Parties Swap Talking Points on Speaker’s Control of Floor Video


A few times today we’ve seen this video cross our desks, where the House adjourns, and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer tries to bring up the payroll tax bill, only to have the chair exit, and the video cut off.

The right views it as a stunt, and the left is offended that Speaker Boehner would cut off the video.

In 2008, though, the talking points were exactly reversed. Speaker Pelosi was a dictator for turning off the cameras, and the Republicans were just pulling off a brash stunt.

There are any number of good questions that come from these stories — should the floor have video when the House is not in session?  Should the floor of the House be fair game for pep rallies or photo-op speeches? Should outside parties (like C-SPAN) have better control over the video feeds and camera views?

Those are questions worth considering.  But even just looking back to three years ago allows us to conclude that the piety and condemnation swirling around the Hill today comes not from principle, but from opportunism.