appearing?

    This is such an overreaction. As usual.

    The bill didn’t pass. If it had, go nuts. But the Republicans were able to fix it at the last second. This is just another example of legislatures creating unaccountable, undemocratic rules and mazes of logic for themselves to avoid doing their jobs. It wasn’t Harry Reid’s fault that Republicans filibustered anything any more than it was Boehner’s fault that you’re allowed to vote “present” for reasons that have never yet been enunciated.

  30. 30
    salacious crumb says:

    where is Jake Tapper now? oh i forgot, probably blowing Boehner and Koch.

  31. 31
    SpotWeld says:

    This is the sort of thing that needs an epsiode of The West Wing to explain. Since it’s nerdishly wonky in it’s implimentation it’s never going to get mentioned munch on the news. (Though I’m crossing my fingers that Stewart / Colbert will take a swipe at it)

    Essentialy the GOP has been crying “I dun wanna” and threating to run away from home if they aren’t given a cookie. The Dems threw up thier hands, tied up a bindle and handed it to the GOP and in effect said “Fine, go ahead… “

  32. 32
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @slag:

    @TooManyJens: And if you have heard the audio that Elia Isquire posted in the previous thread, your pie would taste even better: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-50…..03544.html. Obama-Pelosi 2012 (sorry, Joe, we still love you but we love her more).

    Geez, wish Obama had started running for reelection January of 2009.

  33. 33
    PeakVT says:

    I wonder if the vote had to be held open to get enough Repukes to flip to no. That would be extra delicious.

  34. 34
    scav says:

    And that is just such classic slapstick. There’s a call for volunteers and everybody in the know silently takes a tiny step backwards. We so need the film in B&W with keystone cops music and text explanations in between the clips.

  35. 35
    cyntax says:

    This is shaping up to be one helluva of a Friday. I think I’ll need to knock off work early to celebrate.

  36. 36
    mr. whipple says:

    Does this mean the repugnants voted for it, before they voted against it?

  37. 37
    Social outcast says:

    Nice moves, but nobody will hear much about this from the media because nobody gives a crap about this stuff outside bloggers and political junkies.

  38. 38
    licensed to kill time says:

    This was my fave part from Benen’s post:

    For Congress watchers, this was quite a bit more drama than we’re accustomed to seeing. David Kurtz noted that “chaos erupted” on the House floor, while The Hill said the final minutes of the vote “were characterized by shouting more typical of the British parliament than the U.S. Congress.”

    heh, indeedy.

  39. 39
    mclaren says:

    This is the kind of thing Obama would do if he had any balls. Instead, he always tries to split the difference.

    The off-the-mic remarks Obama made should have been his entire speech. “Republicans want to end medicare? Great. Let’s have that debate.”

    Then he should’ve walked off. 10 words. End of speech.

  40. 40
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    One of the properties of Thor’s hammer is that it goes back to the owner. Sorry Boehner — it really never was yours.

  41. 41
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Bob Loblaw: Republican’s filibustering something the Democrats want to pass is not the same thing as Democrats voting present on something the Republicans put on the floor but didn’t want to pass. If the Republicans had wanted to pass it, the Democrats gave them the opportunity. The Republicans just wanted to play a game, and now they have to answer to one group that will wonder why they didn’t vote for it, and another group that will go after the ones who did.

  42. 42
    Shoemaker-Levy 9 says:

    Let’s see if I have this straight; roughly half the Republican caucus thinks the Ryan plan is too liberal.

  43. 43
    El Cid says:

    Really sorry for this O/T, but it’s really worth a look.

    On that once-again miraculous discovery of thousands of votes by the Waukeshau county Republican hack / former aide to victor Stephen Prosser, who has done so time and time again, state investigators are looking in.

    In many cases, the number of votes totaled more than the number of ballots cast.
    __
    The results for the 2006 attorney general’s race, for example, show 174,047 votes for either Democrat Kathleen Falk, Republican J.B. Van Hollen or write-in candidates, a total that is 17,243 votes higher than the total ballots cast recorded elsewhere in the results.
    __
    In her note, Nickolaus said the reference to ballots cast “is the number of ballots that were fed through the election machines at the polling places and the results were collected using a modem in the office” but does not include “any hand-entered results.”
    __
    It was unclear what Nickolaus meant by “hand-entered results,” and she was unavailable for comment Wednesday and Thursday.

    But, you know, this is just typical of what’s expected and all, and Microsoft Access is hard to use.

  44. 44
    JordanRules says:

    @licensed to kill time: Oh how I would love to see footage

    Nancy P. FTW

  45. 45
    El Cid says:

    Test?

  46. 46
    Uloborus says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:
    I’m glad he took the time to pass the ACA first.

  47. 47
    Gravie says:

    Ahhhhhh hahahahahahaha! That is all I have to say.

  48. 48
    p.a. says:

    Brass ovaries is right. Too many male Dems seem to be equipped with raisinetts.

  49. 49
    MattR says:

    @JordanRules: My first thought as well. Where was my heads up to go turn on CSPAN to enjoy the fireworks live :)

  50. 50
    TooManyJens says:

    @slag:

    Obama-Pelosi 2012 (sorry, Joe, we still love you but we love her more).

