Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D) pitched a hissy the other day when she was not waved through the security checkpoint at the Capitol building by a Capitol Hill Police officer. Members of Congress have some sort of badge or pin that allows them to pass unscreened, but in this case the officer either didn't see the identification or didn't understand its meaning, so he asked McKinney to pass through the metal detector. Instead of complying with the officer's request to submit to the securty screen (which is there for her saftey and the safety of the others who work in the building), she slapped the officer.
Word comes that Capitol Hill police plan to issue an arrest warrant today. Charges could range from assault on a police officer, which is a felony carrying a possible five year prison term, to simple assault, which is a misdeamenor.
And what is the response to all of this?
"I know that Capitol Hill Police are securing our safety, and I appreciate the work that they do. I have demonstrated my support for them in the past and I continue to support them now," she said in the statement on her Web site.
And what does the Democratic leadership have to say?
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday labeled it "a mistake, an unfortunate lack of recognition of a member of Congress." She added that the police officer was not at fault.
"I would not make a big deal of this," said Pelosi, D-Calif.
A mistake made on the officer's part because he didn't recognize her. Not her mistake for over reacting and assualting the officer.
Merle Black, a professor of politics at Emory University, says that while the scuffle was rare for an elected politician, it's unlikely to cost McKinney more than a few votes. Black says McKinney is in damage control -- cutting her losses by not insisting on right or wrong.
Okay, so what the hell is wrong with this picture!?! Her assault on an officer is unlikely to cost her more that a few votes?!? Why aren't these people demanding a public apology, and some form of censure for her? If she was a Republican, she'd be run out of town on a rail. The fact that anyone is suggesting that she be (for all intents and purposes) given a pass on this, or that she should not be held to account by those who elected her, says more about those who would condone this behavior or accept it from their elected representative than it does about her and her behavior.
If this is the best the Democratic party can do, then we as a nation are in real trouble if they are ever elected back into power. The Republicans have their own problems to deal with and had best be getting to down to business on those issues. Unlike the democrats, the Republican base will not tolerate this type of behavior, nor will we look the other way come election time. Clean house, or hand the dems the reins for them to drive us to our destruction.