Blackout: Pelosi turns off the lights as GOP demands action on drilling; Update: Video added; Update: Protest ends — with “God Bless America”

posted at 2:00 pm on August 1, 2008 by Allahpundit

A transparent stunt but an awfully shrewd one. The cameras are off so we’re forced to rely on Politico for running updates. What a scene:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the Democrats adjourned the House and turned off the lights and killed the microphones, but Republicans are still on the floor talking gas prices.

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other GOP leaders opposed the motion to adjourn the House, arguing that Pelosi’s refusal to schedule a vote allowing offshore drilling is hurting the American economy. They have refused to leave the floor after the adjournment motion passed at 11:23 a.m. and are busy bashing Pelosi and her fellow Democrats for leaving town for the August recess…

“This is the people’s House,” Rep, Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) said. “This is not Pelosi’s politiburo.”

Democratic aides were furious at the GOP stunt, and reporters were kicked out of the Speaker’s Lobby, the space next to the House floor where they normally interview lawmakers.

“You’re not covering this, are you?” complaing one senior Democratic aide. Another called the Republicans “morons” for staying on the floor…

The scene on the floor is kind of crazy. Normally, members are not allowed to speak directly to the visitor galleries, or visitors are prohibited from cheering. But in this case, the members are walking up and down on the floor during their speeches, standing on cheers, the visitors are cheering loudly. Some members even brought in visitors, who are now sitting on the House floor in the seats normally filled by lawmakers, cheering and clapping. Very funny.

GOP whip Roy Blunt issued a statement asking all Republican House members who are still in town to come to the floor. Exit question: What are the odds that someone there will be smart enough to fetch a camcorder from one of the offices near the chamber and record this for YouTubing? Eric Cantor, the deputy whip, has shown some ‘Net savvy in the past. Chop chop.

Update: And no sooner do I write those words than I get a tip that Rep. John Culberson is taping — and Twittering! — outside the chamber. Stay tuned. Click the image to watch.

Update: The boss is pleased, especially with the use of new media to get the word out.

My main post on the House GOP revolt is here and I’ll keep updating it. But I’m breaking out a separate post on the Republicans’ very savvy use of Twitter to circumvent the Democrat blackout and overcome the absence of C-SPAN cameras– and their outreach to conservative blogs to spread the word.

This is the change we’ve been waiting for, Beltway GOP.

Finally!

Update: Pete Hokestra says Capitol Hill security is ready to shut down the party promptly at 4:30 lest the GOP reap any more goodwill from this than they already have. Meanwhile, Politico’s still updating fast and furiously. Money quote:

Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said the dimly lit chamber is a “vision of the future by the Democrat Party: The lights are out, there’s no power, and the air conditioning is gonna go off soon.”

Update: It’s all over as of 5 p.m., carried off to the tune of “God Bless America.” NBC says even congressmen not known for oratory caught the fee-vah in the chamber. Says Mike Pence, “We will be here through the break.”


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Mark Levin is right. They are a bunch of Stalinist in charge in Washington.

Reaganite84 on August 1, 2008 at 2:05 PM

AWESOME!

Paging Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Neil Boortz, anybody? Get your asses in there and shoot professional quality footage….

funky chicken on August 1, 2008 at 2:05 PM

Keep it up people!

Get those 9% idiots running.

benrand on August 1, 2008 at 2:05 PM

Cheering!

Bambi on August 1, 2008 at 2:06 PM

COOL!

Get them back to the FLOOR! We need this special session. I wish I could see the video, darn youtube block!

upinak on August 1, 2008 at 2:06 PM

Nancy! Blink! Blink!

whitetop on August 1, 2008 at 2:06 PM

It’s about time!

Bambi on August 1, 2008 at 2:06 PM

Finally! Let’s shake things up a little bit!

MB007 on August 1, 2008 at 2:07 PM

“This is the people’s House,” Rep, Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) said. “This is not Pelosi’s politiburo.”

