Jul 032013


I said yesterday that the Republicans made a massive mistake – they acknowledged the primacy of the game, and attempted to cheat, at the same time.

The problem with games is that they are weak artificial constructs, and both sides must agree to play them without cheating. If the Republicans simply wanted to get their bill passed they would have done best to say “Three minutes doesn’t matter. It is a technicality. The bill is passed.” and ignored the complaints. Instead they altered the time-stamp on the vote to make it look like it had passed before the deadline. This was an acknowledgement that the Game rules supreme – It is important and its rules are to be acknowledged and followed. At the time it was also a brazen attempt to break those very rules.

(As an aside – altering the public record is illegal. What happened to the concern for our society? What happened to transparency? No one is being prosecuted for this, there isn’t even any sort of investigation. This is all being quietly swept under the rug, because we aren’t allowed to look back into the government. In a radically transparent society this would be investigated immediately and prosecuted. A lot of people know the name of the person who did this, and the names of those who authorized it, and we all know nothing.)

This is a serious breech once we’ve gotten to the point where playing the Game is the only thing that keeps us from descending into an Iraqi-style civil war. If one side has stopped playing by the rules, there’s no reason for the other side to still be bound by them.

The sad thing was it wasn’t even necessary. If the Republicans simply could have accepted “losing”  for a weekend they wouldn’t have endangered anything. Already another emergency session of the Texas congress has begun (queue the “Texan legislatures can have an abortion emergency but Texan women can’t” jokes) and the bill will likely be passed soon. If that doesn’t work it’ll just be passed piecemeal in small parts, quietly over several months.

It seems both sides recognize how dangerous that move was, because no one is talking about it. There was a brief kerfuffle, the record was restored to its pre-tampered time, and now everyone is very diligently looking the other way and pretending it never happened. All the talk is about the new session, or about highlights from the previous one, but no mention of that brief window were the game itself had been suspended. Just let it go… no harm no foul, right?

Perhaps this would be a good time to practice the virtue of silence, but I kinda feel this fragility should be pointed out, so we don’t go stomping on it again. And those who endangered our fail-safe game? They should be identified and prosecuted.

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