The HELP committee vote on Betsy Devos was a complete travesty of governance. All of the committee members who were present voted, and yet a vote was allowed by a member who was not present. After an objection was made, the chairman ruled that an objection must be made at the time of the action.
Changing the rules and re-voting until he gets a favorable outcome …..
However, it is a point of disorder to interrupt a vote. This means that you can’t actually object. To be clear the vote was 11-11 of the committee members that were present, but Sen Lamar Alexander changed the rules to allow a proxy vote even though it was objected.
He goes on to delay until the absent member could be called in. He then called a re-vote without notice and changed the ruling of the committee.
**A dangerous precedent**
The committee just set a dangerous precedent that the chairman of the committee is capable of making up rules as they go along. This caused an eruption of objections from the Democratic side of the panel. All of which were summarily dismissed by Sen. Alexander.
Sen. Al Franken went on to say at the end of the committee vote that it was “…the most embarrassing hearing” he had ever attended.
**Freedom is not free**
Watching the whole event take place, was a reminder that complacency will no longer be amenable to a free and open society. This is the education of our children, more importantly the education of an entire generation of voters. That is if voting is a thing that our children will get to do. This year has reminded us that freedom is a fickle pursuit. It requires our full attention and involvement to correct its course.