This is another pitch for an all Al TV channel:
Anyone who followed Congress under Republican control until 2007 was absolutely puking in their hat when McCain started spouting his righteous indignation. Anyone who watches a little CSPAN every once in a while knows that people get cut off all the time. But the worst and most egregious hypocrisy of the predictable Republican outrage is how they bent and twisted Congressional rules in meaningful and despicable ways when they were in power. I’m not talking about cutting of a minute of bloviating, I’m talking about literally eliminating the committee’s legislative process alltogether on some critical bills. Bypassing committee amendments, votes and debates. Right to the floor! This is what ‘shutting the democrats out of the process’ meant to the Republicans. If the Democrats had the same balls (and disrespect for the Constitution, hatred of democracy, anti-American sentiment, etc) then we wouldn’t even be talking about meaningless amendments to healthcare relating to illegal immigrants, abortion, etc that score political points for the opposition but don’t really provide substantial changes to the legislation.
Process is important, and the Republicans have written the book on gaming the system. I’d recommend John Dean’s “Broken Government” if you want more detail on the tactics they employed…here’s a review that I think is pretty accurate:
In his latest anti-Republican polemic, ex-Nixon White House counsel and Watergate whistle-blower Dean (Conservatives Without Conscience) moves from policy to process, how necessary government functions are corrupted and hobbled by Republican politicians and their ethos of authoritarianism, secrecy, partisanship and dogmatic contempt for the public sphere.
It’s a long indictment. The last Republican Congress, Dean contends, rubber-stamped Bush’s policies, shut Democrats out of the legislative process, neglected pressing issues and made a shambles of government finances. Meanwhile, the Bush administration–the worst presidency ever–has sought to replace constitutional checks and balances with a unitary executive that brooks no congressional interference and undermines civil rights. All of this is enabled by the swelling ranks of fundamentalists on the federal bench and Supreme Court (some of whom, he insists, committed perjury to get confirmed).
For this, McCain gets my nomination for “Hypocrite of the Week”