Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Less smug jackass, more filling?

I belatedly took the advice of Frequent Commenter Scott and changed the photo on my professional page while I was doing my regular updates. It’s not quite this casual, but I do have to maintain at least a modicum of dignity.

House majority party treats minority party like crap, news at 11

Probably the most prominent feature of the past 30–40 years of American politics has been the near-simultaneous rise in party unity in the House and the evolution of aggressive majority-party control of the chamber.

To wit, the Democrats under Nancy Pelosi are behaving more-or-less identically with the Republicans under Newt Gingrich. John J. Pitney, Jr., chronicles the “old-boss, same-boss” dynamic here, with special demerits for Pelosi’s would-be right-hand-man, Jim John Murtha, who was given a pass on violating House rules on decorum after threatening retribution against a GOP lawmaker who proposed stripping funding from a pork project in Murtha’s constituency.

That isn’t to say that the majority party controls everything, even in the House; the bipartisan backers of bringing home the bacon appear to be behind this move to relocate pork-stuffing to conference committees, which will immunize pork provisions from being amended out of legislation. The Porkbusters Weenies™ are nervous, but as a political scientist, I’m just surprised it took the House that long to decide to lard up appropriations in conference.