Tuesday, September 15, 2009

First Amendment dangers

Ever wonder how serious our elected representatives are about guarding our right to free expression. Apparently not too serious based on a review of "banned phrases" in the House rules. The full text is at Politico.

House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) has released a helpful, updated primer for members regarding their conduct on the floor and in committees.

Especially useful: The section on how to properly insult the executive branch in the in the chamber.

"Disgrace" and "nitwits" -- okay.

"Liar" or "sexual misconduct" -- ixnay.

Under section 370 of the House Rules and Manual it has been held that a Member could:

• refer to the government as “something hated, something oppressive.”
• refer to the President as “using legislative or judicial pork.”
• refer to a Presidential message as a “disgrace to the country.”
• refer to unnamed officials as “our half-baked nitwits handling foreign affairs.”

Likewise, it has been held that a member could not:

• call the President a “liar.”
• call the President a “hypocrite.”
• describe the President’s veto of a bill as “cowardly.”
• charge that the President has been “intellectually dishonest.”
• refer to the President as “giving aid and comfort to the enemy.”
• refer to alleged “sexual misconduct on the President’s part.”

Don't know about you but I am all for clarity. Especially when it comes to providing political direction.


Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Sir, would you have heartache if I placed you into my The Usual Suspects blogroll on Bloviating Zeppelin?


Dirty Copper said...

I would be honored!