    No way — we need Nancy SMASH right where she is. Preferably with the Speaker’s gavel back in her hand, of course.

  51. 51
    Barry says:

    @Bob Loblaw: “It wasn’t Harry Reid’s fault that Republicans filibustered anything any more than it was Boehner’s fault that you’re allowed to vote “present” for reasons that have never yet been enunciated.”

    That analogy doesn’t hold. The whole point here was that most of the GOP House was obviously going to vote for something they were advocating, while relying on the Democratic caucus to keep it from passing. Even though the House GOP caucus could pass it – if they wanted to.

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mclaren:

    If he did, would you write a 10,000 word comment explaining what the voices in your head told you he really meant like you did with Wednesday’s speech?

  53. 53
    JordanRules says:

    @TooManyJens: Agreed, she’s sooo built for it and we need her

  54. 54
    cyntax says:

    @Social outcast:

    Nice moves, but nobody will hear much about this from the media because nobody gives a crap about this stuff outside bloggers and political junkies.

    You’re right that it may not get much play at the national level, but you’re forgetting that a number of Republicans are on record as either supporting this or changing their votes on it after having supported it, and that can be exploited in individual races: “My opponent thought the Ryan bill didn’t go far enough…”

    And it’s good to fuck with them when they do stupid shit like this. Make them pay a price every time you can.

  55. 55
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    Whoah. I LOVE that woman! Between Nancy SMASH! and “Nancy is in your base, killin’ ur doodz,” this is is just pure-dee awesomeness.

  56. 56
    Redshift says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    It wasn’t Harry Reid’s fault that Republicans filibustered anything any more than it was Boehner’s fault that you’re allowed to vote “present” for reasons that have never yet been enunciated.

    Yeah, being able to abstain is a weird, unusual feature that no other voting system has, just like the easy imposition of a supermajority requirement. Oh, wait, no it isn’t; abstention is in Robert’s and is a feature of pretty much every parliamentary system everywhere. The only thing that needs to be “enunciated” is that in Congress it’s called “voting ‘present'” instead.

  57. 57
    Suck It Up! says:

    @mclaren:

    right. Obama has no balls. He slammed bush in his inaugural speech with bush sitting just a few feet away. He spends more than an hour in a room full of Republicans and “eviscerates” all of them, in a televised press conference he told the sanctimonious purist left to go fuck themselves because people need to eat and pay their bills, and yesterday he took Paul Ryan “to the woodshed” while the poor boy was sitting in the front row. Yes, indeed Obama has no balls.

    This country would be much better off with pols like Obama. Pols who aren’t constantly in a dick measuring contest with his opponent while millions of people, who never asked to be in this ideological war you guys engage in, suffer for it.

  58. 58
    JGabriel says:

    TPM:

    So [Republicans] started flipping their votes from “yes” to “no.”

    I don’t get it. Why don’t Republicans want to vote for and own their policy prescriptions?

    Why do Republicans hate Republicans?

    .

  59. 59
    slag says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I know. It does hurt a little from that perspective. But I always assume that resource constraints prevent it. Republicans, with their bottomless media pit, can play this game all year long with “boldness and courage” (or whatever Sullivan thinks it is). I suspect (but don’t know for sure) that Democrats need to constrain themselves to shorter bursts of outright honesty just because they have less media in their pocket to put a gentler spin on it for the ignorpendents.

  60. 60
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Good to know the Orange One has time to waste debating with himself. Must mean his team has a Very Serious actual plan for the budget.

  61. 61
    cyntax says:

    @Cheryl from Maryland:

    Ha! I forgot about that.

    And way to bring the geekdom.

  62. 62
    themann1086 says:

    @Jack Bauer: Clearly, Nancy had her tiger blood this morning :D

  63. 63
    piratedan says:

    it’s important because Dems still believe that calling folks out on their voting record still matters, as opposed to R’s who just make shit up when all else fails.

  64. 64
    Redshift says:

    @cyntax: Exactly. This isn’t the kind of vote that will get TV coverage in our sound-bite media, but it is the kind of vote that can be used in a campaign either to show that they voted for a radical attack on benefits their retiree base loves, or they betrayed their Tea Party supporters by voting against it. Putting them in a no-win situation where either a yes or no vote is bad for campaign purposes is a rare and wonderful thing.

    Nancy SMASH!

  65. 65
    chopper says:

    @Suck It Up!:

    hush now. in mclaren’s world every day is monday and he’s always the quarterback. obama could sneeze into his elbow and he’d go on for three days about how he should have done it way differently.

  66. 66
    slag says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Preferably with the Speaker’s gavel back in her hand, of course.

    I’d vote for that.

  67. 67
    licensed to kill time says:

    @JordanRules:

    Oh how I would love to see footage

    :::set to Yakkity-Sax:::

  68. 68
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @slag:

    I know. It does hurt a little from that perspective. But I always assume that resource constraints prevent it.

    Nah, he just thinks that by pretending he’s above it all, it will translate into successes. And he’s right for the most part: Republican successes.

  69. 69
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Redshift:

    That’s an appeal to authority and tradition, not an actual defense.

    With the exception of conflict of interest, what exactly is the rationale for being able to show up to a vote but not be accountable for its results? Why even show up?

