Friday, November 10, 2006

From the Peerless Molly Ivins

She is so good:

The sheer pleasure of getting lessons in etiquette from Karl Rove and the right-wing media passeth all understanding. Ever since 1994, the Republican Party has gone after Democrats with the frenzy of a foaming mad dog. There was the impeachment of Bill Clinton, not to mention the trashing of both Clinton and his wife -- accused of everything from selling drugs to murder -- all orchestrated by that paragon of manners, Tom DeLay.

Media Matters collected some gems of fairness. For instance, Monica Crowley with MSNBC, in the wake of John Kerry's botched program, astutely observed "how lucky we are that he was not elected president. ... The Republicans remain the grown-ups, the responsible ones on national security."

How many dead Americans has this grown-up war resulted in?

And how darling of Fox's Juan Williams, upon learning polls show the people favor Democrats on taxes, to say, "To me, that's crazy."

And how many times did Chris Matthews use the Republican talking points about Nancy Pelosi? Extremist, uncooperative, incapable, unwilling to work with the president.

So after 12 years of tolerating lying, cheating and corruption, the press is prepared to lecture Democrats on how to behave with bipartisan manners.

And just a small reminder how bipartisanship worked under the wingnut rule in 2003:

The morning began routinely enough. The 41-member Ways and Means Committee convened in 1100 Longworth to consider a bipartisan bill that would revise the nation's pension and retirement-saving system.

Democrats objected when the panel's acerbic chairman, Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), brought up a 90-page substitute measure that had been released shortly before midnight the night before. Democrats said they needed more time to read it. Thomas disagreed.

In response, Democrats objected to a normally perfunctory motion to dispense with the reading of the dense legislation. A clerk obligingly began reading it line by line, pausing only when Thomas interrupted to announce: "In the House, the minority can delay. They cannot deny."

As the reading resumed, the Democrats departed to a library just off the main hearing room, leaving only Rep. Fortney "Pete" Stark (D-Calif.) to prevent the Republicans from obtaining unanimous consent to skip the reading. After a few minutes, Thomas asked again for the unanimous consent, and instantly brought down his gavel. Stark told reporters he had objected, but Thomas had replied, "You're too late."

Even before Thomas gaveled the reading to an end, he had dispatched the Capitol Police to remove the Democrats from the ornate library. Two officers arrived and, realizing they wanted no part of arresting House members for milling in a library, called a watch commander.

Now, none of this means that I'm urging the Democrats to behave as badly. But why is the media whipping the ones who indeed have behaved fairly well?