Awesome. Nice to see the guys on the hill grow a pair.

malan89 on August 1, 2008 at 2:07 PM

Brilliant move, Pelosi. That’s what the American people want to know:

Why Democrats went on vacation, Republicans stayed behind to talk about how to lower gas prices.

amerpundit on August 1, 2008 at 2:07 PM

Go, Go, Go Republicans. Make a big stink for the dems. This is my Friday lifter-upper.
L

letget on August 1, 2008 at 2:07 PM

Brilliant!

WisCon on August 1, 2008 at 2:09 PM

Wait, what parts of the OCS are they opening again? The story says:

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said the oil drilling portion of the plan would open up areas of the eastern Gulf of Mexico as well as areas off the eastern United States. He said the plan calls for a 50-mile buffer zone. Virginia, North and South Carolina and Georgia could opt in to oil leasing off their shores.

Does that include Florida? What about Alaska where a large oil reserve was discovered recently?

Queasy on August 1, 2008 at 2:09 PM

Rush is asking us all to call and give these R’s our support.
L

letget on August 1, 2008 at 2:09 PM

Now the question is, will this show on the MSM networks?

Hmmmmmm

upinak on August 1, 2008 at 2:10 PM

Resign, Pelosi!

Travis1 on August 1, 2008 at 2:10 PM

We are speaking without microphones – as though it were 1908 – acoustics of House chamber are good and gallery and you can hear us

Shut off the lights, shut off the mics, shut off the cameras! Do it! We’ll bring our own cameras! We’ll talk in the dark!

We should start our own Congress! With hookers, and black jack!


Eh, forget the Congress.

apollyonbob on August 1, 2008 at 2:10 PM

Scents of Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.

This is gutsy as hell. Keep it going, folks!

MadisonConservative on August 1, 2008 at 2:10 PM

Any list of who’s there? If my Congressman isn’t, I want to call his office and get him there.

Mynuet on August 1, 2008 at 2:11 PM

Awesome! McCotter is the man! Keep it up guys!!!

CP on August 1, 2008 at 2:11 PM

Man oh man. Just a few things like this could make this a Republican-landslide kind of year.

The baby is just sitting there with the candy. We just have to reach out and take it.

misterpeasea on August 1, 2008 at 2:12 PM

It may be a stunt, or started out as one.

But it could be something more.

cozmo on August 1, 2008 at 2:13 PM

Blackout: Pelosi turns off the lights as GOP demands action on drilling;

Fly back to San Francisco in your gas guzzling jet Nancy. But when you return, the door is going to hit you in the butt, and even harder for the Democrats come November.

byteshredder on August 1, 2008 at 2:15 PM

Any list of who’s there? If my Congressman isn’t, I want to call his office and get him there.

Mynuet on August 1, 2008 at 2:11 PM

I would assume if you have a Congressman/woman who is a R, call DC and find out!

upinak on August 1, 2008 at 2:15 PM

Nice to see the GOP showing some backbone.

brak on August 1, 2008 at 2:15 PM

“childish” comes to mind. And these are our “leaders”.

Sir Napsalot on August 1, 2008 at 2:15 PM

Nice.

Spirit of 1776 on August 1, 2008 at 2:15 PM

Any list of who’s there? If my Congressman isn’t, I want to call his office and get him there.

My Congressman is a Demoncrat who votes party line, so I can pretty much guarantee that he is not, and will not, be there.

NeighborhoodCatLady on August 1, 2008 at 2:16 PM

The Democrats have been acting like irresponsible adolescent hippies for years, about time they got a knee to the groin.

NoDonkey on August 1, 2008 at 2:16 PM

Dammit, I just called and Paul Ryan is on a plane back to Wisconsin. Not my rep for my district, but I wouldn’t lift a finger to contact Tammy Baldwin.

MadisonConservative on August 1, 2008 at 2:16 PM

Just turned Rush on. Is this live or recorded? President Bush has called in to the show.

ganeshpuri89 on August 1, 2008 at 2:16 PM

Check Redstate. It has a running update.

Blunt just ordered out for pizza.