    You shouldn’t be allowed to flip your vote. There should be no holding a vote open to “fix it.” You shouldn’t be able to enter the chamber if you aren’t prepared to go on the record with a yea or a nay. Legislators are just silly children on a power trip. Always have been, always will.

    Oh well, somebody won the morning! And I’m sure they’ll all have a big laugh about it at lunch with their lobbyist and campaign donor pals.

  70. 70
    taylormattd says:

    This story must be a lie, because I was told (1) there is no difference between republicans and democrats; and (2) all democrats are unsavvy wimps.

  71. 71
    Brachiator says:

    Panic ensued.

    Hee Hee Hee!

  72. 72
    slag says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: We can agree to disagree. But I’m right.

  73. 73
    Peter says:

    @Bob Loblaw: Loblaw, this has to be the absolute dumbest criticism I’ve ever seen you make, and that’s saying something. Why do you take as a given that politicians MUST take a position on every single piece of legislation that crosses the House?

  74. 74
    NonyNony says:

    @cyntax:

    You’re right that it may not get much play at the national level, but you’re forgetting that a number of Republicans are on record as either supporting this or changing their votes on it after having supported it, and that can be exploited in individual races: “My opponent thought the Ryan bill didn’t go far enough…”

    You’ve got the dynamic wrong. This is Tea Party fodder. A number of Republican House members who felt safe voting for the RSC budget to curry favor with the Tea Party had to go back on it when the chips were down. They had to reveal that their support was a sham and can’t go out and say “well you can see that I voted for something even more conservative, but the rest of the House said no”.

    Bob Loblaw compares this to the filibuster in the Senate and there’s a valid comparison to make there but he’s got the dynamic wrong too. The cloture rule was long used to cover votes – people would vote for cloture and then vote against the final bill and tell the folks at home that you can see in their record that they were against the bill when, in fact, the cloture vote was what counted and the actual vote was for show. Conservative and liberal activists put a stop to that practice. What Pelosi just did is pull the wool away from a similar practice in the House AND let Boehner and the rest of his “moderates” know that at a moments notice she can do it again. Force them to choose their allegiances between doing the thing that the Tea Partiers want them to do and what their financial backers want them to do. Riding that line is hard work, and Pelosi just made Boehner’s life a little bit harder in that regard.

  75. 75
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @slag: I have no problem with others having a different opinion.

  76. 76

    Live footage:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....49715.html

    Yes, I know. But they have the film clip.

  77. 77
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Bob Loblaw:
    @Peter:
    Loblaw, I think you are wrong for an entirely different reason. When those around you are actually trying to pull bullshit like bringing up a bill to vote on that they hope will fail, then it is perfectly within your right to point out the bullshit. That’s exactly what happened today.

  78. 78
    jibeaux says:

    Okay, I’m a little behind the 8 ball here. There was a Republican budget plan more evil than the Paul Ryan plan?!

  79. 79
    chopper says:

    @Peter:

    forget it. if you want to imagine what goes through loblaw’s mind, imagine debbie downer sitting behind a keyboard. at the end of every post there’s a ‘wah WAAAAH’ and he makes a silly face for the camera.

  80. 80
    slag says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I have no problem with others having a different opinion.

    I do. But the high frequency with which it happens combined with my own resource constraints means I try to keep it to myself. Most of the time.

  81. 81
    cyntax says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    That’s an appeal to authority and tradition, not an actual defense.
    __
    With the exception of conflict of interest, what exactly is the rationale for being able to show up to a vote but not be accountable for its results? Why even show up?
    __
    You shouldn’t be allowed to flip your vote. There should be no holding a vote open to “fix it.” You shouldn’t be able to enter the chamber if you aren’t prepared to go on the record with a yea or a nay. Legislators are just silly children on a power trip. Always have been, always will.

    Wow, that’s a lot of cognitive dissonance. You’re complaining about an appeal to authority but you provide no reasoning for your assertion that legislators should only be allowed to vote yes or no. Further you assert that all legislators are silly children on power trips and that this is always the case.

    To say you’re making illogical and unsupported claims is an understatement. Maybe Cole is right and some Dems are only happy when they’re complaining.

  82. 82
    chopper says:

    @jibeaux:

    there always is.

  83. 83
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Peter:

    Why do you take as a given that politicians MUST take a position on every single piece of legislation that crosses the House?

    That’s their job.

    The minority party is expected to go about their time in exile with integrity. Republicans never do it (they never act with integrity no matter what), but I generally expect more from Democrats than yelling “PSYCHE!”, farting, and running away.

  84. 84
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @slag:

    I do. But the high frequency with which it happens combined with my own resource constraints means I try to keep it to myself.

    I have a lot of political arguments with my buddy’s dad who is a yellow dog Republican with more money than God. It starts out very charitably and as it progresses he gets more and more annoyed until he says “We need to stop talking about politics.” At which point I tell him, “We don’t have to stop, I don’t mind you being wrong.”

  85. 85
    catclub says:

    Only unfortunate part is they have not perfected their E-bay technique of last second vote changes.

    Now further votes will be like the _second_ James Bond fight in the dojo – after the first when he wins by kicking the guy who bows to him (and is off his guard) in the head.

