"sit" just got real.
CHARLIE ROSE: Chaos in Congress as House Democrats
stage an all-night sit-in to push for a vote on gun control.
This was dramatic, like nothingwe have ever seen before.
MAN: We're in uncharted territory now.
We certainly have not had members, uh,
sleeping overnight in protest.
This historic protest thatlasted for more than 24 hours...
Yes. It turns out the best wayto get something done
in Congressis by sitting on your ass.
But jokes aside, what happenedyesterday was unprecedented.
House Democrats, so frustratedwith their inability
to even get a voteon two gun reform bills, uh,
including one supportedby 90% of the population,
staged a sit-in of a magnitudeunseen in modern history.
Yeah. But that didn't mean
that they couldn't have a littlefun while they were doing it.
JONATHAN KARL: It went on throughout the night,
the House floor sometimes looking like
a rowdy slumber party.
WOMAN: Lawmakers bringing in pizza, late night snacks,
cell phone chargers, even blankets and pillows
and giving each other neck massages.
MAN: Representative Cleaver of Missouri,
he had a large pink and white striped pillow
and he said that he was prepared to spend the night.
You know that congressman hasbeen saving that pillow, right?
You know he's been havingthat pillow.
You can't just pop out and buy apink and white striped pillow.
That's not how it works.
The guy's been waiting foreverfor this moment.
Every time he's been inCongress, like, "And now?
"No? Okay, okay. Okay.
"How about now?Oh, no, no, no.
"Obamacare...No? Oh, man, looks like it's...
"Yeah! Now I get to usemy pillow
and my matching blazer."
Why does it match?
Man, 25 hours.
Can you imagine 25 hoursjust sitting there together?
And I'm sure the first couple ofhours were cordial, you know.
But after, like, hour five,
people probably startedto let loose.
You know, let a fart sliphere and there. Yeah.
It's 25 hours.
And someone's like,"What is that smell?"
Now the congressman leadingyesterday's sit-in
was none other thanGeorgia representative
and famed Civil Rights protesterJohn Lewis.
MAN: John Lewis, uh, the congressman,
the Civil Rights icon who helped lead the sit-in.
Best known, uh,for the work he did
during the Civil Rights era,
leading the march over theEdmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.
WOMAN: In the 1960s, he led sit-ins demanding an end
That's right, that's right.
This is what John Lewis does.
He's been sitting infor decades.
Now, he knows that when you wantsomething, you sit in for it.
Gun control vote-- you sit in.
Civil Rights-- you sit in.
Opening night ticketsfor Star Wars: Episode VII--
you sit in.
(imitating Yoda): Hmm!
Marched with King, I have.
Overcome, we shall.
(normal voice): Now, for me,uh, the biggest winner
of all last night, was C-SPAN
because, you see,a big part of the story
is that the Speakerof the House, Paul Ryan,
ordered C-SPAN's camerasturned off
which meant the world couldn'tsee the Democrats' protest.
But it seems Paul Ryan forgotwhat year it is.
There are no cameras insideand there are no microphones
because the Houseis not officially in session,
so C-SPAN cannot be on.
MAN: Members of Congress are capturing live video
on Periscope and other social media outlets
and now C-SPAN, the cable channel,
is actually broadcasting those Periscope streams.
This is so insane.
C-SPAN was broadcastingPeriscope.
I haven't seen old and youngwork that well together
since the first Karate Kid.
I don't even know... what...
Broadcast on, broadcast off.
I mean, cable TVpromoting technology
that will someday replace it.
That's like candles being like,
"Hey, have you heardabout lightbulbs?
And, by the way, uh, Periscopewasn't the representatives
first choice, but Snapchat,unfortunately,
didn't have the samegravitas for them.
-It just didn't work...-Debate it and vote.
And people can be free to vote
whatever way they choose to.
But our Constitution says...
They should've usedthe protest filter.
So the Democrats won out
and were able to broadcastthe sit-in,
uh, you know, to the Americanpeople and, as we all know,
with great power comes a handfulof representatives
who don't know what the hellPeriscope is.
Oh, that guy is so cute.
And... and impressive.
How many people can say they'veused Periscope, the app,
and an actual periscope?
How many people can say that?
But he's right, though.
He is right.I will say this.
You see, the reasonthe NRA has so much influence
in Congress is not just becauseof their money,
but it's because their mostvocal members
call Congress all the timeand right now,
you're probably, like,that's a good idea.
I'll tweet them.
No, no,that's not going to work.
E-mails don't work.
Look, see that phonethat you probably have
in your hand right now...maybe you didn't even know this,
but there's actuallya phone app on it...
...and if you move the phonefrom here to here,
you can call your congresspersonwith your voice.
And maybe you're, like,"(scoffs) Trevor,
that's something onlyold people would do."
Yeah, your congresspersonis old.
That's why it's the only thingthat works.
So, basically last night,Congress had a slumber party
and as with any slumber party,
it was only a matter of time before lame Dad breaks it up.
The chair would hopethat the business of the House
could be conductedin a fashion that represe...
