Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Democrats Putting Shackles on the GOP

Check out this article. The Democrats, under House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have pushed through legislation that amends the rules regarding motions to "recommit" bills to committee before they are voted on by the Senate as a whole. Specifically, the changes will make it much more difficult for Republicans to recommit the bills and make changes to them.

In the past, the recommit option was used - by both sides - to make amendments to legislation, if not kill it all together. For more than 100 years, this option was used by the minority party to maintain influence over the workings of the Senate. Now, that option is gone.

Basically, what this means is that the Republican Party now has virtually no way to contest legislation proposed by the Democrats. Anything, from tax hikes to gun control to you-name-it can be pushed through for an immediate vote by the Dems with absolutely no input from the GOP. In other words, the Democratic Party will, for all intents and purposes, now literally be in absolute control of the Senate.

In addition, Pelosi's rule changes have abolished term limits for Senate Committee Chairpersons, allowing Senators to maintain control over their committees for as long as they remain in office, which means, assuming current voting trends continue, means that they'll most likely be in control until they either die or decide to retire. This further centers power in the Senate in the hands of a few select individuals, instead of spreading it equally between all of the Senators, as should be done.

Between these two bits of legislation, the Democrats have effectively muzzled the Republican Party. This angers me, not as a Republican (I'd probably be just as pissed if the GOP was behind it), but as an American. Our government is supposed to be about democracy, about debate, about both sides coming together and compromising for the common good, not push one set agenda into law.

Our government was founded on the principle of being "of the people, by the people, for the people," not "of the Party, by the Party, for the Party." Nancy Pelosi needs a forceful reminder of this.

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