I won’t pretend that Congress has always been a beacon of professionalism. John Quincy Adams used to fall asleep in the House. During debates over the 13th Amendment, legislators hurled vile slurs at one another. Strom Thurmond, while mounting the longest-ever filibuster in history, urinated in a trashcan while holding one foot still inside the Senate chamber.
And, of course, on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Congressman Preston Brooks once nearly beat Sen. Charles Sumner to death over insults.
So, no, there has been some inarguably crass behavior emanating from our halls of legislation.
However, while it may not take the prize for worst behavior in the House, Democrats behaved like children on Thursday as an amendment favored by liberal legislators failed and the Democrats began shouting and chanting “shame” in order to attempt to shame their Republican colleagues.
President Obama issued yet another executive edict that prohibits supposed discrimination against homosexual and transgender employees by federal contractors. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., offered an amendment to a spending bill that would have prohibited using taxpayer money to violate the unconstitutional order.
The vote for the amendment looked promising early on as the total surged to 217, one short of the needed 218 for the majority.
However, Republican whip team members began circulating throughout the Republican aisles to encourage House members to change their votes- a practice which is allowable.
Democrats shouted “shame.”
After seven Republicans changed their votes, the amendment failed and the Democrats threw a legislative hissy fit.
“This reveals them for who they are. They are bigots. They are haters,” said Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y.
Of course, though 29 turncoat Republicans had joined the Democrats in their effort to solidify Obama’s power grab, the vast majority of Republicans rejected the notion that they are obliged to support Obama’s unilateral agenda.
Evidently, the chanting Democrats missed the inherent irony of chanting “shame” while they, themselves, were acting in a shameful manner.