Wethal on August 1, 2008 at 2:17 PM

Uh. Where was this passion for the past 8 years?

lorien1973 on August 1, 2008 at 2:17 PM

Brilliant. Make it into a non-stop even… schedule shifts and keep it going 24/7, right through the summer.

wccawa on August 1, 2008 at 2:18 PM

MYunet
Here is a list of the Republicans who stayed.

Just A Grunt on August 1, 2008 at 2:18 PM

Meanwhile, 39 Republicans in the Senate voted against cloture for the Defense Appropriations Bill. Apparently, the oil companies are holding our military hostage, using Republican Senators as a proxy.

Now the question is, will this show on the MSM networks?

Hmmmmmmmm

sandman on August 1, 2008 at 2:18 PM

If you have a Democrat Congresscritter, call them too, and ask what the hell they’re doing.

misterpeasea on August 1, 2008 at 2:18 PM

Keep it up, ladies and gentlemen. Don’t let your bollocks deflate!

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 1, 2008 at 2:19 PM

Pelosi’s Politburo

Perfect!

infidel on August 1, 2008 at 2:20 PM

This is the change in the Republican I have been looking for. This is your moment. Seize it. Don’t let it go. The American people are counting on you.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 1, 2008 at 2:20 PM

Democratic aides were furious at the GOP stunt

Makes it worthwhile, whatever else happens.

Cicero43 on August 1, 2008 at 2:20 PM

Members who own megaphones are being asked to bring them to the floor. Blunt just ordered pizza.

amerpundit on August 1, 2008 at 2:21 PM

“This is the people’s House,” Rep, Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) said. “This is not Pelosi’s politiburo.”

The only reason I would move from Indy back to Michigan would be to live in this guy’s district.

How about McCain/McCotter??? Call it the Double Big Mac team!

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 1, 2008 at 2:21 PM

the oil companies are holding our military hostage,
sandman on August 1, 2008 at 2:18 PM

What are you talking about? What “oil Companies” are holding our Military hostage?

Good Lord, you are that dense?

upinak on August 1, 2008 at 2:21 PM

They should call it a sit in, against the establishment, dude.

Democrats ARE the establishment in Congress.

They’re the evil dean.

Fight the power! Dissent is patriotic! Question authority!

NoDonkey on August 1, 2008 at 2:22 PM

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 1, 2008 at 2:21 PM

MI is still to liberal for me. Beautiful State though!

upinak on August 1, 2008 at 2:22 PM

MYunet
Here is a list of the Republicans who stayed.

Just A Grunt on August 1, 2008 at 2:18 PM

Thanks JAG

funky chicken on August 1, 2008 at 2:22 PM

Where are the Blue Dogs? Has Blunt sent an emails to them?

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 1, 2008 at 2:22 PM

Meanwhile Nancy’s yelling, “Palomino!”

KelliD on August 1, 2008 at 2:23 PM

Wait a sec – The dems recessed both the House and the Senate? Why the heck isn’t the White House making recess appointments as fast as they could churn them out?!?!?!?

rbb on August 1, 2008 at 2:23 PM

“This is the people’s House,” Rep, Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) said. “This is not Pelosi’s politiburo.”

McCotter, BTW, is one of the coolest members of Congress – creative too

See Here and Here

Congressman Thaddeus McCotter: Drill Now

Topsecretk9 on August 1, 2008 at 2:23 PM

You don’t need electricity to run the congress. What you need is fact finding and decision making.

Did it take flood lights to illuminate the dock when rebellious colonials threw that English tea over the side of the ship in Boston harbor?

Break the democrat party oil blockade.

Break the blockade, Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay less.

rockhauler on August 1, 2008 at 2:24 PM

If McNumbnuts has any brains he’d jump on the back of this train and ride it by showing his strong support for these brave members of the minority. But I’m not going to hold my breath…

sabbott on August 1, 2008 at 2:24 PM

Attica! Attica!! Attica!!!!

Sorry. I got carried away!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on August 1, 2008 at 2:24 PM

I hope the news media tracks down Granny Pelosi at whatever sunny vacation spot she’s at to ask why she doesn’t go back to DC and work.

