Hooray for the Budget Brawl!

This messy stuff is what democracy is supposed to look like
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2011 12:44 PM CST
Hooray for the Budget Brawl!
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Washington press corps hasn’t been kind to John Boehner's budget free-for-all, calling it “chaos,” a “headache,” “turmoil,” and worse. “There’s a far better word for what happened: democracy,” writes Kimberly Strassel in the Wall Street Journal. Boehner’s allowed anyone and everyone to offer amendments, resulting in 600 of the things. “It has been eons since the nation’s elected representatives have had to study harder, debate with such earnestness, or commit themselves so publicly.”

It’s a stark contrast from the Houses of Nancy Pelosi and Tom DeLay, in which “the leadership called all the shots and the majority saluted.” The results have been messy, but enlightening, with both parties offering amendments. Here’s one glorious example: 100 Republicans and 123 Democrats voted against funding an alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter—an alternate engine built in Boehner’s state. “Mr. Boehner didn’t have to allow that vote. Mrs. Pelosi wouldn’t have.” (More John Boehner stories.)

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