-that respects positively-(chanting): No bill, no break!
on the dignity and the decorumof this institution
-to which we all belong.-(chanting continues)
That's a man who was like,"Yeah, sure, honey, uh,
"you can have a slumber party.
"What is it, 20, 25 girls?
How crazy can it get?"
"I'm going to kill myself."
Now, many people saw thisas an act of protest,
you know, civil disobedience,
a plea to do somethingabout guns in America.
Paul Ryan, well, um,he saw it another way.
This isn't trying to come upwith a solution to a problem,
this is trying to get attention.
This is nothing more thana publicity stunt.
That's exactlywhat a political protest is.
That's what they are--they're publicity stunts.
When the colonists threw allthe tea in the Boston Harbor,
no one said "That's justa publicity stunt.
You can't have a tea partywithout cucumber sandwiches."
But if anything,if anything, the one place
you can criticize the Democratsis using the sit-in
as an opportunity to fundraisefor their campaigns.
Which, to be honest,is pretty (bleep).
You know? When you're upon the moral high ground,
it's not cool to be lookingfor money. That's not the time.
You know? That's likeMartin Luther King going,
"I have a dream, I have a dream"and someone else is like,
"Yes, Dr. Kinghas a dream, and for $500
you can turn that dreaminto a reality."
So, af... over 24 hours,
the Democratsfinally stood down.
Paul Ryan and the Republicans,uh, never did allow a vote
on the gun reform measures.
And the reason why, as oneRepublican congressman put it
last night,is that they didn't want
to surrenderto legislative blackmail.
But essentially,their argument is this.
And that is: this isn't howthe House works. All right?
In the House, the majority partydecides what bills
come up for a vote, and if theygave in just because Democrats
were causing a scene, it wouldset a dangerous precedent.
Yeah. You'd have random congresspeople doing sit ins,
you know, all the timefor every little vote
that they wanted,which is ridiculous.
The seats of their pantswould start to wear out
from all the sitting,and you'd end up
with a bunch of old white dudesin assless pants.
Nobody wants that.I get it. I get it.
Although I do wonder-- ifRepublicans say a loud minority
shouldn't be allowedto control Congress,
then why do theylet the NRA do it?
And let's not forget...
let's not forget in 2008,
when Republicans were in theminority,
they pulled a similar stunt.Because they wanted a vote
on expanded oil drillingand then Democrats blocked it,
so they also staged a protest.
And that's fine, people, becauseprotesting is a valid way
to make an important point.
For Democrats, the point wasthat Americans
don't want over 32,000 peopleto die every year
of gun violence.And for Republicans is that
we want to drill more holesin the ground.
Both equally valid issues.
And look, Republicansdo have a point, though.
Responding to this pressureby allowing a vote
could break the system.
But let's face it,the system is already broken.
The people elect congressmento represent their will.
And right now, by refusingto hold votes on a bill
that's supported by 90%of the American people,
the GOP is ignoring that will.And so the Democrats
are just trying to shockthe system back into working.
You know? It's sort of like,like what you do
if you-you put a dollarinto a vending machine
and you're trying to get aKit Kat and then your Kit Kat
gets stuck in the coil thing.You are well within your rights
to smack the (bleep)out of that machine.
Yeah. You get in there
and you smack the (bleep)out of that machine.
And if Paul Ryan comes alongand says, "Uh, excuse me,
that's rather uncalled for,uh..." You'd be like,
"Yeah, who gives a (bleep)?That's my (bleep) Kit Kat
in thereand I'm gonna get it out."
And if I may-- one more thingabout Paul Ryan himself--
the problem with Paul Ryan...
Hey, guys. So, it looks like,uh, Paul Ryan
managed to shut our cameras off,
so I'm coming to you livefrom Periscope,
and I encourageevery one of you to join me
and let your voices be heard.Thank you so much.
Because that's what democracyis all about, people.
That's what it's all about,and... Thank you.
I appreciate it.Thank you so much.
Democracy is supposed torepresent
the will of the people, right?And... Wh...
That's true, that's true--pandas are indeed soft.
Thanks for chiming in.Anyway, it's designed
to represent the willof the people.
I-I don't know...
I don't whereyour garlic bread is,
and please don't call me"betch." That's not cool.
Any... When a democraticgovernment
fails to listento what the peop...
Guys, garlic bread and bananabread are both delicious.
You don't have to choose one.It's not a choice.
Any... When a government failsto step up,
the responsibilityfalls on the rest of us
and what the peop...
First of all,I am not your daddy.
And even if I was,I wouldn't fist you
because that would be weird.
Now, what was I saying?Oh, right, right, right.
The will of the people--all right. Wh... What?
Who doesn't have the...What does that even mean?
Look, I'm trying to-to...
Well, thank you,but I am not John Legend.
Look, asshole, I don't knowwhere your garlic bread is.
I don't know... Why do youpeople... I'm trying to tell...
You know what, Paul Ryanwas right-- cut the feed!
Just cut the feed!