Sunday, January 09, 2005

Squashing Republican Dissent in the U.S. House

Wonder how Madame Virginia Foxx feels about the purge of dissenters that went on this week in the Republican caucus of the U.S. House? Madame Foxx has never made her fame as a team player. She was never one to react well to male autocracy, and yet she's gone off to make her nest in the Valhalla of male autocracy, and this week the Republican male grandees of the House moved to purge anyone not toeing the party line. The message, according to this insightful article today by the WashPost's Mike Allen, is that dissent will not be tolerated.

Dennis Hastert is dumping Joel Hefley as chair of the Ethics Committee, after ramming through a new rule which practically guarantees there'll be no more ethics investigations of anyone.

Dennis Hastert dumped Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) as chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee, because he was insufficiently stingy with money. Hell, they not only took away Smith's chairmanship; they kicked him off the committee entirely. (Last heard from on Friday, Smith was trying to put a brave face on his new committee assignment, "Committee In Charge of Sitting By the Door.")

Republicans have made it harder for Democrats to offer amendments to bills, far harder to have imput on conference committees.

Mike Allen writes, "Democrats and some Republicans, troubled by the moves, cite parallels between today's Republicans and the Democrats who lost their 40-year hold on the House in 1994 after Gingrich and other conservatives campaigned against them as autocratic and corrupt, and gained 52 seats. 'It took Democrats 40 years to get as arrogant as we have become in 10,' one Republican leadership aide said."

Speaking of arrogance (and getting back to Madame Foxx), how in the world is the madame going to get along in that atmosphere? Or, more to the point, how are those ole boys going to get along with the likes of her?

Could be interesting.

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