After a morning of angry speeches, a vote was called at high noon. Toward the end of the vote, Pryor entered the chamber through the back door, took a few steps inside, flashed a thumbs-down to the clerk, and retreated as fast and furtively as somebody dodging gunfire.
Several minutes later, the Democrats had racked up more than enough votes to block the proposal. "Are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote?" the presiding officer inquired.
Pryor burst back in, this time through a side door. "Mr. President!" he called out. "Mr. President!" He stopped in the well to consult with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), a gun-control advocate who was keeping the whip sheet. Schumer gave Pryor a nod, and the Arkansan -- reassured that his vote was not needed to defeat the proposal -- changed his vote to an "aye."
What was the old saying about sausage and legislation? Those who enjoy the end-product ought not to look too closely at the process.
h/to the indispensable Dave Hardy.