We witnessed a throwback to what, it seems, the old & new school Democrats think of as their “good old days”. This, of course, refers to the shut-down of the House by the Democrats over the lack of a gun control vote. Speaker Ryan recognized that the votes in the Senate were not there since that body had voted, and found no reason to go through a dead-end process even though the minority faction had its hopes pinned on the long, tedious process it desired. They longed for the ‘great theater’ they knew they’d be afforded if only the nasty Speaker would give in.
So, they decided, instead, that it was time to disrupt the business of the House and conduct a good old fashioned “sit-in”. This delighted the press corps which just can’t seem to get to the point of neutrality in its coverage of the federal government. And, all those who wish Paul Ryan weren’t the brightest guy in the room engaged in their mutual love fest.
All this was going on while across the pond the Brits were voting in what has been labeled the “Brexit” consideration and they decided they wanted no further part of the greater European initiative. The contrast between what was occurring in our House of Representatives and the historic vote being conducted in Great Britain was stark. That point was, unfortunately, lost on the Democrats who were enjoying the role of the pouting youngster.
Ours is a democracy and we accept that with all its good and not-so-good connotations. It is most unfortunate that not everyone in the House of Representatives can conduct themselves in the manner that august institution deserves. We can and do disagree without going into a snit fit. We are, for the most part, adults and we know we do not always get our way. We expect better from our elected representatives especially at the national level, no matter their party affiliation. We are nearing the end of an eight-year period where we have seen political posturing at our highest elected level, and that has enabled those at the next level to believe they can also use that tool. No matter the level of government at which such actions occur, it is demeaning to our democracy.
Purely political posturing can be and often is ugly. That is precisely what we saw yesterday. Some will lay the blame for that at the feet of the Speaker of the House. Others of us will see the fault where it actually lies.