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Monday, April 10, 2006

Congresswoman McKinney gets the rare, ahem, "honor" of a double-post.

She joins such notables as Roy Moore, Ann Coulter, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (yeah, right, as if PeTA even knows the meaning of "ethics, let alone exercises any), President Bush, former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, and France. She becomes only the second individual Democrat to achieve the distinction of annoying me enough to get me to rant about her twice or more, though I'm surprised I haven't double-ranted Tom Cruise. That may simply be a result of my knowledge of his insanity and the fact that even thinking about the rat-bastard gets my blood pressure up dangerously high.

I would like to thank Sheryl for inspiring me to visit the, ahem, esteemed Congresswoman's website to see what she thinks, if anything. Since I wasn't expecting much more than bullshit, I wasn't disappointed. You may notice her quote of Article I, Section 6, Clause 1 (I'll ignore Clause 2 since it only precludes members of Congress from holding another government office simultaneously) of the Constitution of the United States of America. I find it particularly odd in light of what happened, but I'll get to that later. First, I'll join her in quoting that particular section of the highest law of the land, and since I'm feeling particularly frisky, I think I'll do something poetic, such as linking to the Constitution of the United States of America by way of the website of the body to which she belongs, the United States House of Representatives.

" The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. (See Note 6) They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place."

Not that it matters, the text of Note 6 is as follows: "This Clause has been affected by amendment XXVII."

Let's dissect this rather shabby defense of her actions, the latest in a string of desperate measures undertaken by Congresswoman McKinney. The only sentence that really matters here is the second one. "And for any speech or debate in either HOuse, they shall not be questioned in any other place." Utterly irrelevant, since, while she said plenty on the House floor, she also said plenty in the news media, and the heart of this issue has very little to do with words and everything to do with chucking a cell phone at a cop.

Now for the main event, the first half of the second sentence: "They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same..." First, the incident did not occur as she was actually on the House floor, but rather as she was entering an office building, so the subclause about "during their attendance at the session of their respective houses" is of questionable relevance and frankly doesn't pass the smell test. Second, and more importantly, they shall in all cases be priviledged from arrest, except treason, felony, and breach of the peace. Of the three, the last is the most certain, and the first does not apply in this case. The Constitution of the United States of America clearly outlines the definition of treason, and being an ass isn't even close. However, assaulting a police officer is certainly a breach of the peace and may qualify as a felony at some point in the future; however, that decision is in the hands of the Department of Justice. She was attempting to gain entry into one of the most important buildings in our nation's government without wearing the proper identification; in this case, a pin. Three times she attempted to get around the magnetometer, and on the third attempt, she hit a police officer in the chest with a cell phone. I'm more than certain that there are many guests of the state who are in their prison cells because they hit a cop, or that such a charge led to an extension of their stay.

Ms. McKinney, your defense is weak, and your ignorance and contempt for the rule of law is encyclopedic. Even after this incident, a few mea culpas, and this incident dies a quick death, but much like Martha Stewart, you weren't that clever. This was never an issue of race, your shrill protestations notwithstanding. This was an issue of one person thinking the rules did not apply to themselves and hitting a cop when she found those beliefs were mistaken. In short, this was about hubris.


1138 said...

You really need to get a life.
Your focus on is as if she had been caught in a tidal basin with an ugly stripper.

Honestly the whole story isn't worth one thenth of one percent of the attention you've given it nivermind the right wing blovatosphere.

Cindy's a strange one, but by and large she is representative of the people who voted for her. Not in actions or character but in that she does represent their needs in Congress and doesn't take bribes from defense contractors to make decision that may not be in the best interests of our servicemen.

It's one little black woman.
If you had ever been in the same room with her you would realize just how tiny tiny she is. I mean freak show tiny.
Why are so many people freaking out?

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

I don't know? Maybe because she chucked her cell phone at a cop and then made a huge stink about it? Could that be it? Naaah, that makes too much sense. Like I said, a few mea culpas, or, better yet, behaving like an adult in the first place and not hitting the cop with her cell phone and actually identifying herself when reasonably asked, and the story is stillborn, or in the latter case, the incident never occurs. The "right-wing blogosphere" didn't make this national news, nor did they get it on CNN, Fox News, or any other media outlet. She did. Get over it.

