Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Republicans behaving badly

Apparently, being thoroughly out of power has only served to strip the Reps of what little civility they may have ever had, allowing them to give free rein to the rankest pettiness...

...From Roll Call -
According to an HOH [Note - "HOH" is an acronym for "Heard On the Hill", a feature in Roll Call] tipster who witnessed the scene, the Louisiana Republican arrived Thursday evening at his United Airlines gate 20 minutes before the plane was scheduled to depart, only to find the gate had already been closed. Undeterred, Vitter opened the door, setting off a security alarm and prompting an airline worker to warn him that entering the gate was forbidden.

Vitter, our spy said, gave the airline worker an earful, employing the timeworn “do-you-know-who-I-am” tirade that apparently grew quite heated.

That led to some back and forth, and the worker announced to the irritable Vitter that he was going to summon security.

Vitter is the married Republican Senator from Louisiana who's famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) as a regular patron of prostitutes in both New Orleans and D.C.

...Then, of course, there was the now-famous rash of Congresscritters, mostly of the Republican genus, who spent their time during President Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress "twittering."

From the Washington Post -
Then there was Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), in whose name this text message was sent at about the time the president spoke of the need to pull the country together: "Aggie basketball game is about to start on espn2 for those of you that aren't going to bother watching pelosi smirk for the next hour." A few minutes later, another message came through: "Disregard that last Tweet from a staffer."
That's right, Congressman - when caught being rude and petty, shovel the blame as far down the org chart as possible.

...Speaking of speeches to joint sessions, don't forget State Sen. Ron Gould (R-Confederate Flag) and his rather loud and petulant stroll out of the House chambers during Governor Jan Brewer's address to a joint session of the AZ lege regarding the state's budget crisis last week.

From the article linked above -
The details had members of both parties swallowing hard, and one legislator - Sen. Ron Gould, a Lake Havasu City Republican - walked out of the chamber in midspeech at Brewer's mention of raising taxes.

...Of course, in spite of Gould's venting of his contempt for a governor of his own party, most of their vindictiveness and pettiness is reserved for Democrats and the media.

Senate Majority Whip Pam Gorman has been running roughshod over everybody - she's limited press access to Senators, limited public and press access to Republican caucus meetings, and perhaps pettiest of all, playing with the bells that call Senators to the floor of the Senate in order to make it appear as is some Democrats have poor attendance.

Under Senate procedures, two bells are sounded to call Senators to the floor - the first bell to actually call them, and a second one 5 minutes later to signal that Senators should be in their seats for the start of the floor session.

She's taken to ringing (or having it rung, that wasn't made clear) the second bell one minute or so after the first one, leaving a certain physically ailing Democratic Senator stuck in an elevator between floors to be listed on the attendance roster as "seated but absent."

There's no good reason for it, especially since Senate sessions have thus far mostly consisted of the Pledge of Allegiance, a prayer, and a Republican ideological indoctrination lecture. They haven't actually conducted much real business yet.

However, given that what little courtesy and professional respect the Senate Republicans ever had has been gone since the dustup last June over the railroading of the anti-same sex marriage question onto the ballot, Gorman's move will probably continue unabated until the ADA violations begin adding up.

...And all of this doesn't begin to touch the clash between professional bloviator Rush Limbaugh and new (and soon-to-be former?? )RNC chair Michael Steele. While it's been a lot of fun to watch the national GOP shred itself, that's an internal matter, so I won't comment here.

I will just grab some popcorn and settle in for the show. :))


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