I've been trying to think of ways in which our rule-making process could prevent things like this. Riding major laws on things like troop funding in order to shame those who might vote against it is not only disgusting, but reveals some sort of flaw in our system. My guess is that a majority of the representatives who voted for (or against) the health care bill read the thing, so the main driving force behind the vote was wanting to be identified with health care reform (or a more honest word, befuckupment), or not.
I propose that every bill that is voted upon first be read out loud, in its entirety, and in order to vote on a bill a congressperson must be present for, say, 90% of the reading. So not only do they have to learn how sausage is made, they have to have their eyelids pinned open and watch while each creepy element is put through the grinder.
I would love to watch around the time the budget is passed. "We're spending HOW much on WHAT?"
Perhaps I am wrong in thinking that public officials have shame, but I do know they value their time.
I also have at times thought the idea of a line-item veto would be useful, but I think that it might too often be used as a political weapon more than anything.
Any other ideas?