A Matter Of Opinion

Remedial history

New House Speaker John Boehner takes the gavel from outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday.  (Associated Press)
New House Speaker John Boehner takes the gavel from outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday. (Associated Press)

The new Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives drew some snarky comments for its decision to open business Thursday by reading the Constitution.  I don't see the problem.  Everyone ought to read our main historical documents every so often.

About an hour after the event (in which liberal Seattle Democrat Jim McDermott participated), Congressman Bob Goodlatte -- who ought to be from Seattle with a name like that but actually is a Virginia Republican -- rose to speak on the House floor. Having managed the rotation of readers, he explained that there had been a minor glitch. Somebody accidentally turned an extra page, resulting in two pages not being read.

Nobody had noticed the oversight when it happened, so Goodlatte was allowed to read the neglected passages into the record.  In a ritual that was planned and conducted by people who are dismayed at how little their colleagues know about the Constitution, you'd think at least one of them would have recognized the error and corrected it on the spot.

 




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