Republicans aren't yet an official minority in the House, but they're already beginning a campaign to portray themselves as victims of a heartless Democratic majority.
In a "Dear Colleague" letter circulated to fellow Republicans, three House GOPers are trying to push a "Minority Bill of Rights" -- based on a two-year-old proposal by then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). You can read the letter here
"Unfortunately, as you are well aware, the Democrats' forty-year reign over the House was plagued by consistent, systematic efforts to usurp the rights and privileges of the Republican minority," write Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Tom Price (R-GA).
They don't mention their party's own strongarm tactics -- which is striking, given that since 2002 Cantor himself was a member of the House GOP leadership, which was known for ruthlessly engineering legislative victories. "[R]eveling in the power they have, [Republicans] are using techniques to jam bills through even when they don't have to . . . simply because they can," is how congressional expert Norman Ornstein characterized the GOP's screw-the-minority tactics from 1994 to the present, according to a 2004 Washington Post
Republicans "have taken every one of the techniques that Democrats employed when they were in the majority, and ratcheted them up to another level," said the American Enterprise Institute scholar.
An ironic case in point: When Pelosi made her proposal to protect Democrats in 2004, GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert (IL) refused to entertain the idea, let alone reply to her correspondence.
One can only assume that McHenry, Cantor and Price are hoping for a more sympathetic audience with Pelosi than the one she received then.