Governing — how does it work?

Here’s an article about the GOP infighting over bringing immigration bills to the floor for a vote.  Go read it.

Apparently, it’s just short of open rebellion for representatives to petition for discharge, i.e., override the leadership’s agenda, which apparently in this case is to let the bills die in committee so that the Republicans won’t have to be seen voting to be incredibly cruel to humans — which would please their base but outrage the average voter, here in the year of our lord Midterms.  Indeed, why bring it to a vote when the current administration is doing a bang-up job being incredibly cruel to humans all on its own?

Here’s the quote that makes me shake my head with disgust:

“It would be an approach that would rely on mostly Democratic votes and some Republicans to pass their bill,” Scalise said, “and that’s not the way to solve this problem.”

Let’s be clear about what Rep. Scalise is saying here: we shouldn’t be trying to pass legislation — or even vote on it — using votes from both parties. We shouldn’t try to pass laws using a majority of votes from the entire House of Representatives. Laws cannot be passed with the votes of the people representing all the citizens of the United States. “That’s not the way to solve this problem.”

There are other versions of this gobbledygook all the way up and down the article: “the importance of keeping control of the legislative vehicle and solving the problem on our terms where we focus on solutions, not politics” (because passing the bills is not a solution?); “I think it’s better to use the legislative process” (which apparently does not necessarily include bringing bills to the floor for a vote); “I don’t believe in discharge petitions” (from Steve King, who probably has done a lot to keep any of the bills from being voted on).

It’s all well and good to decry our system as broken and to point fingers at both sides, but at the moment there’s only one party in charge of both chambers of Congress, and this is their attitude towards governing: if we can’t get a bill passed with just our votes, then it’s not going to pass.  They even have a name for it, the Hastert Rule, and if you think “both sides do it,” click on that link and have someone read the first sentence for you.

Naked, obscene lust for power.  That’s my name for it. Your mileage may vary.

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