Robert’s Rules of Order

Posted February 6, 2008 at 6:37pm

Without Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) around, the Senate wouldn’t be nearly as decorous a place. In fact, it might even devolve into (gasp!) the House. On Tuesday, Byrd reminded his fellow Senators of one of the rules that keeps the prim-and-proper chamber so formal.

While on the floor listening to debate over the economic stimulus package, Byrd felt compelled to weigh in on a rule that some of his colleagues — including even the Senate’s leader — had appeared to forget.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was directing questions about the economic stimulus package to Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and kept referring to Durbin as “you.”

“Are you aware of that?” Reid asked several times as he talked about the plan.

[IMGCAP(1)]When Reid was done, Byrd rose to speak. “Let

Senators be aware that we Senators must and should address one another in the third person,” he lectured, reminding his colleagues that the rule “minimizes the chances of us having on display bad tempers.”

The civics lesson continued in typical Byrd fashion: “Are Senators aware that Senators should address one another — how? Not in the second person but, rather, in the third person? Is the Senator from Timbuktu aware of that rule? Is the Senator from West Virginia aware of that rule? Yes.”

And the conclusion drove his point home. “The Senator from West Virginia will take his seat,” he finished. “I thank the chair.”

Byrd spokesman Jesse Jacobs notes that his boss is ever keen on maintaining the dignity of the Senate — and has never shied away from playing the chamber’s heavy. “He keeps them in line sometimes,” Jacobs says.

Master of Their Domain. GOP operatives missed out on the chance to make a little mischief Wednesday after a seller on the Internet auction Web site eBay didn’t get any takers for the Internet domain names “TheDemocratParty.com” and “TheDemocratParty.org.”

The entrepreneurial seller, who goes by “justfourfun1,” was hoping to start the bidding for each at a mere $172,008. But the auctions ended yesterday afternoon without a single bid.

The prospective owner of the site could count on traffic from surfers looking for the Democratic National Committee, whose Web site is democrats.org, a feature he or she could use for good — or evil.

The DNC hasn’t had to deal with any faux sites cropping up, a spokeswoman tells HOH. “It really hasn’t been a problem but given the momentum Democrats have going into the November election, it’s probably a better return on investment than a GOP domain,” DNC spokeswoman Stacie Paxton joked.

But it may be only a matter of time before there are copycats hoping someone will mistake their site for the official Democratic one. After all, who hasn’t visited the infamous porn Web site whitehouse.com that was frequently confused with the official government Web site, whitehouse.gov?

Porn site no more, whitehouse.com has gotten a wonky makeover. It no longer features steamy material, and its owner, Dan Parisi, opted instead to turn the site into a destination for news last month.

They’ll Always Have the Internet. Some political couples tout their anniversary traditions, a la the famous annual trip to Wendy’s for former presidential hopeful ex.-Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) and his wife, Elizabeth. But Rep. Ron Paul and his wife, Carol, started a slightly less amorous tradition this year: raising money. The Texas Republican and presidential candidate asked donors to contribute to his campaign in honor of their 51st wedding anniversary, Feb. 1.

And Paul’s supporters wished them a very, very happy day. Paul raised more than $900,000 on the big day in Internet donations, according to his spokesman Jesse Benton.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a romantic meal on the Pauls’ itinerary, not even a stop for fast food. Instead, the couple grabbed a meal on their airplane in between campaign stops. But romance is apparently in the eye of the beholder, and Paul’s wife wasn’t complaining. “Someone asked me where we would have our special dinner, and I said with box lunches on the airplane,” Carol Paul wrote in a posting on her husband’s campaign Web site. “When I saw the person’s face fall, I said that I couldn’t imagine a more wonderful event — with Ron, and fighting for our country’s freedom. What could be better?”

But Paul didn’t completely buck a traditional anniversary celebration. The Texan splurged on his wife, buying her a medium-sized dark brown Coach purse, Benton tells HOH.

Briefly Quoted. “He will make Cheney look like Gandhi.”

— Conservative pundit Pat Buchanan, talking on NBC’s “Today” show about Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Daniel Peake of Gallery Watch contributed to this report.

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