Longtime journalist Tim Russert, who among many other things hosted NBC's Meet the Press for over 17 years, passed away suddenly in June 2008.
His son Luke now works for NBC, and among other things is a Meet the Press panelist. Based on some of his more recent output, Luke is perhaps better described not as a journalist, but as the network's desginated childish, mean-spirited namecaller. After House Speaker John Boehner survived a fairly strong challenge from Republicans frustrated with his leadership, particularly the "cromnibus" legislation passed late last year on his watch, Luke took to Twitter and hauled out an insulting, ethnically charged epithet to describe those who opposed the Speaker's reelection (HT Twitchy):
Russert apparently sees no irony or perceived journalistic conflict of interest in his use of the "Restore Sanity" logo, tied to a 2010 event which, for all its neutral posturing, was created primarily to counter Glenn Beck's long-planned "Restoring Honor" rally.
One of those who opposed Boehner, Iowa Congressman Stephen King, explained his planned "no" vote as in a Sunday column posted at Breitbart.com (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Conservatives have seen their initiatives blocked by the Speaker while he twisted arms for Obama. Our national debt is over $18 trillion. ObamaCare is fully funded. Obama’s executive amnesty is fully funded until February 27 without leverage to block the president’s lawless immigration policy thereafter. Constitutional conservative’s efforts to defend and restore the Constitutional authority of Congress are blocked by the Speaker.
On January 6, 2015, I will take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;… I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me, God.”
Then, I will be asked to put up a vote for John Boehner for Speaker. I know the pattern of his strategy and actions for the past 12 years to the point where I can predict the results. I am convinced Congress will not be allowed to restore its Constitutional authority under his Speakership and by refusing to do so, cannot call upon the courts to do so. How then, can I take an oath to the Constitution and put up a vote for John Boehner, almost in the same breath?
We need a Speaker who will help us all keep our oath, including his own, to the Constitution, not one who has consistently blocked our efforts to keep ours. I will vote for an alternative candidate for Speaker. I can’t vote for John Boehner again.
On Saturday, Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie, issued the following press release in advance of his vote for someone other than Boehner:
Congressman Massie issued these reasons to support a new candidate for Speaker of the House:
For years I watched Washington from afar and suspected that something was broken. Why is it that so many people approve of their congressman, yet they consistently disapprove of Congress? During my first two years as a congressman I discovered a significant source of the dysfunction. I watched the House Leadership:
• Schedule a fiscal crisis in a lame duck session on the last legislative day before Christmas to get maximum leverage over rank and file members,
• Mislead members into thinking that a vote on an unpopular bill was postponed, only to then conduct a rushed voice vote on the $10 billion unfunded spending measure with fewer than a dozen members present,
• Give members less than 72 hours to read bills over 1,000 pages long, and
• Remove members from committees simply because they voted for the principles upon which they campaigned.
With a process this broken, is it any wonder that Washington no longer works for the people? My constituents expect better and America deserves better. On January 6th, 2015, I will vote for a new Speaker who will consistently articulate a constitutional vision for America and facilitate an inclusive and orderly legislative process that allows Congress to truly reflect the will of the people.
Massie's and King's sentiments are not those of "barking," irrational dogs. They in no way resemble the mindset of the suicidal Japanese fliers who tried to kill and maim as many enemy soldiers as they could in the process of killing themselves. These are the carefully considered conerns of people who are deeply worried that the country is fiscally and structurally nearing a point of no return, and that the rule of law tethered to the Constitution is in serious jeopardy.
If Luke Russert had any of the class and manners his father or his grandfather "Big Russ" had, he would pull his offensive tweet and personally apologize to each and every one of the 25 GOP congresspersons who did not support Boehner for his horrid, offensive tweet and his crass, poisonous underlying judgments of them.
So, are you up to that, Luke? Or should we start calling you Little Luke?
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.