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.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.
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.
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.