  86. 86
    cyntax says:

    @NonyNony:

    You’ve got the dynamic wrong. This is Tea Party fodder. A number of Republican House members who felt safe voting for the RSC budget to curry favor with the Tea Party had to go back on it when the chips were down. They had to reveal that their support was a sham and can’t go out and say “well you can see that I voted for something even more conservative, but the rest of the House said no”.

    That might be true, but either way the significance about this playing out in individual races is the correct read, as opposed to complaining that it won’t get reported at the national level. And like I said this is making them pay a price for playing this sort of game.

  87. 87
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Linda Featheringill: According to that article, the House held the voting open past the normal expiration to allow Republicans to switch votes.

  88. 88
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    ut I generally expect more from Democrats than yelling “PSYCHE!”, farting, and running away.

    Oh come on Bob. This wasn’t anything more than an attempt by Democrats to make Republicans own their own agenda.

  89. 89
    aimai says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    “We don’t have to stop. I don’t mind you being wrong.” Is one of the greatest lines ever. I need to use that when I’m arguing with the Randian over at the Annie’s Mailbox blog.

    aimai

  90. 90
    Violet says:

    Nancy SMASH! Awesome stuff!

  91. 91
    aimai says:

    @chopper:

    Hey, be fair, if Obama sneezed into your elbow you’d be pissed off too.

    aimai

  92. 92
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @cyntax:

    you provide no reasoning for your assertion that legislators should only be allowed to vote yes or no.

    Yes, I did. Accountability. Yes or no, or don’t show up to work at all.

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    When those around you are actually trying to pull bullshit like bringing up a bill to vote on that they hope will fail, then it is perfectly within your right to point out the bullshit.

    Great. Don’t show up at all then. Give the Republicans their vote all on their own, unopposed. Or simply do your fucking job, vote against it, and go to work hanging the yes votes on the congressman anyway even though the budget didn’t pass.

    Unlike you, I don’t get any emotional satisfaction on petty bullshit. Watching Congress run around screaming at each other and switching votes they already made on the floor is pathetic. Our legislators are children.

  93. 93
    Huckster says:

    @Suck It Up!:

    Fuckin’ A bubba!

  94. 94
    Peter says:

    @Bob Loblaw: No, their job is to represent their constituents’ interests in the House. That does not mean they need to come down as a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Sometimes both choices are morally abhorrent. Sometimes both choices may seem just as good to the representative, and so they choose to allow their colleagues who feel more strongly to decide the issue. Etc. Etc.

  95. 95
    jibeaux says:

    @chopper:

    What is the euphemism for ice floes for old folks in this budget plan?
    I really need to look into what was in this budget. But yes, sounds very win-win. Vote against, get the teabagger purity primary challenge. Vote for, get the campaign ad in the general pointing whatever the hell sociopathic policies were in the damn thing.

  96. 96
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Bob Loblaw: You’re trying to create a false equivalence where none exists. Think about it: The Republicans brought a bill to vote that they didn’t want to pass, but wanted to go on record that they had voted for it. They should not have been allowed to bring that bill to vote, any more than the Democrats should be allowed to bring a bill to vote abolishing the military. The actions of the Democrats was a perfect way to show what was going on.

    Are you willing to apply what you said

    You shouldn’t be allowed to flip your vote. There should be no holding a vote open to “fix it.” You shouldn’t be able to enter the chamber if you aren’t prepared to go on the record with a yea or a nay.

    to the Republicans in the House who suddenly switched their votes?

  97. 97
    slag says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: It’s all fun and games until someone on the House floor loses an Aye.

  98. 98
    Gravenstone says:

    Nancy no longer possesses the Hammer of Thor

    Nancy may no longer wield Mjolnir, but Stormbreaker is an adequate stand in.

    /geek

  99. 99
    MikeJ says:

    @Bob Loblaw: Had the dems simply not voted, there would not have been a yes vote to hang on the republicans. They switched their votes to “no” when the Dems in effect, went home.

    The whole point of this exercise is that the republicans wanted Democrats to save them from themselves. Nancy threw the drowning man an anvil.

    Don’t blame the Dems for not voting the way they believe. Blame the republicans for not voting the way they *really* believe. They’re the ones who panicked when legislation *they claimed to favor* almost passed because of their votes.

  100. 100
    aimai says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    I don’t always disagree with everythign you say but this is one of the stupidest fucking things anyone has ever said, anywhere on the internet, since the invention of the internet. No, it is not the case that “yes” or “no” are the only moral options on a given vote. You seem not to grasp that votes can occur in series, as part of a larger plan, or even as part of a larger plan that is collapsing. Sometimes people have to switch their votes, even (gasp) going from “no” to “yes” or back again to keep their own or their party’s options open for some future vote. There’s no moral component at all to a yes, no, or present vote. There are only strategic and customary issues. If its in the rules, its ok to do it. No one is being cheated out of representation when their representative uses instrumental voting.

    aimai

  101. 101
    Tsulagi says:

    That’s funny. Hasn’t been a good week for Orange Guy. No doubt his wife is at Costco now buying super absorbent paper towels in bulk for his cavalcade of tears when he gets home.

    Obviously the brilliant tacticians thought to put up this garbage, have the Dems vote in bloc against it with it going down narrowly then later put up Ryan’s challenged offering as the “moderate” alternative. Their compromise. The only transparency in government is their stupid.

