What Passes As Legislating….


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The current Congress is a complete waste of time and money, but even for them, defending open racists is low.

The whole mess started Tuesday, when Democrats successfully added amendments to a funding bill for the Department of the Interior that would have ended the practice of inviting Confederate fetishist groups to decorate Confederate soldiers’ graves with little Confederate flags on Lost Cause Day or whatever they call it, and would also have pulled Confederate flag-themed merch from gift shops at national parks. Angry southern Republicans threatened to pull their support for the Interior bill, which has some lovely giveaways to corporate polluters that are very dear to GOP leadership, and so Wednesday night, Republicans introduced a new amendment to strip out the previous amendments and go back to prior US Parks Service policy. By Wednesday morning, however, it looked like that amendment would fail — and Republicans would also have had to go on the record as being for or against the Confederate flag. So instead, the GOP leadership bravely turned around and ran, sending the Interior bill back to committee so nobody would have to say, “Yes, I think that flag should be displayed on Confederate soldiers’ graves on We Committed Treason And Lost Day.”

No, that’s not the end of it.

After the Interior bill was pulled, Pelosi immediately introduced her new measure that would remove all Confederate-type flags from the Capitol — a move which would have barred the display of the Mississippi state flag. The resolution was nearly identical to one introduced last month by Rep. Bennie Thompson, the only black member of Mississippi’s congressional delegation. Thompson pointedly does not display his state flag at his congressional office, and had introduced his version of the bill in response to the Charleston massacre as a means of pressuring the state to remove the Confederate emblem. Thompson told The Hill,

We are a nation of laws. We should not identify with symbols of hatred and bigotry. That flag, those symbols, should be put in a museum. They should not be flown under any circumstance where there is freedom and dignity in this great institution of ours.

Thompson’s resolution went nowhere, though, getting shunted off to committee to die. Before re-introducing the proposal Thursday, Pelosi noted that House Republicans were defending the Confederate flag on the anniversary of the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, with its guarantee of equal protection. Not that it’s really possible to shame some of these guys, but Pelosi certainly gave it a good shot:

Today, the same day appallingly, Republicans will cast a vote on an amendment in support of the Confederate battle flag. […] After Charleston, after so many decades of this flag serving as a banner of oppression, hate and segregation, it’s long past the time to put away the Confederate battle flag.

Just another day in the failure that is known as our House of Representatives.

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