Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC) gave us example #6546 in my previous post.  Rep.Baron Hill (D-IN), who does his best to live up to his name, gave us example #32 last summer, which indicates the kind of deluge we’ve been seeing.  Sen. Ma’am’s “I worked hard for that title” moment comes somewhere in between.  Now we have a Democratic staffer bragging about a successful demand for preferential treatment by a high-ranking public servant, as Politico passed along in its Playbook:

“THE POWER OF LEAHY” — A Democratic congressional staffer e-mails: “On a plane from O’Hare to DCA [yesterday] that was already delayed 1 hour… rolled out of the gate and then stopped while trying to get on the runway. The pilot came on and said there were 30 planes ahead of us and we were going to power down for 30 min and wait in line. The seatbelt sign was turned off and passengers walked about. One of the passengers, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, walked to the back of the plane. 5 minutes later the pilot came on the loud speaker and said, ‘folks we’ve been given the go ahead to take off.’ As Leahy walked backed to his seat someone said ‘thanks Senator!’ to which he replied ‘the pilot said he’d do his best.’ Chairman Leahy rules!”

Rules?  Well, yes, that’s probably appropriate.  Of course, he’s supposed to govern, not rule.  The latter is what nobility and feudal systems do with subjects; the former is what a representative republic is supposed to do.

Some may quibble about whether this is a big deal.  However, it appears that Leahy used his clout to disadvantage 29 planeloads of people who had the temerity to have their flights scheduled ahead of his.  Most of them were probably unaware that they had to wait a little longer just so that Pat Leahy, the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, didn’t have to suffer the inconveniences of commercial air travel.

It’s not just the delay.  It’s the arrogance, which is now so obvious that Leahy’s staffers are bragging about it.  Had any of us tried demanding to get on the horn with the pilot, we wouldn’t have gotten in the air any sooner; we’d likely have ended up back at the gate in TSA’s custody.

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