The Ayes Have It: Boehner Ignores Voice Vote, Makes Decision Via Teleprompter

“I would prefer even to fail with honor than to win by cheating.”


“The ayes have it.”

Tuesday afternoon, House Speaker John Boehner called for a vote on a Resolution to Adopt the Rules of the Convention, as written, at the Republican National Convention. When he asked if there were any objections, it was clear from the floor and from those watching at home that delegates were objecting, but Boehner continued on, as if he had not heard them at all.

Boehner proceeded with the vote. The results of the vote were once again very clear, with a huge uproar of folks shouting, “nay!” from the floor. Boehner said, “the ayes have it”, even though it was obvious that the “nays” were far more numerous. Why?

Witnesses on the floor say that the teleprompter scrolled the words, “the ayes have it” before the nay vote was even called.  Here is a video of the teleprompter at the convention:



Clearly, this was an illegal adoption of the Resolution to Adopt the Rules. Boehner, as chair, should have known that the vote was too close and had no clear winner. He should have done a standing count or a hand count, but he continued to read the teleprompter, instead of listening to the vote.

In addition, he did not allow a motion to reconsider before he tabled the question. In the U.S. House of Representatives, following a vote, the Speaker typically announces that, “without objection, a motion to reconsider is laid on the table.”  Although no motion to has  actually been made, this statement (unless there is objection) precludes the making of a future motion for reconsideration and makes the vote final. There was objection, quite forceful, and Boehner ignored it. Completely.

Is this how we work in the Republican Party? Do we ignore our elected delegates, make all decisions in committee without allowing a true floor vote? When we know there is clear objection, even from our committees, do we just proceed without them? (Morton Blackwell was “detained” because the RNC forgot to send him a bus….oh, those pesky minority reports.)

Blackwell did not get a bus. Iowa caught a ride with the Virgin Islands because they didn’t get a bus. Florida was stuck downtown. Virginia’s bus kept them circling around the convention center until AFTER the vote. Coincidence?

Clearly, a motion to reconsider must be allowed and the decision untabled, especially with video evidence of Boehner’s gaffe. However, it would not surprise me if it was not … Reince Priebus and Mitt Romney got what they wanted, which was total control over future delegations and the ability to change the rules at any time. They won’t relinquish it so easily, proof of wrongdoing aside.

Welcome to the dark side of the GOP.

“Corruption is worse than prostitution. The latter might endanger the morals of an individual, the former invariably endangers the morals of the entire country.”

Karl Kraus