6 great parliamentary fights to put the defunding ‘battle’ in perspective

Tim Cavanaugh Contributor
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“This is nothing short of madness… the GOP is prepared to let one hostage go…while putting a gun to a new hostage.”

“Terrorism… a despicable and dishonorable threat to the integrity of the United States of America.”

Teabaggers” have turned the “greatest deliberative body in the world” into “the greatest delaying body in the world.”

“[A] suicidal, self-defeating course… [a] brand of crazy, heartless, morally wanton, uncompromising conservatism.”

These are just a few of the breathless phrases our knock-kneed, pigeon-livered elites are using to describe the mild congressional tussle over a point of parliamentary procedure so arcane even the late Robert Byrd would have had a hard time explaining it in fewer than the three paragraphs and four Shakespeare quotations.

You’d think the House and Senate were doing some actual, you know, terrorism or hostage-taking to justify such hysterical language. Instead, the ongoing fight over the government “shutdown” (which will somehow leave more government employees working than is the case on any given Saturday or Sunday) has made for the kind of legislative viewing you’d expect to find during naptime hours on DogTV.


But while American elected officials may have lost some of the moxie that once characterized our great legislative bodies, our friends overseas are not afraid to wage full-contact politics. The parliamentary-fight video is a genre almost as robust and popular as videos of fights at Chuck E. Cheese’s.

As our 237-year-old republic totters over the abyss, here’s a brief and by no means comprehensive survey of bare-knuckles politics.

Taiwan: You won’t want to come between these lady pols and the best interests of their constituents:

India: In the world’s largest democracy, legislators show what political passion is all about, and up India’s arms race against Pakistan with a terrible new weapon — the flying microphone stand:

Ukraine: In this RT report, Ukrainian politicians put the rough and the tumble back into rough and tumble politics. A helpful expert identifies 18 potentially lethal weapons that are ready for use by any fired-up legislator:

Russia: And while the Russkies have a good laugh at their bumpkin neighbors, Russia’s answer to Cynthia McKinney, the once (and future?) Vladimir Zhirinovsky, shows how it’s done — with fisticuffs that would knock a Siberian tiger flat on its elegantly marbled back:

Korea: In the Republic of Korea, parliamentarians put their heart and Seoul into a good brawl, and they bring an element of teamwork that fighting politicians everywhere would do well to emulate:

All over: Take a six-minute tour of the world, as democratic representatives of all nations, ideologies and ethnic groups come together, speaking the universal language of violence:

So don’t be the change you want to see in the world; punch it right in the face.

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