The Capitol Police Slap Back

THE FAR-LEFT HAS BEEN GIVING THE CAPITOL POLICE A BEATING, literally and figuratively. This week, the good guys finally stood up for themselves – and the law.

The “confrontation” between Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-GA, and a Capitol policeman grew out of the police force’s kid gloves treatment of another left-wing protester.

Although the media focused on her inappropriate attire, police actually ejected Cindy Sheehan for both her shirt and for being vocally disruptive at the most recent State of the Union Address. Though the U.S. Capitol Police also escorted a Congressman’s wife out the door for wearing a pro-war t-shirt, many leftists claimed they targeted her for ideological reasons. Sheehan also alleged Capitol Police handled her “roughly (I have the bruises and muscle spasms to prove it.)” And she publicly threatened a “First Amendment lawsuit.”

Although the Capitol Police ruled the “officers acted in a manner consistent with the rules of decorum enforced by the Department in the House Gallery for years,” the police rushed to apologize to her. Sheehan accepted with characteristic grace and refinement, calling it “the biggest crock of horse manure ever.”

Thus, a far-Left spokeswoman who nearly disrupted “America’s speech” on national television received an apology for her troubles.

Perhaps emboldened by how quickly the police caved in even though they were in the right, last Wednesday the equally left-wing McKinney reportedly slapped a policeman in the chest with a cell phone. Witnesses say when she walked around a Capitol security barrier, the policeman called to her to stop three times, then placed his hand on her arm to get her attention. McKinney ignored his calls, then struck him in the chest, according to most with a cellular phone.

McKinney Assaults the Racist, Sexist Pigs Again

McKinney, like Sheehan, attacked the victim: law enforcement personnel. If a blog on Michael Moore’s website made the law to cower last time, McKinney may have thought, certainly a public press conference with NOW, the NAACP, Harry Belafonte, and Danny Glover would stanch the charges.

At a press conference in Georgia last Friday, McKinney accused Capitol Police of “inappropriate touching.” Her lawyer, James Myart, told reporters McKinney “was essentially chased and grabbed by the officer; she reacted instinctively in an effort to defend herself.”

Like Sheehan, he threatened to file charges against the police, but in criminal rather than civil court.

Then the race-baiting began in earnest. Myart described her as “a victim of being in Congress while black.” McKinney defended herself on Wolf Blitzer’s “The Situation Room” by saying Georgia state legislators were having similar woes with security guards, and, “The issue is racial profiling.” (She then promptly denied she had made this criminal charge.)

As of this writing, her House webpage links to a three-year-old article alleging a pattern of discrimination on the part of the Capitol Police – published in Louis Farrakhan’s newspaper, The Final Call.

Myart topped his boss in kookery, telling Peach State journalists:

You should realize the Capitol Hill police, the titular head of that is the Sergeant-at-Arms and the Sergeant-At-Arms, of course, answers to Speaker Hastert. You should be asking…what role they’re playing in this investigation, because again I find it highly unusual that this thing has gotten blown so far out of proportion.

Only Cynthia McKinney could question the integrity of Sergeant-at-Arms, William H. Pickle, who was formerly Vice President Al Gore’s Secret Service agent. McKinney, after all, hinted President Bush had advance knowledge of 9/11 and may have financially benefited from it. In fact, McKinney attempted to benefit from the tragedy, openly soliciting Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal for $10 million Rudy Giuliani wisely refused.

The National Organization for Women also took to the mic to contradict its current message of gender non-differentiation. The feminist movement has spent decades assuring us that a female security guard could easily handle a male prisoner three-times her size. NOW now protests the handling of a poor, defenseless Congresswoman at the hands of a burley male police officer? What would Lawrence Summers think?

McKinney’s followers degenerated from existential to overt farce, saying the congresswoman should never have been stopped, since she is “recognizable all over the world.” (Recalling Anna Bronski’s description of her husband in To Be Or Not to Be: “He’s world famous in Poland.”)

This was not the first such incident for McKinney, who stubbornly refuses to wear the pin identifying her to law enforcement as a member of the House of Representatives. In May 1998, White House security stopped her en route to a ceremony President Clinton held with Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi. “I am absolutely sick and tired of having to have my appearance at the White House validated by white people,” she sniffed; the White House apologized.

The police have apparently learned a lesson the Left has never apprehended: apologizing and retreating in the face of aggressive and illegal behavior causes that behavior to multiply and intensify. After backing down months ago, the Capitol Police have referred Cynthia McKinney to a federal prosecutor. An arrest may come as early as next week, when Congress recesses. (Of course, none of us would roam free for a week after assaulting a police officer; even anonymous Representatives are not without their perks.)

Wrongly Appropriating Taxpayer Funds, Too

It has been a tough week for McKinney – deservedly so. Monday, the Zsa-Zsa Gabor of the Left admitted wrongly spending $1,000 of taxpayer money to fly soul stylist and recent “South Park” protester Isaac Hayes to Atlanta when she opened a new Congressional office. WSB-TV of Atlanta broke the story, which has yet to make the national media. Now she may face two sets of charges.

A Tale of Two Parties?

Most House Democrats have had no reaction to the news – which should itself serve as an indictment. Howard Dean responded with a curt “no comment.” Some, though, have sought conciliation. Last Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called it merely “a mistake,” adding, “I would not make a big deal out of this.” On the other hand, Pelosi deemed Dick Cheney’s media etiquette of his hunting accident “another manifestation of the arrogance of power of the White House.” (Upon seeing the potential political consequences, yesterday Pelosi said, “I find it hard to see any set of facts that would justify striking a police officer.” Nice of her to decide that. Six days after the fact.)

The fact that Cynthia McKinney’s defiance contrasts with Tom DeLay’s concomitant departure seems to reflect a chasm between the two parties. Although Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer tepidly distanced themselves from McKinney yesterday, no Democratic Congressman has condemned her actions, much less have her colleagues censured her or stripped her of her seats on the Armed Services and Budget Committees. Conversely, House Republicans deposed Tom DeLay as Majority Leader after politically motivated prosecutor Ronnie Earle indicted DeLay – listing no evidence in support of said indictment. The damage these rumors, none of which have yet been proven, did to his reputation convinced DeLay to withdraw from his House race, sidetracking or interring his political career via presumed guilt.

With the Capitol Police finally cracking down on leftist troublemakers as Congress debates a law that would allow lawbreakers a way to bypass our nation’s security checkpoints – twenty years after similar lawbreakers were granted full amnesty for the same offense – perhaps there’s a moral in this story for the Senate, as well.

If Cynthia McKinney had an ounce of Tom DeLay’s decency, she would likewise resign. Then again, if she had his demeanor, she never would have gotten into this position in the first place. Her Democratic colleagues should censure her, and perhaps Pelosi should imitate that great conservative, Barry Goldwater, and talk her into a resignation.

Her party, our country, and uniformed policemen’s chests everywhere would be the better for it.

This article originally appeared as the lead story on Wednesday, April 5, 2006, on FrontPage Magazine.