Russ Feingold behaving sanctimoniously? What’s next? Andrew Sullivan behaving sanctimoniously?

Speaking of whom, this should be a good for a misty-eyed lyrical tribute or two this afternoon:

A Senate committee approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage Thursday, after a shouting match that ended when one Democrat strode out and the Republican chairman bid him “good riddance.”

“I don’t need to be lectured by you. You are no more a protector of the Constitution than am I,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., shouted after Sen. Russ Feingold declared his opposition to the amendment, his affinity for the Constitution and his intention to leave the meeting.

“If you want to leave, good riddance,” Specter finished.

“I’ve enjoyed your lecture, too, Mr. Chairman,” replied Feingold, D-Wis., who is considering a run for president in 2008. “See ya.”

I love the idea of McCain’s partner in campaign finance “reform” lecturing someone about the Constitution. And I’m sure his indignant, I-shall-have-no-part-of-this walkout came straight from the heart.

Update: Since I mentioned McCain, let me note that his appearance with Falwell isn’t the only example of a centrist Republican making friends with the Christian right.