I don't know about her stature, but I do know about her stature in my eyes, and "freakishly tiny" sums it up nicely.

As a side-note, right-wing blogosphere? Have you even paid attention to the amount of bitching I've done about the far-right? I've tried to go down the middle, but thusfar, they've drawn far more of my ire than the left, but that may simply be because the far-right currently has the louder assholes. As the Democrats gain power, I expect that to shift. Congresswoman McKinney may merely be a taste of things to come, and if so, I believe I speak for most when I say, "Oh, holy everlasting FUCK! Not THIS shit again!"

1138 said...

Well your certainly not going down the middle on this on - it's pure boardwalk sideshow stuff, not anything that should get more than 5 minutes from the E! network.
I sure isn't dead bodies in Iraq or Enron thieves, or gutting the national treasury.
It won;t kill or save one unwanted fetus or get a gay couple across the altar.

It's simply a waste of time.

Its like paying attention to one particular member of the House leadership that punched a staffer for getting the wrong pizza.
You never heard about it, didn't care and it didn't make any difference.

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

I guess this case doesn't matter, either, except as yet another example of those with whom our nation is entrusted thinking the rules that apply to the rest of us don't apply to them. Try pulling what she pulled, and see what happens to you. Maybe I'm just crazy, maybe I even have some infinitessimal remnant of my ideological youth, or maybe it's lingering frustration at yet another politician in my region being ousted for malfeasance and the abuse of the public trust (in his case, an ethics violation and perjury), but I think politicians should be held to higher standards, not lower standards. Furthermore, I don't think they should be making allegations of racism when not one of her colleagues would stand with her and when the incident was never about race until she made it so. I feel her words detracted from real instances of racism and cheapened the real sacrifices of those who came before her.

My stance is to bring to light problems that occur within each party, and provide no safe haven to those who would misuse their office. The Republicans used to be good at doing that, when they were in the minority. Apparently, the Democrats have yet to learn what the Republicans have forgotten.

1138 said...

Being that none of us have yet to hear the FACTS in the case even now, it's a bit premature to make judgements.
If Cynthia McCinney (Who represents part of my state) says she believe it to be at least in part racially motivated I don't think I'm in a position to argue...
She was there, you and I were not.
There's been a lot said but you forget one very large aspect.
Who employs capital security, who's the Boss? The Guard or the Congress Woman?
If I worked security somewhere and I failed to recognise the boss and grabbed him in the hall ordering him to stop what do you think his reaction would be?
Would the boss be fired? No
The Republican majority has been very overbearing throughout the last few sessions, refusing meeting rooms that are vacant, and generally bullying the minority at every opportunity (nevermind violation federal law by accessing computer files of the minority party without authorization or consequence).
If CM felt she was being harrased or assaultrd it was largely because she was.
Maybe not at that moment, nut there's room for taking the environment of harassment into consideration.

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

Actually, the people who ultimately employ the Capitol Police aren't the various members of Congress; it is we, the taxpayers, who pay their salaries. What we do know about the police officer is that he's a three year veteran of the Capitol Police with absolutely no disciplinary action in his file, highly respected by his colleagues of all races, and with a record of consistent professionalism. Furthermore, we know that Congresswoman McKinney has dealt the race card from the bottom of the deck in this case, and was able to draw support from none of her fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus or even that dung beetle Al Sharpton.

You see this as an instance where a security guard failed to recognize his boss and stopped her. I see this as an instance where someone attempted to gain access to a building by bypassing security without the appropriate identification, then thrice refused to identify herself and eventually hit the police officer. I can see your perspective. She represents your state as a member of your party's delegation, and therefore, you have some emotional attachment. Frankly, I, on the other hand, couldn't give two shits about her and am sick and damned tired of our elected officials thinking they don't have to play by the same rules the rest of us do, and I've seen what happens when they get caught.

In the coastal counties of Alabama, in the last couple of years or so, I've seen a county commissioner sent to a federal penitentiary, one mayor and a chunk of his city council forced to resign and/or brought up on charges, one sheriff removed from his post, and a school board member who is facing impeachment and could easily be sentenced to prison in the near future, all over proven or alleged misuse of their offices for personal gain. Oh, and the other sheriff is playing by his own rules and is obstructing the office of his county's district attorney. These are people of both major parties, and I'm sick and damned tired of it.