“With cat-like tread upon our foes we steal.” So boasted Gilbert and Sullivan’s pirates of Penzance as they decided to try a little burglary for a change. And “steal” is the appropriate word.
It’s hardly a surprise that Republican congressional leaders and their cadre of Democratic allies spurred on by Barack Obama are resorting to a bagful of parliamentary tricks to put the Trans-Pacific Partnership on a “take it or leave it but you can’t change it” fast-track to enactment by Tuesday.
No sooner had the first round gone to pro-democracy forces than Speaker Boehner – forever remembered as the man who handed out tobacco lobby checks to members on the House floor — promptly scheduled a new vote allowing time to bring pressure on naysayers.
Remember when Tom De Lay, the former House Republican majority leader used to stop the clock of a legislative day at five minutes to midnight, the lobbyists’ favorite witching hour? That way he could whipsaw doubters into line behind something President George W. Bush wanted but couldn’t get through Congress in the open.
Boehner learned a lot from watching DeLay, and now he, Senate Majority Leader Mitch (“Mr. Dark Money”) McConnell, and assorted cronies are