matt (hbergeronx) wrote,
matt
hbergeronx

an interesting discovery.

I was very intrigued by the fact that the vice-presidential debate involved a segment where the debater was asked to not use the name of the other member of the ticket. I thought to myself, "what an odd request", but was not terribly surprised that Edwards was unable to comply with the request and broke the rule 3 times in about 2 minutes, even after acknowledging the rule out loud.

It turns out, as I have discovered, that this is related to a rule in the Senate, whereby :

Every Senator when speaking shall address himself to the Chair. No Senator shall be shall be named in debate, but may be referred to by mentioning the State he represents or by alluding to his place in the House
( from http://www.constitution.org/ac/maclay/journal_rules.htm )


This may be coming from Roman times, as from this excerpt:

When I began to touch upon the charge, and point out the person I intended to accuse (though as yet without mentioning him by name), I was attacked on all sides.
( Pliny the Younger, Letters. CI. To Quadratus, from http://www.bartleby.com/9/4/1101.html )


I dug this info up after seeing mention of the rule referring to Margaret Chase Smith's 1950's rebuke of McCarthyism, ( from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_McCarthy ), McCarthyism being apparently why for a time Edgar Codd left the USA to live in Canada. ( from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_F._Codd ).

It is interesting, though: kind of like a trick interview question, as if to the intelligentsia, to say: this man is not qualified to lead the Senate.

It is also odd: read this quote from Smith's "Declaration of Conscience":

Today our country is being psychologically divided by the confusion and the suspicions that are bred in the United States Senate to spread like cancerous tentacles of "know nothing, suspect everything" attitudes. Today we have a Democratic Administration that has developed a mania for loose spending and loose programs. History is repeating itself -- and the Republican Party again has the opportunity to emerge as the champion of unity and prudence.

The record of the present Democratic Administration has provided us with sufficient campaign issues without the necessity of resorting to political smears. America is rapidly losing its position as leader of the world simply because the Democratic Administration has pitifully failed to provide effective leadership.

The Democratic Administration has completely confused the American people by its daily contradictory grave warnings and optimistic assurances -- that show the people that our Democratic Administration has no idea of where it is going.

The Democratic Administration has greatly lost the confidence of the American people by its complacency to the threat of communism here at home and the leak of vital secrets to Russia through key officials of the Democratic Administration. There are enough proved cases to make this point without diluting our criticism with unproved charges.

Surely these are sufficient reasons to make it clear to the American people that it is time for a change and that a Republican victory is necessary to the security of this country. Surely it is clear that this nation will continue to suffer as long as it is governed by the present ineffective Democratic Administration.

Yet to displace it with a Republican regime embracing a philosophy that lacks political integrity or intellectual honesty would prove equally disastrous to this nation. The nation sorely needs a Republican victory. But I don't want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny -- Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear.

I doubt if the Republican Party could -- simply because I don't believe the American people will uphold any political party that puts political exploitation above national interest. Surely we Republicans aren't that desperate for victory.

I don't want to see the Republican Party win that way. While it might be a fleeting victory for the Republican Party, it would be a more lasting defeat for the American people. Surely it would ultimately be suicide for the Republican Party and the two-party system that has protected our American liberties from the dictatorship of a one party system.

(Margaret Chase Smith, from http://www.mcslibrary.org/program/library/declaration.htm )


Substitute Republican for Democrat (terrorism for communism... ad nausea), and I think you have no more apt a resounding of my feelings right now.
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