Political Irony

As I recover from late night election watching by trying to stave off exhaustion with caffeine infusion I ponder a couple of ironic aspects of yesterday’s election.

The first is that the Bush White House is calling for bi-partisanship. This is incredibly ironic since, by many accounts, this is the most partisan White House in recent history. I guess your perspective changes in a hurry when you no longer control Congress.

The second is closer to home. It is very ironic to me that of all the Florida Constitutional Amendments that were decided yesterday only 1 was passed with less than 60% of the vote. The irony of this is that Amendment 3 which passed with 58% limits the power of the people to change the constitution in the future to votes of 60% or greater in favor. If I had voted for this law it might give me pause to consider that I succeeded in changing the law only because I hadn’t already succeeded in limiting my power to do so.

UPDATED: To get a feel for just how ballsy the call by Republicans for bipartisanship in the house really is check out this story about life on the Hill under Republican rule of the house: THE MISERY OF BEING A HOUSE DEMOCRAT.

Update II: Since you have to be subscribed to The New Republic to get that article here is a pdf of it: THE MISERY OF BEING A HOUSE DEMOCRAT.pdf

Jerry Sutton

I am, at heart, a software developer though I am currently managing a small Information Technology department for a mid sized company located in my hometown of Jacksonville, FL. When I am not playing with the latest smart-phone or trying to become inspired to write code I read almost anything I can get my hands on from Pulp Era adventures to biographies of world leaders and everything in between.


  1. Thats unfortunate because its a great read. However here are a few relevant exerpts:

    But, on a Tuesday afternoon in mid-May, Van Hollen isn’t grinning. He’s waiting to ask permission, which will probably not be granted, to make an effort, which will almost certainly fail, to alter a piece of legislation. This has him standing in a hallway outside the door to H-313, a cramped, hard-to-find space on the third floor of the U.S. Capitol Building that serves as the hearing room of the House Rules Committee. While “Rules Committee” may sound like something that enforces dress codes, it is in fact one of the most powerful, if little-known, bodies in Congress. Rules dictates nearly everything that happens on the floor of the House of Representatives, from how long bills will be debated to which amendments and legislative alternatives–if any–will be granted a vote. With a crack of the gavel, the Rules Committee can, and often does, decree that even a bill or an amendment with clear majority support never comes up for a vote. In some ways, the House floor is merely a stage; H-313 is where the scripts are written, the outcomes preordained. Democrats often say that c-span would better serve the public by moving its cameras from the House floor to this room.

    What really upsets Van Hollen is the way the Republicans have–quite consciously, he believes–slipped this contentious civil service provision into a large and popular bill. That prevents GOP moderates from facing a sticky up-or-down vote on the civil service language and, although Van Hollen doesn’t say this, presents Democrats like himself with an unpalatable choice. He can vote for the bill, hated provision and all–or he can oppose a military spending bill and look forward to the inevitable assaults on his patriotism. Van Hollen isn’t sure what to do. “I haven’t said I would vote against the final bill,” he explains cautiously. “I support most of what’s in this very big bill.” Which is just how Republicans planned it.

    Shrewdly, Republicans make process stories especially unappealing to reporters. The Rules Committee, for instance, often considers controversial bills late at night, long after the evening news and even newspaper deadlines. “They intentionally do things late at night so they can sneak things through,” says Frost, who has dubbed this the “Vampire Congress.” Another aide offers a blunter assessment, one borne of obvious bitterness: “The press is pretty goddamn lazy. In order to write about the Rules Committee would mean that you actually have to learn something about rules and procedures. And the press just doesn’t do that.”

  2. I’ve uploaded a pdf version of the article. Its an interesting read into how government works..or doesn’t work.

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