Hands Off (or, The Anonymous… Hold?)

May 15th, 2010

Inspired by Senators ask for end to secret ‘holds’ (The Hill 4/22/10),  The Best Disinfectant: Putting an End to Secret Holds (Claire McCaskill, Huffington Post 4/28/10), The Secret Power Behind Senate Gridlock (Huffington Post 5/06/10),  Secret holds (Washington Post 5/10/10), There’s no such thing as the secret hold (Daily Kos 5/13/10), DeMint Blocks Bipartisan Effort To Rein In Secret Holds With Frivolous Border Amendment (ThinkProgress.org 5/14/10), and Rachel’s 5/14/10 report (watch it below) on continued GOP support for the anonymous holds in the Senate. Jim DeMint said he’s against them, yet still blocked an amendment to stop them. Rachel is looking for a clever new nickname for the practice. Here’s my suggestion.

Now a favorite tactic of the Party of Nope,

The anonymous hold should be renamed the Anonymous Grope.

Like other forms of sexual assault,

The grope requires anonymity, by default.

It usually takes place in a crowded public place.

The victim often doesn’t see her attacker’s face.

So is it also with the anonymous (or “secret”) hold,

The frequency of which seems to have increased manyfold.

It stops action even in cases of near unanimity,

Relying on the obstructer’s political anonymity.

The anonymous grope’s victim is Lady Liberty herself,

And by allowing it we’re only hurting ourself.

Should every Tom and Dick

Be allowed to victimize the body politic?

Like groping, anonymous holds don’t have any open supporters,

But remains widely practiced in Republican quarters.

Senator DeMint said he opposed it,

But blocked a reform measure when someone proposed it.

If we want democracy and transparency to uphold,

We must get rid of the anonymous hold.

It’s use (and abuse) have gone much too far.

Either get rid of it, or at least make users admit who they are.


The most recent incidence of actual groping in Congress

Was the cause of much distress,

But at least in that case the perpetrator was known

And thus forced for his actions to atone.

Anonymous public groping is a scourge in Japan

(Their word for it is “chikan”).

Their solution has been jail terms and fines

And posting public warning signs.

So to it should be with the Senate’s political gropers

(Coincidentally, all of whom happen to be Party of Nopers).


Here’s Rachel’s 5/14/10 report on anonymous holds in the Senate.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Here’s your theme music, Hands Off by Rory Gallagher (from the album Blueprint).

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