  102. 102
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    to the Republicans in the House who suddenly switched their votes?

    Yes. What part of “Republicans have no integrity” is misunderstood?

    I don’t like races to the bottom. Our current Congressional procedures are a race to the bottom.

  103. 103
    Ogami Itto says:

    Nancy may no longer wield Mjolnir, but Stormbreaker is an adequate stand in.

    Beta Ray Nancy?

  104. 104
    jibeaux says:

    On my twitter feed last night was this drink recipe for “House Majority Leader”: bourbon, orange juice, splash of bitters.

    To which my friend added, “and a few drops of salt water.”

    Mm-mmm, good.

  105. 105
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Bob Loblaw: But you’re missing the point. What was the purpose of this bill? Was it to actually cut spending? No. It’s purpose was to allow the Republicans to go on record as saying they were for cutting the budget without having to actually do it. And when someone is pulling that kind of crap, they have to be called on it, which means that the vote had to occur and be recorded.

    Do you really think that the Republicans would have had the vote if 176 Democrats didn’t show up for work? Hell, no. They didn’t bring this bill to a vote to actually have it pass. They brought it to vote to make campaign adds.

    I’m sorry, sometimes even adults have to be told they are dishing out shit.

  106. 106
    YoYosarian says:

    Nice work nancy. almost got em.

  107. 107
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @TooManyJens:

    No way—we need Nancy SMASH right where she is. Preferably with the Speaker’s gavel back in her hand, of course.

    Exactly. She has been one of the best Minority Leader and Speaker of the House the House has ever had. When given a working majority in 08 along with a Dem president, look at what *she* got done? Too bad we had Neville Chamberlain leading the Dems over in the Senate.

    I really hope we win back the House next year if for nothing else than to get her back in the driver’s seat for at least 2 more years. Alas, the situation in the Senate will most likely be even worse.

  108. 108
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Tsulagi:

    No doubt his wife is at Costco now buying super absorbent paper towels in bulk for his cavalcade of tears when he gets home.

    His wife lives in Ohio. Maybe you meant one of his girlfriends?

  109. 109
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @taylormattd:

    You need to stay away from FDL my ole ranger friend. ;)

  110. 110
    JGabriel says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Watching Congress run around screaming at each other and switching votes they already made on the floor is pathetic.

    Which is the point the Democrats wanted to make about the GOP: That their currying of favor with the tea party base by voting for bills they don’t want to enact or take credit for IS pathetic.

    That’s how politics is played. It ain’t beanbag.

    .

  111. 111
    chopper says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    what’s the difference between voting ‘present’ and not even showing up at all?

    i’m sure if they did the latter you’d be complaining about it too.

  112. 112
    Trinity says:

    I’m naming our next cat ‘Pelosi’.

  113. 113
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @slag:

    It’s all fun and games until someone on the House floor loses an Aye.

    Very nice!

  114. 114
    geg6 says:

    @cyntax:

    Yeah, this is the Bob Loblaw I remember. And to think that when I called him on something similar the other day (Dems are a buncha wussies; Obama sucks, or something to that effect), he acted all insulted as if he was the mostest loyalest of all Obots and what the fuck ever was I talking about that he’s one of those always criticizing, never happy “progressive” types. I ended up apologizing and saying with all the Bobs we have around here that I must have mixed him up with someone else. Damn, that pisses me off because I HATE to apologize and rarely do it unless I’m egregiously wrong.

    Oh, and I take the apology back, Bob.

  115. 115
    Marvin says:

    This proves that the Republicans aren’t serious about these bills they are proposing.

    They flipped their votes from YES to NO when they realized the bill might pass. How can they possibly defend that?

  116. 116
    piratedan says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage: while Harry Reid isn’t a pillar of strength, he’s only as capable as the staunchest Dem in his caucus. As a reminder, that caucus was comprised of Blanche Lincoln, Mark Prior, Evan Bayh, Mary Landrieu, Bill Nelson and Joe freakin’ Lieberman. The fainting couch was constantly full and had a waiting list for use. Could Harry have cracked the whip to get more done, most likely, but his cats were harder to herd imho.

  117. 117
    AAA Bonds says:

    HA!

    Now that’s what I like to see. Good on them.

  118. 118
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @geg6: I don’t mind Bob being wrong about one thing.

  119. 119
    Judas Escargot says:

    @mclaren:

    The off-the-mic remarks Obama made should have been his entire speech. “Republicans want to end medicare? Great. Let’s have that debate.”

    You’ve essentially just heard that speech. Or do you seriously think we weren’t meant to hear those “off mic” words?

    Pelosi gets to pull the football away for a change, and Obama openly trash talks Boehner on CBS, a source “normal people” actually pay some attention to.

    This has been a good day for the Dems.

  120. 120
    cyntax says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Yes, I did. Accountability. Yes or no, or don’t show up to work at all.

    Why does this equate with accountability?

  121. 121
    chopper says:

    @Judas Escargot:

    the problem with being eeyore is that no matter what happens, you can never ever see any good side.

  122. 122
    nadezhda says:

    Of course, this episode comes exactly one day after Politico brayed that Pelosi’s power had vanished in a puff of smoke cause the “power players” (read big boys club) don’t want her invited to lunch anymore. Maybe she should take up the matter with David Brooks. Though, on further thought, this morning’s entertainment probably made her point better than a whine on her behalf from the NYT op-ed page.

