Politics is a dirty game! Ok I know, that seems to be the overstatement of a lifetime. However, in this heavily politicized time that we live in I somehow find myself captivated with all of the things going on in Washington. In this edition of politicians do the darnest things- I offer the Hastert rule. Although this is not a legal procedure, it is more of a principle that has been used by the republican Speakers of the House since the mid 90’s. The main principle of the Hastert rule simply implies that the speaker of the House of Representatives will not allow a vote on a bill unless the majority of the majority supports the bill.
According to Politico.com Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), in a letter sent to his colleagues Monday, said he would oppose procedural votes to debate legislation if it does not meet the “Hastert Rule”. So let us go into this principle a bit shall we. At its best this idea gets an EH from me as far as being taking seriously as a binding principle, I have to admit that it is seems completely hypocritical now that it is painfully clear that this type of thinking is not applied nor observed throughout the entire government, including the party which beget this principle in the first place. Doesn’t this line of thinking compromise the ability for our public representatives to think independently about issues for the advancement of legislation by which they believe to be for the betterment of the American People? Does this line of thinking father a mentality of my party is the only party good or bad that should dictate legislation to the American people?
The current Speaker of the House John Boehner drew the ire of the former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert from the American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012. This piece of legislation received 85 out of 241 votes from republicans and 172 votes from the Democrats. Let’s assume for a moment (maybe dangerously so) that there was no other reason for the Speaker of the House to bring this vote up to vote because he believed he was doing the correct thing for the country. Why must he be bound to any makeshift principle? Besides wasn’t there a big get up made from republican legislatures that scoffed at the notion of a democratically elected president coming off a decisive victory has a mandate from the American people? I guess it would be nice to take a stance once and for all: Does a majority indicate a mandate?