Saturday, June 11, 2005

I wonder if he took his marbles, too

UPDATE: Barbara O'Brien has so much more. Go read, please.

What do you do when you people start telling you things you don't like? When you're the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, you just take your gavel and go home:
Following repeated Democratic criticism of the Bush administration, House Judiciary Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) on Friday gaveled a hearing to a close and walked out while Democrats continued to testify - but with their microphones shut off.

The hearing's announced topic was the USA Patriot Act, which granted broad new powers to federal law enforcement after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The Republicans presented several witnesses who supported the administration's call for reauthorizing the legislation. But when four witnesses hand-picked by the Democrats launched into a broad denunciations of President Bush's war on terror and the condition of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Sensenbrenner showed his pique.

He urged witnesses to "wrap it up" and repeatedly told Democratic committee members that their time for questioning had expired.
A lot of people in Wisconsin's fifth CD think that having F. Jim in Congress is good for us, since he holds such a powerful position in the Judiciary Committee. Problem is, unless Republicans change their ethics rules (not unheard of), this is F. Jim's last year as chair.

And let's face it: This year of F. Jim's chairmanship has been nothing short of horrible. Remember a couple months back, when F. Jim took the liberty to rewrite Democratic descriptions of amendments to make Dems sound like they supported child molesters? Seems like F. Jim is more than willing to let partisan stupidity get in the way of good law. That's not what Wisconsin's fifth CD voters really want.

Video from the shut-down here and here.


Anonymous said...

This went far and wide in the 5th CD and the Prog residents in my district are responding in droves.

Congressman Sensenbrenner:

The way you conducted yourself yesterday in the Judiciary Committee hearing on the Partiot Act and Civil Liberties was both disgusting and a shame on the voters of the 5th CD! As a constituent of your district, I was appalled and embarrassed that my Congressman was behaving like a spoiled child being force to eat his peas.

To insist on badgering witnesses (citizens of our country who took their time to discuss their knowledge and expertise with the American people and Congress) and your fellow Congresspeople (also duly elected by American citizens), and "following the rules" to the letter at the expense of common courtesy and dignity and the fear of the potential that the truth may be exposed was disgraceful.

I have never felt so horrified as I did last night as I watched the person who represents my district belittle his fellow citizens, huff & puff like a distracted child, interrupt people, and generally obstruct the process he swore to me and my neighbors he would uphold.

You may have set the rules and followed them legally, but as a human being, I would think a small thing such as allowing someone to finish their sentence or answer questions posed directly to them would be (as it is in everyday Congressional hearings) standard practice.

What are you afraid of the American people hearing? What have you or your collegues done that is so dangerous for the American people to know that you would behave as you did yesterday? Your behavior makes me believe that there is really something wrong with the Patriot Act, the Administration and you as my Congressman.

For anyone to whom I am cc'ing this correspondence who has not watched the hearing last night, it can be found on in the center of the page under Video/Audio with the heading: House Hearing on Patriot Act Reauthorization (06/10/2005).

Please watch for yourself and comment to "our" Congressman as you see fit. This sorry excuse for a
Congressman needs to know that we in the 5th Congressional District of Wisconsin expect more
from the people we send to Washington to be our voice.

Congressman Sensenbrenner, you clearly do not speak for me.

Renee Crawford
1911 E Elmdale Ct
Shorewood, WI 53211

Jay Bullock said...

Thanks for the response Renee. Nicely worded.

And nice to see you hanging out here!

Matt said...

Well, he responded to my letter to him, lots of inaccuracies in it...

"I believe I conducted this hearing in an appropriate manner that was fair to all Members of the Committee and witnesses."

Anonymous said...

Hey, I have an idea... stick to the topic of the hearing next time and it won't end early.

Lucky for you the DNC provided a room, a gavel and a facade for your work to continue.

As for your idiots who claim to be from the Wisconsin's 5th... look around and ask your neighbors what they think - they will gladly tell you to shove it up your stupid asses.