Not unreasonably, many politicians think that policy is more important than procedure. Procedure is for the "geeks", the (slightly) obsessed individuals who take great pleasure in things that bore the rest of us rigid.
But smart politicians (or students of the legislative process) don't think that way. As John Dingell once said "I'll let you write the substance . . . and you let me write the procedure, and I'll screw you every time." The outcomes of any policy process is often determined by the procedure that is followed. Understand the procedure - and you can be alerted to the ploys of your opponents - and how to defeat them. (See my post of October 2009)
Rules matter - and so today I am posting the C-SPAN video of the debate that was held at the start of the current Congress on the House of Representatives rules. In coming weeks, I'll be looking at some of those rules - and their significance.