Thursday, January 05, 2017

KY House Democrats have little ground to criticize Republicans on prolife bills #KYga17

On the day that the New and Improved Kentucky General Assembly passed two prolife bills, Planned Parenthood held a rally in the Capitol Rotunda to warn against the dangers of saving unborn babies.

But at least no one was offering fetal body parts for sale. We'll give them that.

Planned Parenthood's defenders in the House, of course, voted against the bills. The opponents charged Republican leadership with "railroading" the bill through (at "breakneck speed," said the ACLU). That's right. A bill (or something very similar to it) which has been introduced repeatedly and which has even had several legislative hearings (but no votes, other than in the Senate) over the course of several years just hasn't received enough scrutiny.

And, anyway, it's a pretty simple bill.

House Democrats, of course, don't like railroads when it comes to passing prolife legislation. They prefer cemetaries.

The Republicans "played ... political games" in passing the legislation, said Jeff Greer, (D-Brandenburg).

Now let us pause for a moment to consider the fact that no one has ever played political games in Frankfort before. Particularly Democrats. And Jeff Greer has never done it himself.

Democrats have never buried bills in committee. Democrats have never threatened members with punishment for either voting for bills they didn't like or for not voting for bills they did like. They've never replaced members of the committee the night before the committee was to take up a bill. They've never used parliamentary rules to make it impossible to make amendments to a bill. They've never held a bill in the Rules Committee indefinitely.


And no Democrats were seen on the floor yesterday assailing parliamentary moves that they themselves not only defended just last year, but used themselves.

Did House Republicans use parliamentary procedures to further their legislation? Of course they did. Lawmakers do it all the time. That's what parliamentary procedures are for. Legislatures pass rules so that members can use them. That's what House Republicans did when they recessed to hold a judiciary committee meeting and rolled changes to House Bill 2 (the "ultrasound" bill) into a committee substitute to prevent Democrats from offering amendments, many of which were "poison pills" to make the bill unconstitutional and therefore subject to rejection by the courts.

And did any of the people now criticizing House Republican leadership for "playing political games" to pass the bill stop to consider that the games the Republicans were playing were designed to prevent Democrats from playing political games to kill the bill?

If they did, they kept it to themselves.

The people now criticizing House Republicans for "playing political games" with a prolife bill need to ask themselves whether having their motions to suspend the rules voted on in open roll call votes isn't a little better than having the Democratic speaker ignore Republican calls for roll call votes and instead take voice votes and rule that their side won when clearly the votes were in the other direction.

Or maybe they should just stop being hypocritical.

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