Republicans, as we all know, are a scrupulous group with nothing but the utmost respect for the rule of law. They especially get excited about the kinds of laws that are either arbitrary or imaginary, or that only apply to other people. So they are understandably a bit UPSET that Harry Reid broke a non-existent rule on the Senate floor when he said a mean thing about Mitt Romney. They are so upset, in fact, that they have sent a “senior Senate Republican aide” to whine to a typist at The Hill.
[Harry] Reid pounced on Romney on Wednesday for remarks he made earlier this year characterizing “47 percent” of the nation as people who believe they are victims and who rely on government handouts. [...]
“He’s campaigning on the Senate floor. It’s the taxpayer-funded Senate floor. The speech had nothing to do with the Senate. It was a pure campaign speech. You couldn’t give it in the rotunda. You couldn’t give it in my office. It’s a taxpayer-funded building,” said a senior Senate Republican aide.
Oh TOTALLY this is a fair point, and Harry Reid should elevate his level of discourse to that of say, John Boehner (R-Bonerland) and cry about problems that don’t exist (and handed out lobbyist checks on the floor to boot), or Dick Cheney, who told Senator Leahy to fuck himself on the Senate floor. And where would we all be without Randy Neugebauer (R-Asshole) shouting “baby killer” at Bart Stupak while he pontificated about the health care bill? And we at Wonkette feel much freer now that Senator Orrin Hatch has accused the Obama administration of siding with the far-left to take away our God-given religious freedom (no, not the kind that permits the building of mosques in Murfeesborough, the kind that allows us to tell women what to do.) This would surely be an improvement over discussing income inequality and the fairness of the tax code!
A federal law known as the Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity while on duty, in a federal facility or while using federal property…But this restriction has been largely interpreted as a ban on receiving or soliciting campaign contributions in Senate buildings.
Robert Dove, who served as Senate parliamentarian from 1981 to 1987 and from 1995 to 2001, said there are few restrictions on what senators can say on the floor.
“There are only two things you cannot say on the Senate floor: You cannot criticize another state in the union and you cannot impute to any senator any action unbecoming to a senator,” said Dove, who also served as legislative consultant to former Senate Republican Leader Bob Dole (Kan.). “Everything else is open and allowed.”
We are sad that you cannot criticize another state in the union, because what else can you do about places like Mississippi or Louisiana. However, we are excited that everything else is “open and allowed.” Did you know, for example, that when you Google “Senate floor bill,” it tries to autofill “Senate floor beatings”? This, apparently is not forbidden by the Hatch Act and would probably be an improvement over the level of discourse we see currently.