Posted on Friday 9 February 2007

Thanks to some inflammatory hufifng and puffing with its bellows, The Washington Times — in what I can’t help but see as some completely unhinged “reporting” and opining — has managed to expose some extraordinary idiocy. From the NY Times:

WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 — It is quite a way from Washington to San Francisco, but evidently nothing like the distance separating House Democrats and Republicans when it comes to the air travel arrangements of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Republicans, accusing Ms. Pelosi of putting on royal airs, on Thursday stepped up their campaign to portray her as a luxury-loving San Franciscan because her cross-country travel could require a larger military jet than the one used since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to ferry Speaker J. Dennis Hastert home to Illinois.


House Republicans lined up on the floor to attack Ms. Pelosi and submitted a pointed amendment to a renewable energy bill that said the nation should decrease demand for jet fuel for aircraft “such as passenger planes with 42 business class seats capable of transcontinental fights.”

They submitted an amendment? Can I take a deduction on my taxes to unfund the amount of time they wasted on this… this… non-story?

WASHINGTON (CNN) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not request a larger plane for personal use to travel cross-country without stopping, Bill Livingood, the House sergeant at arms, said Thursday.

Livingood said the request was his, and he made it for security reasons.

“The fact that Speaker Pelosi lives in California compelled me to request an aircraft that is capable of making non-stop flights for security purposes, unless such an aircraft is unavailable,” Livingood, who has been at his post for 11 years, said in a written statement.

“I regret that an issue that is exclusively considered and decided in a security context has evolved into a political issue,” the statement said.

You know, I wanted to pick on the blogosphere about Planegate. I really did. This is, after all, merely the latest round of silly mudslinging that goes on in this nest of partisan vipers… but when the elected leadership is acting like two-year-olds fighting over an alphabet block, what’s the point?

“Next week,” Representative Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, said, “we are going to steal their mascot and short-sheet their beds.”


Stealing mascots and short-sheeting beds? Aren’t those college pranks? That bar is raised far too high for this bunch to meet.

Added from the LA Times:

On the House floor, Republicans took discussion on an alternative-fuel bill and turned it into a debate on Pelosi’s transportation arrangements, by introducing an amendment that included the word “aircraft.” That was enough to provide conservatives an opportunity to characterize her as the Leona Helmsley of Capitol Hill.

It was predictable partisan politics until White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, of all people, leaped to Pelosi’s defense, calling the hubbub “silly” and “much ado about not a whole lot.”

“It is important for the speaker to have this kind of protection and travel,” he said.

Democrats on the House floor, hardly believing their ears, seized on Snow’s sudden FOP (Friend of Pelosi) status and invoked his words to knock down Republican critics. What went without mention is the belief held by many Democrats that the White House was behind the leak about Pelosi’s plane problems.

While the presidential spokesman defended Pelosi’s right to military security, the Republican National Committee — usually a White House echo chamber — was busy beating her up with blast e-mails about “Nancy’s flight of fancy.”

Such fun in the sandbox for the kiddies.  How nice.

5 Comments for 'Planegate'

    February 9, 2007 | 11:27 am


    February 9, 2007 | 12:46 pm

    Get a Life… or a Plane…

    What plane?!The New York Times reports:
    It is quite a way from Washington to San Francisco, but evidently nothing like the distance separating House Democrats and Republicans when it comes to the air travel arrangements of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

    February 9, 2007 | 2:03 pm

    See a tongue-in-cheek visual of “Nancy’s Flight Of Fancy”…here:

    February 9, 2007 | 6:11 pm

    Polimom – do you think that Rep Flake (would that all Congresscritters practiced such “truth in naming”!) was speaking with tongue firmly planted in cheek?

    That’s the kind of quote I wish I had thought up!


    February 9, 2007 | 10:19 pm

    She should just ride her broom.

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