  123. 123
    geg6 says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    The only race to the bottom is yours. You obviously have no knowledge or background in or even understanding of parliamentary procedure or tactics in the U.S. Congress or, for that matter, any legislative body that has ever existed in the history of mankind. Your criticisms are shallow and uninformed on this matter. You should probably let go of that anchor you’re clinging to.

  124. 124
    slag says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Thanks! Worked all minute on it.

    Agreed with aimai. I’m going to use that line. And, fair warning, I probably won’t be crediting you.

  125. 125
    Tyro says:

    Maybe Cole is right and some Dems are only happy when they’re complaining.

    They are only happy when they are losing and have something to complain about. Some Democrats just have a natural aversion to seeing their party fighting and making the other side squeal. They want to Democrats to lose honorably.

  126. 126
    cyntax says:

    @geg6:

    Naw. Don’t be sorry about being gracious and open to new info, that would make you more like Bob.

  127. 127
    AAA Bonds says:

    By the way, if you haven’t seen the particulars of the budget proposal that got voted down:

    The RSC Budget proposal

    This was a real wonderful bill, with many clever, surefire winners, such as:

    * eliminate subsidized federal loans for graduate students,
    * eliminate Legal Aid nationwide,
    * eliminate Congressional funding to the District of Columbia,
    * and more!

    To be fair, the proposals I listed are pretty much in line with what Reagan wanted, and only about as stupid as Reagan was (very stupid). But then, as now, this stuff would have ended up as party-wide suicide for Republicans in Congress, which is why it never passed.

  128. 128
    cyntax says:

    @Tyro:

    They want to Democrats to lose honorably.

    With friends like these…

  129. 129
    AAA Bonds says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Unlike you, I don’t get any emotional satisfaction on petty bullshit. Watching Congress run around screaming at each other and switching votes they already made on the floor is pathetic. Our legislators are children.

    I think you’re mad because this was both effective and funny. Some people just can’t get down with those two things happening at once, so it’s cool.

  130. 130
    slag says:

    @geg6:

    Your criticisms are shallow and uninformed on this matter.

    I think what you meant to say here was that Bob’s opinions are of interest to you and you would like to subscribe to his newsletter. Just guessing.

  131. 131
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Shoemaker-Levy 9:

    Does anyone know yet how Ryan voted?

  132. 132
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @slag:

    I’m going to use that line.

    Just be careful where ya use it. Last time I used it was at the VFW so I had to smile when I said it. They’re all trained killers and they’re all drunk.

    Pro-tip: If yer arguing politics at the VFW, hide yer truck with the Obama sticker at least two blocks away and don’t ever mention Jane Fonda, not even the cute Jane Fonda target stickers affixed inside the urinals.

  133. 133
    WereBear says:

    This is delightful cake with awesome frosting. And a long time coming!

  134. 134
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @chopper:

    what’s the difference between voting ‘present’ and not even showing up at all?

    The difference is accountability. You don’t show up, you cede your role in the legislative agenda and its outcome. That’s your choice. That’s the accountability moment.

    But if you enter that chamber, you should be expected to categorically put yourself on the record. It should be the basic expectation of your office.

    There wasn’t a single person in the House today that wasn’t duplicitous, or more concerned with crafting campaign material 18 months from now than with conducting the nation’s business. That’s pathetic. The Republicans should be expected to introduce legislation that they expect to pass and improve the lives of this country’s citizens. They failed. They lied and disgraced their office. The Democrats are expected to dutifully fulfill the opposition role, vote against the harmful agenda, and win the war of ideas in public. They would rather play games. Everybody wants to play games in Congress. Secret holds, poison pill amendments, it never ends. And then you wonder why it’s so easy to convince voters to distrust government?

    @geg6:

    Was any of that supposed to mean anything to me?

    1. Obama doesn’t suck.
    2. Obama has no relevance to this thread, or the actions of Congress.
    3. There is no three.

  135. 135
    AAA Bonds says:

    @SpotWeld:

    This is the sort of thing that needs an epsiode of The West Wing to explain. Since it’s nerdishly wonky in it’s implimentation it’s never going to get mentioned munch on the news.

    It’s pretty easy to explain, and I suggest you use this narrative with fence-sitting family and friends:

    “Republicans had a bill that was too radical and crazy and Tea Party to actually pass, but they wanted to go on record saying they supported its crazy proposals to look good in front of the Tea Party. The Republicans assumed it would get voted down because the ideas they were endorsing were crazy. The Democrats laughed and refused to vote it down, because they knew the Republicans wouldn’t actually let it pass, because the Tea Party ideas are really crazy, and actually backing the Tea Party would make the Republicans look like idiots.

    “So the Republicans really quickly withdrew their support for all the Tea Party crap when it looked like it might actually become law, or policy, or anything other than stuff on a website somewhere. The crazy Tea Party is forcing the Republicans to come out against things they’d never normally support, and the Republican leadership doesn’t really have any control over its members or any plan or agenda for the country.”

    Of course, on your larger point, I agree: the press has a dim view of American intelligence and will likely neglect the story.

    That’s why you have to make up the difference yourself.

