John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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L'esprit d'escalier

Last week, Representative Bill Thomas (R-CA) made headlines for ramming a pensions bill through the Ways and Means Committee, of which he is the chairman, over the objections of the Democratic members of the committee. When the Democrats protested by leaving the hearing and gathering in the committee library, Thomas called the Capitol Police and tried to have them forcibly ejected. After a week of criticism from Democrats, the media, and even some members of his own party, Thomas was forced to publicly apologize on the floor of the House of Representatives.

I happened to be in the Rayburn House Office Building this afternoon, and since I had earlier been thinking about removing Death Valley from my vacation itinerary, I decided I'd try to pick up some tourism information about the Central Valley. (Members of Congress frequently keep tourism information about their districts in their Washington offices.) Unfortunately, I had no clue as which members represented that area, so I checked the directory for the member of the California delegation whose office was closest to where I was, and stopped in that member's office to find out who among the members from California represented the Central Valley. The name I was given: Bill Thomas. So I went to his office, and was told by a polite young man that he had nothing that would be of any use to me. So I thanked him and left.

It was only much later that the perfect exit line occurred to me: "No need to call the Capitol Police, I'll leave quietly." Crap! Maybe next time.

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