You may not be surprised to hear that in one of the least productive Congresses in history, things move at a fast enough pace to confuse many members of Congress into voting the wrong way, more frequently than ever. Welcome to the latest phase of American Exceptionalism, in which no one really knows what's happening at any time.
The Hill reports that "while unintended votes happen in each Congress, some contend that they are on the rise in 2011," and that over a 10-day period in June, "at least a half-dozen House members have stood on the floor to state publicly that they voted incorrectly." Here's one example from our exceptionally competent next president of the United States:
"Mr. Speaker, when roll call vote 480 was called, I registered my vote as ‘aye' and then proceeded to an intelligence briefing. When I returned to the floor, it was my intention to vote ‘no' on the next amendment, and I registered my vote as such. Unfortunately, due to a staffing error, it was still the same roll call vote 480, and my ‘aye' was mistakenly changed to ‘no,' " Bachmann stated on June 23.
Why the sudden surge in errors? The Hill suspects it all goes back to the schedule changes that Republicans instituted when they took over the House — two weeks at work followed by a week at home, with constituents. Meaning, dozens of votes get clogged up during every two-week session, so they're all made at a furious pace before Happy Hour at the airport bar. That sounds reasonable. But don't rule out the possibility that House members get dumber with each passing Congress.
[Image via AP]