Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) has come full circle in his astounding, American life. He came to prominence during the struggles of the 1960s as an original member of the “Big Six” civil rights leaders who risked their lives for the rights of black Americans to vote and exercise other basic rights guaranteed by the US Constitution. And last night, he led a sit-in on the floor of the US House of Representatives for the sole purpose of curtailing those same constitutionally-protected rights.
Here’s your latest update on the “Occupy Congress” efforts led by aging Baby Boomers trying to re-live their hippie days on your dime and on your time.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) June 22, 2016
As of 5:55 AM the Democrats continued their demonstrations and speeches using smartphones hooked in to the Periscope app on Twitter. C-Span chose to broadcast the Periscope stream since the official cameras for the House had been shut-down by the GOP leadership when the House adjourned earlier in the morning.
Around 3:30 AM, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) held a press conference for reporters and Roll Call reported that some members of the House were curled up and sleeping in their seats:
Democrats acknowledged their efforts did not result in a vote on any gun bills but said their efforts helped elevate their cause. Hoyer said he did not have further discussions with the speaker or Sergeant at Arms about House rules on the floor and what that would mean in the future
Hoyer said there is a whip meeting on Thursday at 10 a.m. where they may discuss the next steps.
Some members were seen in their seats curled up in blankets and nodding off around 4:15 a.m.
— Steny Hoyer (@WhipHoyer) June 23, 2016
The House formally adjourned at 3:30 AM as Speaker Ryan attempted to speak reason to the Dems:
“The chair appreciates that members will differ on matters of policy and will seek to express those differences. But the chair would hope that the business of the House could be conducted in a fashion that respects positively on the dignity and decorum of this institution.”
Isn’t that precious? He thinks he can appeal to their sense of decorum.
Meanwhile, as Mollie Hemingway at the Federalist points out some despicable hypocrisy on the part of the Democrats on this sit-in and the way the media covered a GOP protest after then-Speaker Pelosi adjourned the House without a vote they wanted:
After Republicans declared the recess and accordingly turned off the C-SPAN cameras, Democrats were furious and cried out about the unfairness of having cameras taken away from them. But in 2008, Republicans opposed a motion to adjourn before scheduling a vote to allow off-shore drilling. They refused to leave and continued to bash then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for leaving town before a vote. Democrats turned off the lights and microphones and shut off C-SPAN.
As John Bresnahan of Politico wrote at the time:
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?’ complained one senior Democratic aide. Another called the Republicans ‘morons’ for staying on the floor.
Then they sent cops to kick reporters out. In the end, their rebellion only lasted five hours and wasn’t as helpful as the Democrats’ turn because they staged it during recess.
And speaking of the media, CNN has now replaced their insidious “Count-down Clock” with a “Count-UP Clock” to record how long the “Occupy Congress” protest has been going on.
There’s no telling why Republicans in the House aren’t proud and eager to engage the Democrats in this debate. Why not embrace the opportunity to show how Democrats are lying about the “No Fly” list and lying about the mass shootings in America that would not be prevented in any possible way by their gun control measures? Why not take this opportunity to point out the Dems’ hypocrisy on the day-to-day gun deaths of young, black men in urban areas (the districts many of these congressmen represent) that gets ignored without any comment or protest in the House? Why not take this opportunity to stand for freedom, liberty, the constitution and our God-given right to self defense?
It would be nice to see Republicans engage in that debate at some point. But, until they do, there’s only one thing we can be sure of: The Obamazation of the Democratic Party is complete. He has successfully community organized the party. At this point, the proud history of the Democrats dating back to Jefferson and Jackson has been reduced to a group of misfits resembling rejects from an Acorn protest.