Carol Shea-Porter made herself famous in her district before running for Congress by disrupting her predecessor’s town-hall meetings with her protests. Now, suddenly, the Democrat from New Hampshire has remade herself into the Beltway’s Miss Manners, telling a crowd of supporters that Democrats never heckled George Bush during appearances before Congress. Not only is Shea-Porter a hypocrite, she’s not much of a historian, either:
Rep. Carol Shea-Porter lashed out at South Carolina Republican Congressman Joe Wilson for his outburst before a joint session of Congress last week and at Republicans in general for vocally opposing President Barack Obama’s health reform initiative while speaking at the Strafford County Democratic Party Picnic this weekend.
“They were behaving in a way we never behave,” Shea-Porter told the enthusiastic group of party faithful.
Shea-Porter claimed Democrats never interrupted President George W. Bush while he was addressing Congress.
“We sat there quietly and politely because that’s what we owe the President of the United States,” she said.
Well, in Shea-Porter’s defense, the Bush administration did start in 2007, when she first joined Congress. Oh, wait, no it didn’t; it started in 2001, which means that Bush was President in 2005 when Democrats did this during the State of the Union speech:
Before Republicans get too triumphant over this, though, I can also recall clearly a Republican series of catcalls during one of Bill Clinton’s SOTU speeches, when Clinton hailed numbers from the “non-partisan CBO” that supported one of his policies. In truth, both parties have interrupted Presidents with critical outbursts during speeches in joint sessions, and neither have much standing as etiquette scolds.
But Shea-Porter has even less standing than most, as she personally heckled then-President Bush during a Portsmouth appearance in 2005. Until now, Shea-Porter has hailed that as a badge of honor:
Do as I say, peons, not as I do. Will New Hampshire rid us of this turbulent hypocrite in November 2010? Let’s hope.