The PJ Tatler

Video: Pandemonium in the PA statehouse

I would say that the Taiwan animation of this story will be gold, but, well, Taiwan’s parliament tends to get a bit more violent.

Here’s what happened in Harrisburg (videos at the link):

Republicans fired first, accusing Democrats of “gumming up the gears” of government. Democrats proposed a wave of amendments to previously non-controversial reform bills, which in the words of Republican Majority Leader Rep. Mike Turzai “was designed to create a circus atmosphere on the House floor.”In response, Republicans forced through changes to make it easier for them to push aside amendments they don’t agree with.

Ok, here’s what this sounds like to me, and perhaps someone reading this in PA can help us out.  In 2009, as the Democrats in the Texas House faced dealing with a major bill they didn’t like, they found a way to filibuster it and kill it.  That process, called chubbing, involves standing up in the House and stalling by commenting on uncontroversial bills that ordinarily get passed without any discussion at all.  There are hundreds of these bills in every session, and they’re usually dealt with en masse.  The chubbing killed everything there wasn’t enough time to deal with, including the bill the Democrats specifically wanted killed, which in this case was a voter photo ID bill.

This PA situation sounds similar.  The Democrats, now in the minority, face dealing with bills they don’t like but lack the votes to actually kill outright.  So they’re using a form of filibustering, in this case by attaching all sorts of amendments to everything they don’t like.  PA readers, does that sound about right?

In any case, the situation quickly devolved into shouting, and the Democrats eventually walked out.  That’s in the second video at the link.  Which, come to think of it, also reminds me of something that happened here in Texas — when the Democrats ran off to Oklahoma rather than deal with a state redistricting plan they didn’t like.

Is this how Democrats everywhere behave when they’ve suddenly been relegated to the minority?  If it is, the 112th Congress might turn out to be more entertaining than expected.