Skip to comments.Congress and cockroaches: Doug Powers on representatives protecting their right to tax you
Posted on 04/26/2004 4:36:53 PM PDT by RightWingReader
Thanks to the "Sensenbrenner Bill," the House of Representatives has ensured that it will become only the second thing that will survive a nuclear holocaust. The next natural order of business will be extensive debate as to exactly how to go about taxing cockroaches.
The bill, passed by the House 306-97, states that special elections must be held within 45 days if 100 or more House members are killed or, in some way, unable to fulfill their duties for example, in the event of a terrorist attack, or a floor collapse at a strip club.
The goal for the House is to replace all members quickly, so that only a handful aren't making the decisions that could make Americans question the legitimacy of their actions. The "Sensenbrenner Bill" recognizes the importance of having us question the legitimacy of their actions fully staffed.
Democrats criticized the plan as slow and cumbersome which is like a turtle accusing somebody of lethargy. Some House Dems would rather see a plan where state governors appoint temporary replacements. Republicans insist that, under the "Sensenbrenner Bill," new representatives should be chosen the usual way at the ballot box, by a third of the people.
This could be one of those rare times when I agree with Democrats. Any attack that eliminates hundreds of members of Congress is going to be a big event. Chances are that fear and chaos will be the order of the day. The majority of us can't even seem to make it to the ballot box when it's 75 degrees, sunny, the birds are singing and we're sipping on a latte who's going to vote if the polling place is glowing?
We're not going to be sitting there barricading ourselves behind bottled water and batteries, waving a Geiger counter over our pants before putting them on, and mummifying ourselves in duct tape, then suddenly say, "Well, I'd better go vote now this country's not gonna tax itself!"
Here's a hypothetical timeline on how the "Sensenbrenner Bill" would go down in the event that hundreds of members of Congress were incapacitated:
May 6, 8 p.m. A major catastrophic event occurs. 220 members of the House of Representatives are missing 221 if you count Alaska Rep. Don Young, who was first reported missing years earlier. In addition, 73 senators are not heard from that number drops to 72 after Jim Jeffords decides to switch his allegiance from "dead" to "alive."
May 6, 8:45 p.m. News of attacks nationwide are being reported to everybody except viewers of NBC, whose executives refuse to cut into the finale of "Friends."
May 7, 12:05 a.m. The 28 accounted-for senators convene to discuss the national emergency and listen to Robert Byrd mutter something about "Mammy fixin' up more corn bread." Meeting breaks up after quietly agreeing on a pay raise and a quick rummage through stuff left behind by missing senators, with Carl Levin claiming "dibs on Schumer's reading glasses."
May 7, 1:30 a.m. Hillary Clinton, noticing that Barbara Boxer is among the missing, starts pretending to be a California native. Meanwhile, Bill Clinton sits in Chappaqua, composing sympathy letters to the widows of many senators and representatives, expressing a heartfelt "So, you're single now?"
May 7, 6 a.m. 214 members of the House of Representatives begin an emergency session and vote to put the "Sensenbrenner Bill" into action. Don Young finally shows up two hours later and begins working on a good excuse to give to Congressional Quarterly on why he missed another vote.
May 8, 1:20 p.m. The House announces a special election will be held in three weeks, with 1,330 candidates vying for the open seats. Airwaves become filled with vicious attack ads, triggering a little known rider in McCain-Feingold that allows candidates to appear at the end of their opponent's ad and state, "I don't approve this message."
June 1, 7 a.m. Special election day. Despite a general population that is still frightened to leave their homes, voter turnout is an impressive 4 percent.
June 1, 9 p.m. Results of the special election begin to arrive. South Florida is stunned to learn their three new U.S. Representatives are all Pat Buchanan.
June 21, 6:45 p.m. Three weeks after the elections, with all new House members in place, Dan Rather reports that all races are still "too close to call."
Thanks to "Sensenbrenner Bill," and a similar bill in the Senate to come at some point in the near future, the congressional motto will forever endure: "They may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom to tax!"
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