This kind of thing...

... really pisses me off. Three-hour vote held on medicare:

Democrats held a slight lead in the vote count, 218 to 216, for most of the session. But the Republicans who control the chamber refused to close the scheduled 15-minute vote, allowing GOP leaders and President Bush—who made several middle-of-the-night phone calls to wavering members—to scour the floor for votes.

In the end, at about 6 a.m., they persuaded two junior members, Rep. C.L. “Butch” Otter, R-Idaho, and Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, to vote yes, tipping the scale in favor of the GOP-written bill.

“The president and I had a conversation and I did what I think was the right thing for the country,” a visibly distressed Franks told a reporter while leaving the Capitol. “I don’t have any other comment.”

Sounds like they had one of Bush’s “good, strong, conversations,” in which the junior congressmen from Idaho and Arizona were told that their independent-minded, western-states perspectives meant precisely nothing, unless they have something to say about intrusion of the feds into state’s rights, at which point, as long as they happen to agree with Tom Delay, they’ll be allowed to vote as they like.

I also have a full can of WTF for Delay’s good friends across the aisle:

Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, standing near the clerk’s desk, looked like he was punched in the stomach when the changes were announced by the chair. Insult was added to injury when a handful of Democrats switched their votes from “no” to “yes” once the GOP had its victory.

Our principled representatives at work. Way to go on record on something in which you believe. Thanks, congressional leadership!