The Rule of Law vs. Calvinball

At National Review’s The Corner, Daniel Foster quotes Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) on how Congress gets things done:

There ain’t no rules here, we’re trying to accomplish something…All this talk about rules…When the deal goes down…we make ‘em up as we go along.

A clip on YouTube provides part of the quote:

Hastings provides a helpful reminder that a constitution, rules of legislative procedure, and budgetary rules are not enough to ensure the rule of law.  Those who seek to amass power – and even those who seek to disperse it – will nevertheless be tempted to treat government like a game of Calvinball:

The debate over the Obama health plan is a case in point.  Press reports indicate that House Democrats will not “deem” the Obama health plan to have passed the House, but will instead hold an actual vote on it.  That’s good news.  But it hardly washes clean the sins of those who wrote and shepherded the Obama health plan through Congress.  As I document elsewhere, it took more than the usual amount of underhandedness to bring ObamaCare this far.