Wethal on August 1, 2008 at 2:25 PM

202-456-1414

Call the White House, ask for the comment line, and leave a message asking Bush to address the situation, maybe with a special session.

MadisonConservative on August 1, 2008 at 2:26 PM

I was already the second person to call Jack Kingston down here in Georgia, but the secretary had no idea where he was. I left a message with my name and number to make it clear that the Republican Rebels have my full and enthusiastic support.

Mynuet on August 1, 2008 at 2:27 PM

I hope they hang some banners across the House that say “Drill here! Drill now!”

Wethal on August 1, 2008 at 2:27 PM

Man oh man, I wish I could be there!

1GooDDaDDy on August 1, 2008 at 2:27 PM

Why the heck isn’t the White House making recess appointments as fast as they could churn them out?!?!?!?

Great point! What’s Bolton (The Walrus) up to lately?

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 1, 2008 at 2:27 PM

This is huge! This is history being made. I don’t know if people will realize it right away, but members of Congress turning to social media, Web 2.0, in an act of defiance to get their message out is an amazing turn for democracy in my opinion. I never in a million zillion years would have thought that Twitter would ever be a vehicle for real-time democracy in action. It’s kind of uplifting, actually. If the founding fathers had had the internet, this is the kind of thing they would have done. It’s the way it should be done.

BTW, I think the second guy in the video is John Carter, my Congressman. Woot!

aero on August 1, 2008 at 2:27 PM

to address the situation, maybe with a special session.

I absolutely think he should.

Spirit of 1776 on August 1, 2008 at 2:27 PM

They should all order Italian hoagies for lunch and tell them to “hold the oil”.

hoagies=subs=heros

fogw on August 1, 2008 at 2:28 PM

I think it’s time to draft “Contract with America” v2.0. Get on the steps and sign it in front of the cameras. NOW!

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 1, 2008 at 2:28 PM

Nothing in the MSM. But they’re all over the story of the mother who might’ve killed her daughter.

misterpeasea on August 1, 2008 at 2:28 PM

90 percent of the population is still sleeping. While this may seem “childish” to some (sir napsalot…), it’s exactly the kind of stunt that the sleepwalkers can understand. It colorfully illustrates the fact that the Dems have gone “on vacation” while a bill that would authorize prouction of new supplies of oil languishes in a committee room.

I say, ram it up the collective asses of the Dem congressional leaders, as loudly and painfully as possible.

Cicero43 on August 1, 2008 at 2:29 PM

About time these guys grew a pair. This should have been a slam dunk since we still have the bully pulpit until November.

Valiant on August 1, 2008 at 2:29 PM

Buy some popcorn, guys!

newton on August 1, 2008 at 2:30 PM

http://www.breitbart.tv/html/143513.html

allah get on this now so i can comment!

Vincenzo on August 1, 2008 at 2:30 PM

aero on August 1, 2008 at 2:27 PM

That’s right aero. An end-run around the established media. The very last to know will be places like the NY Times and the networks. It’s a sea change in politics.

JiangxiDad on August 1, 2008 at 2:31 PM

reporters were kicked out of the Speaker’s Lobby,

By who?

“You’re not covering this, are you?” complaing one senior Democratic aide.

Translated: “What the hell are you doing? You’re supposed to be on our side!”

Exit question: Where the hell is the MSM? Can you imagine the coverage if a GOP led Congress adjourned and Reid and Pelosi led a party like this?

BacaDog on August 1, 2008 at 2:31 PM

Call Stretch Pelosi with beauty tips and to let her know you’re thinking about her:

Washington, D.C. Office (202) 225-4965
District Office San Fransicko, (415) 556-4862

Western_Civ on August 1, 2008 at 2:31 PM

Where’s Michelle? Doesn’t she or Mark Levin or Laura Ingraham live in the DC area?

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 1, 2008 at 2:32 PM

Absolutely awesome!

Nice to see Republicans growing some balls.

