Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"Civility took a beating" in "an act of defiant irresponsibility" 

The DFL was jamming through a close-of-session tax bill and Republicans were screaming, not so much at the content of the 33-page bill, they didn�t have time to worry about content. They were screaming about the style. Rammed, jammed, slammed. You name it, the DFLers were doing it. Their timing, their discipline was extraordinary. Parliamentary procedure, civility took a beating....

But as the clock moved to 11:55, decorum was blown away.

The tax bill was introduced. Republican Sen. Julianne Ortman was speaking, trying to ask a question about the bill.

Sen. Jim Metzen, the president of the Senate, spoke over her.

�We adjourn at 12,�� he said. �We�re going to vote this bill.��

Now it was complete chaos.

Republican Sen. Dick Day left his seat and started collecting Senate rule books from his Republican colleagues.

�We don�t need these anymore!�� he yelled.

As the DFLers voted, Senate minority leader Dave Senjem was yelling into his mike.

�Senator Ortman has the floor!��

�I don�t recognize you,�� Metzen was saying.

The Senate DFLers passed the bill. Republicans didn�t vote. It was midnight, maybe a shade after midnight.

�Motion to adjourn,�� yelled Metzen over the din of angry Republicans.

There was a 43-0 vote to adjourn.

...The DFLers unloaded months of frustration. In what many will see as an act of defiant irresponsibility, they got to say that they balanced the budget in a responsible way. It�s so responsible DFL leaders were trying to say, with straight faces, that maybe Pawlenty will see the wisdom of it and sign it.

Doug Grow. Quem Jupiter vult perdere, dementat prius.

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