  136. 136
    WaterGirl says:

    @JordanRules: wouldn’t it be on cspan as part of their daily coverage of the house?

  137. 137
    giltay says:

    @dmsilev: To be fair, Boehner was able to whip enough people to vote the way he wanted on short notice, so he must have some control over his caucus.

    What Pelosi and the Dem’s little game of chicken exposed was the duplicity of the moderate Republicans. Boehner now has a dilemma: lose support from the tea partiers or own some really unpopular legislation and lose support generally.

    Keep on smashin’.

  138. 138
    Peter says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Are you on a crusade today to prove what a gigantic moron you are, or what?

    Voting ‘present’ does put you on the public record. it puts you on the public records as having abstained from the vote. While that’s not as clear-cut a message as voting for or against something, it is still a statement on the public record!

    Not attending, by contrast, could mean anything. Maybe you were absent because you wanted to abstain from the vote. Or maybe you fell ill. Or maybe your flight was cancelled and you were stuck in Bumfuck, Oregon while the vote was taking place. The only thing that gets entered into the public record is that you were not present. Whereas if you show up and voted present it gets entered into the public record that you deliberately abstained from the vote!

    Also, part of functioning as the opposition is holding the governing party to account. You can’t do that if you’re not going to politick. With huge majorities like the Republicans have in the House, what’s stopping them from passing their dream legislation? Only the potential electoral consequences. And so it is the role of the opposition to point out and magnify these potential electoral consequences to make the governing party back off from its most extreme positions.

    Even when we take your own standard as our guideline, not a damn thing you’re saying makes sense.

  139. 139
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @geg6:
    @AAA Bonds:

    No, you’re very excited to be winning a game. I’m telling you the game is why people in this country don’t respect Congress as an institution. Nor should they. It’s a polarized hellhole run by children and the corrupt.

  140. 140
    AAA Bonds says:

    In light of stuff like this, I’m not 100% sure of the strategic wisdom of saying “the Tea Party isn’t a movement, it’s just the Republican Party, funded by the same people as always”.

    Maybe we should use the Rove strategy and attack their strengths. In this case, that’s the supposed “independence” of the Tea Party as a “movement”.

    It sure looks like an opportunity here for Democrats to say, “do you want to know why the Republicans are acting so wild, saying the President is a Communist and a foreigner and all that, and trying to wreck Medicare for my grandparents? Really wanna know why?

    “It’s because there’s this miniature, other party inside of the Republicans, the Tea Party, made up of all those fat wackos who hang out on white power Internet sites, and they’ve got the Republicans by the balls. They’re pushing through their minority agenda with the Republicans as a smokescreen, and it’s a lot crazier than you might think. Here, here’s a link to their views on letting you vote for your own senator . . .”

    Possibly, just possibly, this could make independents leery of voting Republican, drive up internecine strife within the Republican Party by encouraging moderates to speak out, and maybe even drive the Tea Party toward third-party politics if it can be made to appeal to their stubborn, contrarian, and irrational base nature. It’s easy to imagine Tea Party leaders outside the Beltway (and almost impossible to imagine anyone else in American politics) seriously concluding, “Yeah! We ARE our own party and we don’t need them!”

    Let’s give it a try.

  141. 141
    AAA Bonds says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Oh, it’s run by the corrupt all right, but the corruption on the Democratic side trends toward compromising principles instead of fighting too hard for them.

    You know this. Why deny it?

    “Both sides” don’t do it. And that sucks. I’d be THRILLED with a polarized Congress, if the Democrats could find their fucking pole with both hands.

    UK MPs are usually just as filled with balloon juice as their American counterparts. But frankly, the American Congressional left could stand to yell more, maneuver more, and worry less about some sort of vague public censure over behaving as people expect Congresspeople to behave. The effective and kickass members do exactly this, or do you think Elijah Cummings built his career on ignoring Robert’s?

    As for “children”, I find it pretty ridiculous to characterize deft use of parliamentary procedure that way. This isn’t the Republicans announcing their intent to pass an unconstitutional “law of the land” budget measure. This is the Democrats using a VERY old, VERY tried-and-true tactic to disarm the Republicans’ misuse of Congressional time and money to campaign for 2012 on positions they won’t themselves support in practice.

  142. 142
    artem1s says:

    @AAA Bonds:

    The Democrats laughed and refused to vote it down, because they knew the Republicans wouldn’t actually let it pass, because the Tea Party ideas are really crazy, and actually backing the Tea Party would make the Republicans look like idiots.

    yes, a possibly a little bit to show the grandstanders what life will be like if the Teahaddists get their way and all the Dems have to take their ball and go home for good. It will be nothing but crazy legislation 24/7/365.

  143. 143
    WaterGirl says:

    @Judas Escargot:

    Or do you seriously think we weren’t meant to hear those “off mic” words?

    Exactly! Obama got caught off mic, for real, at a private fundraiser in San Francisco in 2008, and it caused some problems. After that, he’ll never say anything at a “private” fundraiser that he isn’t willing to show up with audio or video. I think he threw an elbow, here, very deliberately.

  144. 144
    AAA Bonds says:

    @Peter:

    With huge majorities like the Republicans have in the House, what’s stopping them from passing their dream legislation? Only the potential electoral consequences. And so it is the role of the opposition to point out and magnify these potential electoral consequences to make the governing party back off from its most extreme positions.

