Meanwhile, In Congress, A Veritable Donnybrook Erupts Over Libations


Oops, it's Friday, better check in on our beloved 112th Congress to see if they did anything (please god, spare us) or even showed up this week. Good heavens... fisticuffs? "One congressman accused another of drinking on the job in the midst of a tense exchange Wednesday night over whether the House would debate an amendment aimed at bringing the war in Afghanistan to a close." Yes, so, again, as thatmasterfully constructed Politico lede (WIN!) said: The issue was an amendment to end the war in Afghanistan. Within moments, a congressman accused another congressman of drinking a legal beverage. The war in Afghanistan continued. Steny Hoyer demanded an apology on the one congressman's behalf. After that, the war in Afghanistan continued happening. And now it's the weekend, woo-hoo!

Here's the hot script from a Wednesday night in Congress that took place 11 years after we invaded Afghanistan:

“Mr. Chairman I think we’ve gotten this, that Mr. McGovern is not happy. I think this is also behavior, that I wonder if people have been out drinking tonight, or whether they are mad or angry or incapable of controlling themselves, and I would question that tonight,” Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, the chairman of the GOP’s campaign committee, said of Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) at a late-night meeting of the House Rules Committee.

“I take offense to that,” McGovern said, according to a transcript of the exchange. “I have an amendment to the rule Mr. Chairman and I would say to the gentleman that you know, there are some issues worth fighting over and for me, ending this war is one of them. And I’m sorry the gentleman doesn’t think that —- take that very seriously.”

Sessions shot back: “Simply asked a question. If the shoe fits.”

McGovern told POLITICO he had not been drinking and said Sessions called him Thursday morning. But in separate interviews, the two men differed over whether Sessions said he was sorry.

“He apologized,” McGovern said.

“I don’t know what there is to apologize about,” said Sessions, who denied that he had cast a stone at McGovern.

He did acknowledge talking to McGovern Thursday morning.

Asked whether he thought McGovern had been drinking, Sessions said “I haven’t seen the tape yet.”

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer spoke in defense of McGovern in a floor statement Thursday.

“I rise in deep disappointment at the treatment he was accorded last night. Unworthy of this body, unworthy of the Rules Committee and unworthy of the character and integrity of the gentleman from Massachusetts,” Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat said. “I’m pleased there has been an apology for that. But I did not want it to go unmentioned. This body is better than that, although at times it is not. And we all lament the fact when it is not.”

Wait, what is Jim McGovern's excuse for not drinking before going on the House floor? We can't have anyone getting hurt out there.



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