Quick! Call The…
Dana Milbank has a classic up this morning in his Washington Sketch:
"The bill we offer today, the minority bill of rights, is crafted based on the exact text that then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi submitted in 2004 to then-Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert," declared McHenry, with 10 Republican colleagues arrayed around him. "We're submitting this minority bill of rights, which will ensure that all sides are protected, that fairness and openness is in fact granted by the new majority."
Omitted from McHenry's plea for fairness was the fact that the GOP had ignored Pelosi's 2004 request — while routinely engaging in the procedural maneuvers that her plan would have corrected. Was the gentleman from North Carolina asking Democrats to do as he says, not as he did?
"Look, I'm a junior member," young McHenry protested. "I'm not beholden to what former congresses did."
Anne Kornblut of the New York Times asked McHenry if his complaint might come across as whining.
"I'm not whining," he whined….
The day began when House Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam (Fla.) led fellow House GOP leaders to a news conference in a Capitol basement hall. At 32, he is a year older than McHenry, and several inches taller, but no less outraged by Democrats' refusal to bestow on Republicans the rights that Republicans refused to bestow on Democrats.
"We are disappointed," protested Putnam, whose fair skin was covered with a layer of makeup.
"We're clearly disappointed," seconded Roy Blunt (Mo.).
"I'm disappointed, as are some others," added Kay Granger (Tex.).
"I am very disappointed," concurred David Dreier (Calif.).
It fell to CNN's Dana Bash to point out the awkward truth. "You can play back, almost verbatim, Democrats . . . saying almost exactly what you all just said," she said. "So is there a little bit of hypocrisy in you saying that you want minority rights?"
"This is a missed opportunity to really change the way that the House does business," Putnam offered, citing Democrats' campaign promises for "a new way of doing business."
"What stopped you from taking that opportunity when you were still in the majority?" inquired Rick Klein of the Boston Globe.
"Well, I'll let Chairman Dreier speak to that," Putnam ventured.
Did I miss an announcement for the Great Republican Whine-Off or something? The image of Roy Blunt standing in front of a microphone with a straight face and faking some sort of phony outrage for the cameras about procedures that he, himself, had a hand in putting into writing in the Congress when Newt Gingrich got his oily hands on the power reins? Chutzpah doesn't even come close as a descriptor.
I'll let Howie take it from here. (H/T to Waccamaw.) If anyone was wondering why the GOP lost in November, I'll just submit this as Exhibit A.