Beltway-itis infects both parties. For every f-bomb-dropping Bob Filner and slap-happy Cynthia McKinney and boorish Patrick Kennedy (who was caught on tape shoving a female security guard at a Los Angeles airport while flashing his congressional ID badge), there's a Christopher Shays. The GOP congressman last month went ape when challenged by a Capitol Police officer, displaying classic buttinski symptoms of arrogance, elitism, lack of basic decency and contempt for the common man.
Chrissy Shays: I'm better than you
Politico.com reported that Shays got into a loud, angry dispute with a U.S. Capitol Police officer at a security checkpoint. He reportedly reached for the officer's identification during the dispute over whether the officer should allow a group of tourists to enter the building. Tourists are barred from an entrance Shays was trying to barge through with the group. The Republican lawmaker "yelled and screamed" at the officer.
Congressional Quarterly characterized Shays' hissy fit as a "profanity-laced tirade" in which the lawmaker grabbed the officer's nametag.
Back to Filner. As yesterday's Union Tribune story pointed out, Filner has a history of aggressive behavior. Malkin also reminds us of this little episode:
Democrat Rep. Bob Filner made headlines this week for pulling a buttinski act at Dulles Airport in Washington. According to press accounts, the liberal congressman was angered that his baggage hadn't arrived. He reportedly pushed aside an airline employee's arm and refused to leave a restricted area. The employee has pressed misdemeanor charges of assault and battery against the lawmaker, who scoffed that the allegations were "ridiculous" and "factually incorrect."
Ridiculous that he would lose his temper? This is the same congressman who shouted and cursed out two Veterans' Affairs officials last summer after a news conference — lobbing foul obscenities at the officials in front of reporters.
As Filner likes to remind everyone, he has been in trouble with the law before. Though it would be unfair to come down too hard on him for this:
Bob knows that Americans and Mexicans cross legally (in both directions!) to connect with loved ones, to go shopping, to go to work or school, and to attend sporting and cultural events. The region is richer in so many ways because of this constant exchange, but it also faces unique challenges.
Here is Bob's biggest border "concern":
Bob has been fighting to decrease wait times at all ports of entry along the California-U.S. Border. He recently sent a letter to DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff, asking him to implement several initiatives at the Calexico Ports of Entry to improve border efficiency and reduce wait times for all. He believes Customs and Border Patrol should strive to keep wait times under 15 minutes, rather than have crossers experience the hour-long waits that many experience on a daily basis.
What? Does he wish to decrease wait times for drug smugglers, gang members, possible terrorists, and the ordinary run-of-the-mill
While Republicans were in control of Congress, they approved the construction of a 700 mile long fence in the name of Homeland Security. The fence is expected to cost around $9 billion to complete, a far cry from the $1.2 billion down payment the Republicans put forth in the legislation.
Bob knows this is not the right approach and that the fence will do nothing to make our nation safer or reduce illegal immigration.
Gee thanks for looking out for us citizens, Bob. But I do know one thing. We might need to build a few fences to keep you out of places you think you're entitled to go.