REPUBLICAN RAGE….Since I have mixed feelings about parental notification laws, I also have mixed feelings about legislation passed yesterday by the House making it illegal to transport minors across state lines in order to evade parental notification laws. Basically, I think the idea of requiring parental notification for any surgical procedure is pretty defensible, but at the same time I’m appalled at the Big Brotherish potential of federal legislation that could send friends and relatives to jail merely for driving a 17-year-old across a state line. Since I’m unable to resolve this inconsistency in my own mind, that’s all I have to say about it for now.

But that won’t stop me from noting the spectacular temper tantrum thrown by Judiciary Committee Republicans yesterday. Democrats offered several amendments to the bill that would have exempted, for example, friends and relatives or common carriers like bus companies and taxicabs from the new law. They were all voted down, of course, but in addition the descriptions were all rewritten to say things like “Mr. Scott offered an amendment that would have exempted sexual predators from prosecution if they are taxicab drivers….” Hilzoy has all the gory details.

Republicans are just going insane with frustration these days. If they’re mad because their candidates are being filibustered, they threaten to change the filibuster rule by fiat. If they don’t like what the courts are doing, they threaten to defund the courts. If their candidate for UN ambassador is likely to get voted down in committee, they plan to report him out anyway. If they don’t like your amendments to their pet bill, they unilaterally rewrite them in a display of juvenile pique.

I can hardly wait to see what’s next. Are we going to have fistfights on the floor of Congress again? Or is the Republican caucus simply going to explode in purple cheeked rage? Stay tuned.

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