Now, if only the MSM would report this tonight.

RobertInAustin on August 1, 2008 at 2:32 PM

Of course, Drudge is only covering this as a side note (just above Stretch’s face).

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 1, 2008 at 2:32 PM

GOP Leaders now looking for a BULLHORN!!!!!

http://www.politico.com/blogs/thecrypt/0808/House_Dems_turn_out_out_the_light_but_GOP_keep_talking.html

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on August 1, 2008 at 2:33 PM

I hope some of our Republican legislators know how to turn on a freaking LIGHT SWITCH!

originalpechanga on August 1, 2008 at 2:33 PM

Awesomely awesome.

Buy Danish on August 1, 2008 at 2:33 PM

Alright, so Representative Shadegg ended up hacking the House’s public address system. The Politico:

Also, Republicans can thank Shadegg for turning on the microphones the first time. Apparently, the fiesty Arizona conservative started typing random codes into the chamber’s public address system and accidentally typed the correct code, allowing Republicans brief access to the microphone before it was turned off again.

“I love this,” Shadegg told reporters up in the press gallery afterward. “Congress can be so boring…This is a kick.”

amerpundit on August 1, 2008 at 2:33 PM

Democrat attempt to silence the GOP is reminiscent of soviet tactics to crush the freedom movement.

Kini on August 1, 2008 at 2:34 PM

S H O W D O W N

carbon_footprint on August 1, 2008 at 2:35 PM

So. Anyone know where e-mails should be sent to let them know they have our support?

Rogue Traveler on August 1, 2008 at 2:35 PM

Vincenzo on August 1, 2008 at 2:30 PM

Nice.

Charlton Heston should get their panties in a bunch.

fogw on August 1, 2008 at 2:36 PM

If any of you are in congressman’s Jones district in NC you will be happy to know he has went on vacation. I informed his staffer he should get used to it around November.

Les in NC on August 1, 2008 at 2:36 PM

I’d say WOW and Bravo Repubs, not, “very funny”.
Hmmmm, Politico seems to be on the side of the enemy.

Christine on August 1, 2008 at 2:36 PM

This is so awesome! Maybe Fox news can get some cameras in the chamber.

winemkr on August 1, 2008 at 2:36 PM

Just sent a note via the Fox News “Tips” window asking why they’re not covering this. Gonna go ping CNN, too.

aero on August 1, 2008 at 2:37 PM

How very nice of the Democrats to take a vacation for us since we can’t afford the gas anymore. How thoughtful of them.

I hope they post some nice pics so we can see where we could have gone IF GAS WASN’T $4.00 A GALLON!!!!

Lily on August 1, 2008 at 2:37 PM

Will the MSM broadcast network news shows even mention this tonight?

This is a brilliant piece of political maneuvering.

rokemronnie on August 1, 2008 at 2:37 PM

Hmmm. Not very many names on that list….only 22? C’mon congresscritters, surely more than 22 of you want to keep your jobs.

funky chicken on August 1, 2008 at 2:38 PM

The NRCC has picked up on it on their website.

amerpundit on August 1, 2008 at 2:38 PM

I just called for my Congressman.. Young (what a loser). Anyways, he isn’t there. Thanks Holly, the receptionist, for letting me know he is flying BACK to Alaska in not so many words.

If he wanted ANWR so damn bad he should have stayed.

upinak on August 1, 2008 at 2:38 PM

The “compromise” is stupid…

We need a vote on opening up EVERYTHING!

We COULD become not only energy indepenent, but a net energy EXPORTER if we only bothered to try.

Drill EVERYWHERE and let other countries finance our change to alternative energy sources.

Its an investment in the future.

Romeo13 on August 1, 2008 at 2:38 PM

AWESOME! Have you hugged a Republican genius today? Plus getting the word out through new media! Nicely played. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.

Ordinary1 on August 1, 2008 at 2:39 PM

Pete Hoekstra Twitters to say that about 1/2 the House is full and the crowd keeps growing.

amerpundit on August 1, 2008 at 2:39 PM

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