Wednesday, April 05, 2006

You're going to need a bigger boat.

When first I heard of rep. Cynthia McKinney's run-in with the Capitol Police and subsequent arrest warrant I thought the story a little weird but in keeping with my egalatarian view of the function of congresscritters it seemed fairly clear that she deserved the legal trouble that ensued. You don't get to "hit" an officer. Unless you're George Bush and you run your bike into a Scottish policeman. Apparently bumbling stupidity is the only acceptable exception.

The event was doubly dissapointing because whatever the circumstances the event provided easy cannon fodder for the blathering nincompoops of Right Wing talk. "Look-- another Democratic Congresswoman run wild." And run wild they did.

The resulting brouhaha has forced me to spend time thinking about something that should have been a minor incident for lack of Republicans desperately looking for something, anything to point to and claim Democrats are just as corrupt as they are. My conclusion: how in the hell can anybody comment on this incident in the first place when it's not clear what the hell actually happened?

McKinney is accused of hitting a Capitol Police officer that tried to stop her when she avoided a security checkpoint. What does "hitting" mean in the context of this accusation and why does it justify prosecution? Is the policeman hospitalized? Bruised? Do congressmen regularly avoid the checkpoint as has been widely reported or not?

In light of these questions I'm not sure Nancy Pelosi's decision to pile on was the wisest choice either morally or politically. When the Right Wing sharks are on a feeding frenzy it doesn't make sense to throw out more chum and bloody up the water even more. Better to beat 'em off the boat with your oars.


Don Snabulus said...

Cynthia McKinney says and does a number of things in Congress that are inconvenient for both parties. Imagine what would have happened if Hastert had been treated in such a manner. I can assure you that arrest would not have been in the lexicon.

I don't know how often I agree with McKinney, but when she questions the corruptions and whitewashes of our imperfect government, I feel she is representing me.

If everyone were subject to the same rules and the situation were managed professionally, this sort of thing would never happen.

Anonymous said...

I agree Don, but I also feel she comes off like a crazy person. I really wish she didn't.

Dean Wormer said...

Yeah Don. The more I think about this the angrier it's making me.

To your point on Hastert I just read this quote:

Republicans have seized the opportunity to take shots at the legislator. Rep. Tom Delay, R-Texas, called McKinney a "racist" on Fox News Channel and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Illinois, downplayed the Georgia lawmaker's allegation of racial profiling.

"This is not about personalities. It's not about somebody's ego. It's not about racial profiling," Hastert said. "It's trying to make this place safer and working with the people that try to make it safer."

Can you imagine that if a Capitol Police officer grabbed Hastert for walking past security that officer would still have his job?

If she struck the officer why wasn't she arrested?

Why did the chief of the Capitol Police go to her office to apologize for the incident?

This thing just stinks to high heaven of politics. The after-the-fact hullabaloo from the police screams pressure was applied from majority leadership.

Dean Wormer said...


I understand what you're saying but just because McKinney has been vocal about racism in the past doesn't mean she isn't facing racism this time.

And as quick as McKinney was to attribute the incident to racism, I'm more disturbed by all the Republicans and Democrats who are even more quick to scream it's not.

There has to be video of this incident. I'd like to see it.

Anonymous said...

I will admit that I've only seen news footage of her interview on the Daily Show, but when she talked about the incident she sounded (and looked) like a crazy person. I'm not saying racism wasn't involved, but the instant she comes off as at all unstable it makes it very hard for me to sympathize with her. I've been personally accosted on occassion by people of color who felt I had offended them when I had done nothing. She's a public figure - it's very important that she be able to seperate a victim mentality from actual inequality - AND make that very obvious. I'm not sure she's doing that.