DC, January 20, 2004 – “This Congress
will come to order and the members – especially the Democrats
– will sit down and shut up!”
Speaker Dennis Hastert seemed stunned at the sound of his
own words, even as they came tumbling out of his mouth.
But he knew there was no turning back now. He was about
to introduce the President of the United States to a joint
session of Congress to deliver this year’s State of the
Union Address, and such language was the only recourse left
Speaker – you horse’s patoot! – I demand to be recognized,”
screamed Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.
recognizes you, Barney,” snickered a freshman Republican
shut your pie hole!” Frank snapped. “Now, as I
was trying to say before I was so rudely interrupted by
Mr. Doodyhead over here, those of us in the minority – who
have never really accepted that concept, by the way – wish
to place into the Congressional Record the following words:
‘Roses are red, Violets are blue, the president stinks,
and you do, too!”
left side of the aisle erupted with laughter and high-fives.
Speaker pounded his gavel in anger and frustration. “The
prattling gentleperson from Massachusetts will shut up and
sit his swishy self down or the Chair will call the Capital
Police and have him forcibly removed from this chamber!”
and sounds of clucking tongues came from the left side of
the chamber, while great guffaws of laughter emanated from
the right. Sitting next to the Speaker, Vice President Cheney
looked as if he were about to experience his fifth heart
knew what had led to this complete breakdown of decorum
in the United States Congress, but no one seemed able to
all began on Friday, July 18, 2003. On that day, after a
particularly frustrating few hours of not getting their
way, Democrats had retreated to a library to pout. When
asked to vacate the room, they had sent their mouthiest
member, U.S. Rep. Fortney “Pete” Stark, D-Cal., out into
the hallway to repeatedly call a Republican colleague “a
verbal assault, which followed a squabble in the venerable
House Ways and Means Committee hearing room, erupted into
something more than normal partisan bickering and led to
the committee chairman calling the Capitol Police to clear
since that fateful day, the Congress had not been the same.
Speaker, you are a moron! How dare you speak to my colleague
from the great State of Massachusetts in such a demeaning
manner,” shrieked Sen. Ted Kennedy, veins popping out
from beneath his collar. “You imbecile!”
Speaker pounded his gavel again. “You, sir, are a weasel
and a worm! Everyone knows that neither you nor Mr. Light-in-the-loafers
here belongs in this great institution. Guards, take Mr.
Frank out and place him in a corner of the rotunda for thirty
minutes – facing a naked female statue! That oughta teach
can’t do this,” Frank howled. “You…you…you homophobic
yeah, whatever,” Hastert said with a waive of his hand.
“Take him away.”
rise in support of the Speaker’s actions,” said another
freshman GOP member. “I think this is just swell!”
you, wimp boy,” sneered Stark.
just do whatever you think you have to do, tough guy,”
snarled Sen. John McCain.
then, the Sergeant-at-Arms called out, “Ladies and gentlemen…the
President of the United States.” The president strode
into the chamber, a determined but pleasant expression on
his face. It was then that the spit hit him right between
Pattonis a freelance columnist who has served
as a political speechwriter and public policy advisor at
the federal, state and local levels. His weekly columns
can be read in newspapers across the country, and on www.GOPUSA.com,
where he serves as the Nebraska Editor.