Don't disagree, andyb. I guess I just worry that too many Americans somehow think that it's the floor debates and votes that actually develop legislation (and thus, policy). The reality is that, for the most part, the details are hammered out elsewhere, and the floor debates and votes are pretty much known before they begin. It's like any number of other public bodies - local, county, state governing bodies, public commissions, etc.; as a rule, you don't take an issue to a public meeting, and a public vote, until you pretty much know what the outcome will be.
The Speaker circus was an exception to the rule that "you don't take it to the floor until you have the votes." McCarthy had no choice here; the Constitution demands that a Speaker be elected when the new House is organized. If you don't have the votes, you can't just table the vote and do something else (except adjourn and do nothing, of course).
But for everything else, the work is done, and the decisions are largely made, elsewhere from the floor. In Congress, in state legislatures, in counties, in local government. (And also in things like the Commission I once staffed; in 19 years of quarterly public meetings, I recall exactly one instance where a vote on an issue got "out of control," and didn't go the way the Commission leadership and staff had not already settled. I guess I was part of the "deep State of New Jersey." )