Sunday, March 20, 2005

Republicans vs. the Constitution: House Dems show a little spine on Schiavo 

Good for them.

A little awkwardly, Bobby Schindler and Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., shook hands.

As reporters and photographers gathered, he handed Moran a CD and urged him to consider footage of his sister.

"I am happy to take a look at that," Moran replied. "But my greater concern is not with the immediate facts of this case as much as it is the precedent, of overruling the state courts, of politicizing a tragic family situation."

The encounter took place after House GOP leaders were rebuffed by Democrats in their initial effort to rush the legislation through in the early afternoon. The House was returning later to consider the measure under less restrictive rules, aiming for a vote early Monday on the bill that was passed by the Senate late Sunday afternoon.
(via AP)

Good for Moran. That took courage. And of course the Republicans are just changing the rules when they lose. Don't they always?

A vote early Monday? Funny how this all blew up on a weekend, and when Harry Reid was out of town. Of course, I can see how the Republicans would want to use Palm Sunday for political purposes, God love 'em, but the timing does seem a little odd, doesn't it? Almost as if they wanted the Sunday talk shows to, um, Change the Subject.

NOTE For the reality based community, the facts on Schiavo from wikipedia (a tip of the ol' Corrente Hat to alert reader Nancy).

Michael Schiavo's no plaster saint (like the rest of us). But, as Moran points out, that's not the issue at all.

The Constitution is more important than one human life—as every soldier knows when they take the oath. The Constitution is why they give their lives. Too bad more Dems aren't rallying to defend the Constitution like Moran is.

UPDATE That morning vote? Here are the details from The Miami Herald:

The tactical decision, which came amid charges of cynical political maneuvering, sharply abbreviated an extraordinary Palm Sunday session.

Not that the Republicans would ever, ever politicize Palm Sunday. Not even to fluff the base.

Republicans are expected to convene at 9 p.m. for debate and then vote on the measure around 1 a.m. Monday.

Under arcane House rules, approval could have come today only by unanimous voice vote of those present, and several Democrats had vowed to block that.

There is, at least, some honor among Democrats.

Now, Republicans must assemble a quorum of at least 218 members -- and then win a two-thirds majority of those present.

''It will be a challenge,'' said Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J. ``Phone calls started to go out as early as two days ago to alert members that on Sunday and Monday, they might be called to a vote.

And, oh yeah, about the "compromise." CNN:

Members of Congress said Saturday they had agreed on a compromise bill that was limited to the Schiavo case rather than a broader bill that Republicans wanted.

That's what makes it "trial by legislature" and a bill of attainder, you idiots!

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