    An extremely good point.

  145. 145
    drkrick says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    There wasn’t a single person in the House today that wasn’t duplicitous, or more concerned with crafting campaign material 18 months from now than with conducting the nation’s business.

    Getting the campaign lined up is part of the nation’s business. You don’t get to do anything if you don’t win the election. This is not the debate club at some upper-crust high school. This is real politics with real lives at stake. If one side is operating with an arm tied behind their back to satisfy some Miss Manners inspired sense of propriety, they’re betraying the people the claim to be serving.

  146. 146
    AAA Bonds says:

    @drkrick:

    I think what people are confused by here, whether to support this as a legitimate oppositional move or not, comes down to how we don’t have the concept of a “vote of no confidence” in the United States. I don’t think many people in the United Kingdom would question this as a tactic of their own party in opposition, nor would people in many other countries that rarely see coalition governments.

    Clearly, if you can get the other side to put up or shut up on ideas that appeal to its most hardcore supporters, but turn off the fence-sitters they need to win the next election, you should do it, do it, do it. It’s key to demonstrating the fractures in their coalition. It’s in your electoral interest, but it also shows how the majority doesn’t really represent the country.

    Many of the same concepts and tactics apply regardless of when elections are held, but we have an idea in America that proposed bills are always deadly serious and don’t reflect maneuvering between elections. As the Republicans demonstrated with their proposal of (and initial vote on) this bill, that simply isn’t the case, here or anywhere else.

  147. 147
    Joel says:

    Fun, but unfortunately the fun won’t last. If the bill had passed (and had been quashed in the Senate), it would have been something to behold. As it goes, this is an ephemeral victory. I will enjoy it, however.

  148. 148
    Lee says:

    Did anyone else in the thread get the gamer meme in the title? Being a gamer, I lol’d

  149. 149
    chopper says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    so accountability magically begins at the doorway?

    not walking in the building and being there but voting ‘present’ are the same thing, accountability-wise. in either case you’re ducking out on saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’. you’re saying ‘i could vote yea or nay, but i won’t’.

    it’s like sitting at home on election day, vs going in the booth and writing in ‘mickey mouse’ for every choice. it makes no difference outside of the fact that the latter involved you actually getting off the couch.

    you’re just bitching for the sake of bitching.

  150. 150
    Fred says:

    Hey Boehner,

    Where are the jobs? You promised jobs. Did you make those jobs come back yet. Where are the jobs. You said there would be jobs. How many bills have you passed about jobs? Are there any in the works?

    WHERE ARE THE JOBS BOEHNER!

  151. 151
    les says:

    @geg6:

    To the contrary, geg, let ‘im cling. All the way down.

  152. 152
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Fred:

    WHERE ARE THE JOBS BOEHNER!

    Boehner blows job stimulus, erupts as Teabaggers force him down.

  153. 153
    Anoniminous says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Voting “Present” means the member was on the floor. Thus the Bill, should it have passed, met the quorum requirement.

  154. 154
    Corner Stone says:

    @Lee: No Lee. Thanks.

  155. 155
    cynickal says:

    I just love the title

  156. 156
    asiangrrlMN says:

    NANCY SMASH! Getting it done. Way to go, soon-to-be (I hope), Madam Speaker of the House.

  157. 157

    […] Cole chortles: True, Nancy no longer possesses the Hammer of Thor, but she still has a few tricks up her […]

  158. 158
    Bob Loblaw says:

    I still can’t believe so many of you creamed your jeans over an irrelevant campaign stunt by congressmen playing little games on a day when their opponents voted to privatize Medicare. Was that last part not enough for the day?

  159. 159
    EDP4BHO says:

    @mclaren:
    “Republicans want to end medicare? Great. Let’s have that debate.”

    PBO said as much after the December compromise. And he has the balls to say it again. Look up the video.

  160. 160
    Mr. Blink says:

    Republicans vote yes. Then republicans vote no. You can’t explain that.

  161. 161
    RoonieRoo says:

    I think I need to write Nancy a love letter.

  162. 162
    AxelFoley says:

    @Bob Loblaw: @ post #29

    And you’re so predictable.

  163. 163
    Corner Stone says:

    @AxelFoley: Man. Kind of disappointing.
    I was sure you would go for the banana in the tailpipe routine again here.

  164. 164
    Petorado says:

    Brilliant move by Nancy. In an election cycle when the tea-types will be primary-ing their Republican Congresscritters to elect candidates as far to the right of reality as possible, this vote will be a litmus test of their right wingy-ness. The vote didn’t pass, but the turncoats are now sweating, and that’s what Nancy was hoping for. And the folks who remained voting for the affirmative, Lord help their chances with the “get government out of my Medicare scooter” crowd. Good for her. Success breeds success.

  165. 165
    Avi says:

    “When is John Boehner going to get control of his caucus”

    When it voted for the Ryan budget, is the response.

  166. 166
    Nikolai says:

    This is what I don’t like about American Government. The Democrats voted PRESENT? This is one reason why I switched to Independent!

  167. 167
    TenguPhule says:

    This is one reason why I switched to Independent!

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Moran.

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