“Shame! Shame! Capital Hill police working under strict orders to shut Capital down at 430 pm today. Speaker Pelosi wants this shut down” -http://twitter.com/petehoekstra
This is both hilarious and heartening! Dynamic Democracy!
Yesterday, the Democrats admitted, they don’t care if gasoline goes to ten bucks a gallon.
Today, the GOP asked for continued debate on oil drilling; the Democrats voted instead to adjourn.
Accordingly, the Pelosi turned off the lights, turned off the microphones and ordered the cameras turned off.
But the GOP are staying. And talking. And apparently having a hell of a good time, even though the Democrats are basically asking the press not to cover what they are calling “a temper tantrum”:
At one point, the lights went off in the House and the microphones were turned off in the chamber, meaning Republicans were talking in the dark. But as Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz..) was speaking, the lights went back on, and the microphones were turned on shortly afterward.
But C-SPAN, which has no control over the cameras in the chamber, has stopped broadcasting the House floor, meaning no one is witnessing this except the assembled Republicans, their aides, and one Democrat, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who has now left.
Only about a half-dozen Republicans were on the floor when this began, but the crowd has grown to about 20 now, according to Patrick O’Connor.
“This is the people’s House,” Rep, Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) said. “This is not Pelosi’s politiburo.”
Democratic aides were furious at the GOP stunt, and reporters were kicked out of the Speaker’s Lobby, the space next to the House floor where they normally interview lawmakers.
“You’re not covering this, are you?” complaing one senior Democratic aide. Another called the Republicans “morons” for staying on the floor.
There is no mainstream media coverage of this. I turned on the radio and flipped around – only Rush is mentioning it, but he is not (surprisingly) getting on the phone with anyone on the floor to describe what is happening. This feels a little like “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” with the same very limited press coverage. Thankfully, the Crypt is updating, (and apparently are amused, as well):
Update – The Capitol Police are now trying to kick reporters out of the press gallery above the floor, meaning we can’t watch the Republicans anymore. But Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) is now in the gallery talking to reporters, so the cops have held off for a minute. Clearly, Democrats don’t want Republicans getting any press for this episode. GOP leaders are trying to find other Republicans to rotate in for Blunt so reporters aren’t kicked out.
Update 2 – This message was sent out by Blunt’s office:
“Although, this Democrat Majority just Adjourned for the Democrat 5-Week Vacation, House Republicans are continuing to fight on the House Floor. Although the lights, mics and C-SPAN camera’s have been turned off, House Republicans are on the Floor speaking to the tax payers in the gallery who, not surprisingly, agree with Republican Energy proposals.
All Republicans who are in town are encouraged to come to the House Floor.”
Update 3 – Democrats just turned out the lights again. Republicans cheered.
Update 4 – Republican leaders just sent out a notice looking for a bullhorn and leadership aides are trying to corral all the members who are still in town to come speak on the floor and sustain this one-sided debate.
Apparently the first time the lights were turned back on was a freak:
Republicans can thank Shadegg for turning on the microphones the first time. Apparently, the fiesty Arizona conservative started typing random codes into the chamber’s public address system and accidentally typed the correct code, allowing Republicans brief access to the microphone before it was turned off again.
If the GOP manages to sustain this, I may even send them a damn check. Meanwhile, there should be enough alternative media out there – cell phones, laptops, etc – that someone on the floor should be able to describe what is happening and get the info out.
Update 4 – The scene on the floor is kind of crazy. Normally, members are not allowed to speak directly to the visitor galleries, or visitors are prohibited from cheering. But in this case, the members are walking up and down on the floor during their speeches, standing on cheers, the visitors are cheering loudly. Some members even brought in visitors, who are now sitting on the House floor in the seats normally filled by lawmakers, cheering and clapping. Very funny.
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), who was on a place headed home, headed back to the Capitol, walking onto the floor dragging his luggage. He got a standing ovation.
Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) called it a “new Boston Tea Party!”
Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) said he was “not leaving until we call this Congress back into session and vote for energy independence.”
Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said the dimly lit chamber is a “vision of the future by the Democrat Party – the lights are out, there’s no power, and the air conditioning is gonna go off soon.”-[emphasis mine – admin]
They’re coming back in shorts and sandals.
UPDATE: Remember when we talked about the Pelosi and Sen. Feinstein talking about controlling what the members of Congress could send out over the internet? Rep. John Culberson is twittering on the days events. (H/T Allahpundit.)
I called Nancy Pelosi’s office and left a message suggesting that it would be smart and fair to turn the lights on and allow a public debate on this drilling question. And I did ask how – since nuclear power is verboten, and alternative fuels are not yet abundant or affordable – her stance was going to CREATE more oil for heating tanks in future winters. I gently reminded her that Obama’s $1,000 election-year buy-off wouldn’t buy 250 gallons of heating oil this winter.
I wish I’d reminded her that US Drilling is more enviro-friendly than the drilling going on in other countries, if she really wants to “save the planet”.
Call – but be polite! 1-202-225-0100 And call your GOP rep, if you have one, to encourage them. Here is a list of the spontaneous revolters; it’s about damn time the GOP found their spine.
Bookworm: If a Tree falls in the forest…
La Malkin here and here, where she is updating constantly.
Gateway Pundit: get those TV’s turned on! (Unfortunately, it seems CSpan has no control over the cameras) and bring in cots and candles. Some fans, I think. And water.
I’ve got a blog, and I ain’t afraid to use it