Thursday, February 16, 2006
Freedom Of Speech in Congress
This is just an interesting aside. I was watching Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D) speaking this morning on the floor of Congress, when she brought up an article by our good friend Thom Hartman. The article is titled, "Rumsfeld and Cheney Revive Their 70's Terror Playbook." As the representative was reading a part of the article, Dick Cheney's name came up. Immediately, the speaker of the house ordered her to suspend. As the camera panned up, you see a man who is apparently a republican lawyer, whispering into the speaker's ear. The speaker then says, and I paraphrase, "The representative may not make any references to the Vice President." Now, can anyone tell me what that is about? Since when is a speaker in Congress not allowed to refer to the Vice President? Does the same hold true for references to the President. Representative McKinney continued, saying she was just quoting from an article. The Speaker repeated the same thing about not referring to the Vice President, but representative McKinney simply continued, but first made a passing comment about the administration trying to "prevent us from speaking." It was very, very strange.