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April 5, 2006

Cynthia - Embarrassment?

-- by Dave Johnson

A Capital Police Officer is accusing Representative Cynthia McKinney of hitting him after he grabbed her for bypassing a Capital entrance checkpoint. Representatives are allowed to bypass the security procedures at Capital entrances. McKinney walked past this screening post, the police officer grabbed her, and says she then pushed him in the chest. The officer claims he did not recognize her.

I submit that Cynthia McKinney just might be the MOST RECOGNIZABLE MEMBER OF CONGRESS!

Article 1, Section 6 of the Constitution of the United States says Representatives shall "in all cases" be previlidged from arrest on their way to Congressional sessions. So here we have a Representative criticized - by Dems even - for literally pushing back against an infringement on the Constitution.

Representative Cynthia McKinney is being called "an embarrassment" in this highly recommended DailyKos diary. Lots of Kos readers are responding with agreement. I think this is an example of how right-wing "mainstreaming" of racism resonates. The author of the diary says "I am going to be accused of being politically incorrect." I'll go further, I think that anyone who even has the term "politically correct" in their vocabulary needs to re-think their ideas about race.

How did McKinney first earn the title of "embarrassment?" After 9/11 she asked if Bush had ignored intelligence suggesting we were going to be attacked. The right-wing apparatus went full-tilt nuts in response.

Terrorist Warnings by Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, May 16, 2002,

Several weeks ago, I called for a congressional investigation into what warnings the Bush Administration received before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. I was derided by the White House, right wing talk radio, and spokespersons for the military-industrial complex as a conspiracy theorist. Even my patriotism was questioned because I dared to suggest that Congress should conduct a full and complete investigation into the most disastrous intelligence failure in American history. Georgia Senator Zell Miller even went so far as to characterize my call for hearings as "dangerous, loony and irresponsible."

Today's revelations that the administration, and President Bush, were given months of notice that a terrorist attack was a distinct possibility points out the critical need for a full and complete congressional investigation.

It now becomes clear why the Bush Administration has been vigorously opposing congressional hearings. The Bush Administration has been engaged in a conspiracy of silence. If committed and patriotic people had not been pushing for disclosure today's revelations would have been hidden by the White House.

Because I love my country, because I am a patriot, and because the American people deserve the truth, I believe it would be dangerous, loony and irresponsible not to hold full congressional hearings on any warnings the Bush Administration had before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Also see The Screwing of Cynthia McKinney, How the New York Times, NPR and others drove a U.S. congresswoman out of office based on a quote that was never uttered.

Posted by Dave Johnson at April 5, 2006 11:00 AM

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Comments

Yes -- the "progressive" blogosphere is showing its true color on this one.

Posted by: janinsanfran [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 5, 2006 2:40 PM

I loved mcKinney for that. I read up on her and noted she did alot of independant research and rightfully suspected the administration. When she was pushed out of office I was mad, although I also then read about the anti-semitism stuff.
I sent her $$ for re-election.

In this current thing, it is unclear. I think she should wear her button. I don't think crying racism as a first reaction is helpful. I especially thought listening to the NAACP and NOW folks defending her did her a disservice - she does not need defending. She does not need to add to the perception that she uses race as her weapon of choice.
She can be a strong voice for truth but not if shrillness keeps her ridiculed.

Posted by: mmmoss [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 5, 2006 6:34 PM

They know who the hell she is. McKinney has been harrassed; it's just that simple. In a different, more normal political environment, the Capitol police would be falling all over themselves, to apologize for discommoding any Member of Congress who was halted so rudely on the way to work. An elected representative of the people is given deference, and the benefit of the doubt on all occassions. As Dave has pointed out, access to the Floor is constitutionally protected.

This crap about the Congresswoman being an embarrassment, is just another layer of reactionary bullshit. When you reflect that the minority (the whole Democratic faction) is routinely being barred from conference committees by the winner-take-all Republicans, this harrassment of McKinney is revealed for the outrage it is. That prosecution is being pushed is yet another political gambit; it works all the bilge pumps of our present reality, and dredges up the rank odors of hypocrisy and racism.

Posted by: Copeland [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 5, 2006 9:56 PM

I'm sorry _but_ I work in a Federal Building in Birmingham, Alabama (have for 26 years), am very well aquainted with most of the guards here and am not an easy person to forget or confuse yet I cannot enter my building without my photo ID... why should it be any different for a congresswoman???

Posted by: CatMan0069 [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 6, 2006 10:50 AM

It should be different for a Congresswoman because the Constitution says so, CatMan. Did you miss that part?

Also, it's not just actual members of Congress who don't get asked for their ID, it's also their staff members. Which makes it doubly suspicious that they keep stopping McKinney.

Posted by: Avedon [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 6, 2006 5:48 PM

And, catman, it's not an ID it's a pin. That is not worn by any more that 1/2 of all congressmen.

To me, powerful old white guys look a lot alike. When's the last time one of them was grabbed from behind?

Posted by: jim from '63 [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 7, 2006 8:15 AM

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