In the House, Suddenly Righteous Republicans
Thirty-one-year-old Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) is not a large man, standing perhaps 5 feet 3 inches tall in thick soles. But he packed a whole lot of chutzpah when he walked into the House TV gallery yesterday to demand that the new Democratic majority give the new Republican minority all the rights that Republicans had denied Democrats for years.Not whining my ass. Oh the irony; the party of the "nuclear option" - the party that bent, stretched and violated house rules for years suddenly wants to play on a neutral playing field. The party that did everything they could to prevent the Democrats from throwing a monkey wrench into their agenda wants a chance to throw a monkey wrench at will. Well screw them. Give them an opportunity to participate when they indicate that they are indeed willing to come to the table in the spirit of bipartisan compromise. But make them earn it.
"The bill we offer today, the minority bill of rights, is crafted based on the exact text that then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi submitted in 2004 to then-Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert," declared McHenry, with 10 Republican colleagues arrayed around him. "We're submitting this minority bill of rights, which will ensure that all sides are protected, that fairness and openness is in fact granted by the new majority."
Omitted from McHenry's plea for fairness was the fact that the GOP had ignored Pelosi's 2004 request -- while routinely engaging in the procedural maneuvers that her plan would have corrected. Was the gentleman from North Carolina asking Democrats to do as he says, not as he did?
"Look, I'm a junior member," young McHenry protested. "I'm not beholden to what former congresses did."
Anne Kornblut of the New York Times asked McHenry if his complaint might come across as whining.
"I'm not whining," he whined.
The day began when House Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam (Fla.) led fellow House GOP leaders to a news conference in a Capitol basement hall. At 32, he is a year older than McHenry, and several inches taller, but no less outraged by Democrats' refusal to bestow on Republicans the rights that Republicans refused to bestow on Democrats.I wonder if they realize how stupid and hypocritical the look and sound? I doubt it, they are after all politicians.
"We are disappointed," protested Putnam, whose fair skin was covered with a layer of makeup.
"We're clearly disappointed," seconded Roy Blunt (Mo.).
I'm disappointed, as are some others," added Kay Granger (Tex.).
"I am very disappointed," concurred David Dreier (Calif.).
It fell to CNN's Dana Bash to point out the awkward truth. "You can play back, almost verbatim, Democrats . . . saying almost exactly what you all just said," she said. "So is there a little bit of hypocrisy in you saying that you want minority rights?"