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GOP leadership vote now is wrong

Posted by Richard on November 15, 2006

About a bazillion bloggers, myself included, have expressed dissatisfaction with the current GOP congressional leadership and with its effort to hurry a vote so it can maintain its control of the House Republican Conference for the next Congress.

The vote is currently scheduled for this Friday, and a number of big hitters, including Hugh Hewitt and Captain Ed, have expressed displeasure with what Hugh called "the arrogance of a defeated leadership doing a bum’s rush" when what’s called for is reasoned debate, agreement on a set of "First Principles," and then the selection of leaders.

What I haven’t seen is a more fundamental criticism of this hurried vote. Regarding the Congressional leadership, the Dirksen Congressional Center says this (emphasis added):

At the beginning of each two-year congressional session, members of the House of Representatives and the Senate meet separately to organize and select their leaders. The Republicans call their internal party organization the "Conference" while Democrats call their party organization the "Caucus."

Both parties in each chamber hold organizational meetings where their members elect their own leadership, adopt internal rules for how their party will operate, and draft their version of the institutional rules for either the House or the Senate. These meetings are closed to the public and to the press.

Excuse me, Republican leaders, but this Friday is not the beginning of the congressional session. And unless I’m very confused, the members of the House Republican Conference who will vote this Friday are the current members. At least 29 of those voting (probably more, since 8 races are undecided and I think there are some retirements) won’t be members of the next Congress. What business do they have helping to elect the party’s leadership for the next Congress? Most of them are part of the reason that the next House Republican Conference will be in the minority!

This "hurry up and vote" business is a bunch of BS, and Republicans with any guts and integrity at all ought to stand up and say so.

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