Friday, July 18, 2003

Republicans call the cops on Democrats yet again

No, not the Texas Republicans. The (United States) House Republicans. Right on Capitol Hill:

Committee Chairman Bill Thomas, R-Calif., summoned police because he thought the lone Democrat to remain in the room, Rep. Pete Stark of California, was speaking out of line, other Republicans on the panel said. He asked police to remove Democrats from the adjacent room, but later rescinded that request, the Republicans said.

Assistant to the Sergeant of Arms Donald Kellaher, called in to mediate, said that "clearly the police in this circumstance have no role or authority to intervene."


I used to think "Rethuglican" was a little over the top. All good clean fun, though, and part of America's tradition of robust political discourse. Now it looks like "Thug" is le mot juste.

UPDATE: This is on C-SPAN? I wonder if some alert reader could paint a vivid word picture of the whole episode for the readership as a whole? The Post article is lacking in telling details.

UPDATE: The Democratic concerns, from Susan Cornwell of Reuters:

The Republican majority rushed the measure through on a voice vote while committee Democrats were conferring over last-minute changes in an adjacent room. ...

Democrats questioned whether the committee action was legitimate and said they were furious that police had been called by Republican staff. "There is no question in my mind this is an absolute abuse of power," said Rep. Robert Matsui, of California.

All too believable. Especially the "abuse of power" part.

UPDATE: From alert reader Scott Alexander:

Contact info for Kevin Brady (R-Texas), the guy who said he was glad the cops were called because the Democrat who was debating heatedly could no longer "control...his bodily functions".

Kevin Brady (Republican)
428 Cannon Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington,DC 20515