The entire Republican party must have morphed into an episode of South Park this week, with everyone auditioning for the role of Cartman.
Eric Ueland, Bill Frist’s chief of Staff, completely lost it with an AP reporter yesterday, and then with a reporter from the WaPo. All because the AP reporter, Jonathon Katz, had the temerity to ask Frist to clear up his "I don’t know how much stock I have in my investment account on which I have been regularly briefed, but which I term a blind trust anyway" baloney.
As we left the floor, Eric Ueland started berating Katz in a loud voice while still in the Senate chamber. It continued just outside the chamber, as Roll Call reported. At one point Washington Post reporter Chuck Babington asked Ueland if he wouldn’t agree that "the issue was confusing." Even before Babington could finish his question, Ueland turned to him and in the same loud voice accused him of not understanding what was a very simple issue.
Well, let’s get this straight once and for all, shall we? Elected officials do not have carte blanche to do whatever they please to enrich themselves, their family, friends, and cronies, without anyone asking questions about their actions. They are supposed to be serving the public, and as such, the public has the right to ask questions. It’s called accountability.
Between the Froomkin flap of the last few days, the continuing non-answer briefings from Scotty Potty McClellan, and this latest example of Cartman-esque behavior from Frist and his staff toward a reporter who was actually doing his job in the public’s interest (note to Frist: that’s what you are supposed to be doing, too, maroon), the overriding theme is "the hell with you in the public, I’ll do what I want."
Need I remind these folks that Santa is watching? No one likes a spoiled brat. And if you want someone to respect your authority, trying earning the respect by obeying the law and doing your freaking job instead of demanding it at the top of your lungs. Guess when the Preznit is setting the example, that piece of wisdom can get lost in the spin.