Wednesday, April 05, 2006

You Hit Me! You are Bad for National Security!

Let’s start with one simple fact, our civil servants and first responders deserve respect and should be applauded for the hard work that they do day in and day out. However while respect should be our guttural instinct, it can easily be lost.

That brings us to what happened yesterday at the capitol between U.S. Capitol Police and sitting Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. After being asked to provide credentials and being grabbed by the police, McKinney struck the officer.
“He reached out and grabbed her and she turned around and hit him,” Capitol Police Cheif Terrance Gainer said on CNN. “Even the high and the haughty should be able to stop and say, ’I’m a congressman’ and then everybody moves on.”

Rep McKinney apologized and the story should be over, right? Not if you are Republican leadership and are trying to hide from bad polling numbers, the resignation of your former boss, and generally getting your butt kicked on policy issues (Social Security, Workers Rights, etc).

Republican leaders immediately jumped on the old phrase, “Democrats are bad on security”. This seems a bit interesting with new revelation about the Homeland Security Department.
“This is not about personality,” added House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. “It’s not about racial profiling. It’s about making this place safer.”

“Cynthia McKinney is a racist,” Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, said on Fox News Channel, a day after abandoning his reelection bid under a cloud of ethics charges. “She has a long history of racism. Everything is racism with her. This is incredible arrogance that sometimes hits these members of Congress, but especially Cynthia McKinney.”

Capitol Police have turned the case over to U.S. Attorney Kenneth Wainstein, who must decide whether to clear the way for any charges against McKinney. An official in his office said no announcement was expected Wednesday.
In order to waste more time and avoid passing legislation that help Americans, House Republicans have decided to pass a non-binding resolution that “supports Capitol police”.

Republicans, meanwhile, presented a resolution commending Capitol police for professionalism toward members of Congress and visitors — even though they “endure physical and verbal assaults in some extreme cases.”
“I don’t think it’s fair to attack the Capitol Police and I think it’s time that we show our support for them,” said Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., a sponsor of the measure. Ignoring a police officer’s order to stop, or hitting one, “is never OK,” McHenry said.
If McHenry was serious about showing his support, why not increase funding for police across the country or develop policies that promote port security?

I am not going to defend McKinney. It’s not my place. But as the 41st President George Bush pointed out last night, these are the most partisan times America has faced, and instead of having a debate on what can be done to improve real security issues or relations with Capitol Police and Congress… we see more partisan sniping by the Republican leadership.

Excepts taken from Associated Press article posted on


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