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Monday, December 11, 2006

I'm one of the five

Over on The Corner, John Derbyshire writes that

[i]f anyone deserves th[e] title [of "uberwonk"], it is surely NR's publisher Jack Fowler. At an editorial meeting this morning we were discussing the House of Representatives. The issue of cloture came up. Jack, briskly: "The House doesn't have a cloture rule."

I don't know about you, but I found this sensationally impressive. I mean, how many people โ€” people not employed on Capitol Hill โ€” know that? Five?

I don't doubt that Mr. Fowler and Mr. Derbyshire are both extremely knowledgeable, but the reason that the House of Representatives doesn't need a cloture rule is because it doesn't have rules that otherwise permit unlimited debate. Mr. Fowler probably was able to be particularly "brisk" on this topic because he knows that House leaders have long been able to make their members siddown and shaddup, but that that's not so in the Senate. Indeed, that's one of the fundamental historical differences between the two chambers, and a very large part of the reason why minorities in the Senate have been able to block legislation when comparable minorities in the House haven't.

I'm pretty sure that considerably more than five of my readers knew that, wonks or not.

Posted by Beldar at 03:45 PM in Humor, Politics (2006 & earlier) | Permalink


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(1) craig mclaughlin made the following comment | Dec 11, 2006 4:15:43 PM | Permalink

How could someone paid to write for a political journal not know that? And I thought Silvestre Reyes was clueless.

(2) Kent G. Budge made the following comment | Dec 11, 2006 4:16:10 PM | Permalink

Well of course I knew this; have since about the seventh grade.

I want to know who all the idiots are that don't know this, so I can avoid hiring them or voting for them.

(3) Ron Coleman made the following comment | Dec 13, 2006 10:49:33 PM | Permalink

Yeah, there might actually be seven or eight of us. But then again, we're all ten or more years old than the average National Review editor so we remember things like civics classes.

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