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Thread: Historian shouts down congressman at hearing

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    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    Historian shouts down congressman at hearing

    Historian shouts down congressman at hearing
    By Chris Moody | The Ticket 7 hrs ago
    C-SPAN battle: Historian shouts down congressman at hearing | The Ticket - Yahoo! News
    Televised congressional hearings often serve as a platform for members of Congress to berate, bloviate and showboat for the cameras, but at a House Natural Resources Committee hearing Tuesday, historian Douglas Brinkley wouldn't stand for it.

    The topic at hand was drilling in the the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The trouble began when Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young misstated Brinkley's name after referring to the hearing as "an exercise in futility." In a certain breach of protocol, Brinkley cut him off.

    Young didn't like that one bit.

    "You just be quiet," Young demanded.

    "You don't own me," Brinkley shot back. "I pay your salary!"

    Washington Republican Rep. Doc Hastings, the chairman of the committee, tried to break it up, but then Brinkley interrupted him.

    "I work for the private sector," Brinkley said.

    When the chairman returned the floor to Young, the rumble began anew.

    "We're the ones who ask the questions, and you're the one who answers the questions," Young said. "Boy I'm really pissed right now."

    Obviously, it's a must-watch; you can see the exchange in the video above.
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    Most useful congressional hearing since Stephan Colbert :P

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    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    The witness was out of line, plain and simple.
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    Not only was he out of line, it looked like the person leading the committee shut him down pretty quickly and efficiently
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    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    He does however make two very valid points that Congress seems to forget:

    1) "You don't own me," Brinkley shot back. "I pay your salary!"

    2) We're the ones who ask the questions, and you're the one who answers the questions,"

    Maybe the Congressman should really rethink point #2 when actually its the other way around, it is also the peoples Right to question Congressional Leaders.

    Also, although out of order, the "exercise in futility" comment from the Congressman was unwarrented. No matter how many times it is to be argued.

    Simply..Give respect, get respect in return.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 23 Nov 11, at 19:01.
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    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Dread:

    Your points are well taken, but there is a place for questioning a congressman, and it is not during a committee hearing, and as for his paying the congressman's salary, while true, a congressmen is not a hired employee, but an elected representative.

    The Congressman in question was obviously abusive, but the witness would have fared better had he taken the high road and worked some clever sarcasm into his opening statement.
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    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post
    Dread:

    Your points are well taken, but there is a place for questioning a congressman, and it is not during a committee hearing, and as for his paying the congressman's salary, while true, a congressmen is not a hired employee, but an elected representative.

    The Congressman in question was obviously abusive, but the witness would have fared better had he taken the high road and worked some clever sarcasm into his opening statement.
    Theres only one problem I have with that though JAD and perhaps you might agree but when do the American people ever get to question Congress. Once they are elected they seem to forget those that elected them and that anyone from any state no matter your position or vocation should have the Right to question them. The Congressman just seemed a bit too smug with his position and too fast to hand out unwarranted comments to a man who may not yet be a "lawyer" but is and educated man. He mearly gave the Congressman a dose of his own medicine. If we cannot question them on the fly, then we might as well be like other governments out there that have fights etc etc etc in their Halls because they fail to listen to the people they are supposed to represent. They literally turn it into caos although it is the very last thing I would ever like to see happen in the US.

    It sort of reminded me of when Hilliary was snotty to Gen David Patreaus before Congress. Although that one pissed me off a bit more. And we both know who has more experience at being a "lawyer" and who just plain has more experience in total.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 26 Nov 11, at 00:05.
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    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    Theres only one problem I have with that though JAD and perhaps you might agree but when do the American people ever get to question Congress. Once they are elected they seem to forget those that elected them and that anyone from any state no matter your position or vocation should have the Right to question them. The Congressman just seemed a bit too smug with his position and too fast to hand out unwarranted comments to a man who may not yet be a "lawyer" but is and educated man. He mearly gave the Congressman a dose of his own medicine. If we cannot question them on the fly, then we might as well be like other governments out there that have fights etc etc etc in their Halls because they fail to listen to the people they are supposed to represent. They literally turn it into caos although it is the very last thing I would ever like to see happen in the US.
    I hear you. Maybe I am spoiled. I run into my Congressman a couple of times a year at local events. Anyone who wants to can give him an earful. The way people can hook up live with their reps is to google their websites. There's usually a schedule of events where he/she is going around the district or state and often a town hall event. You can write them too. They'll almost always respond and the staff that drafts the responses keeps a tally of issues and what constituents are saying. I worked up there, so I know the drill. The one place where individual members are not open to constituent questioning is in committee hearings. Fair's fair.
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    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post
    I hear you. Maybe I am spoiled. I run into my Congressman a couple of times a year at local events. Anyone who wants to can give him an earful. The way people can hook up live with their reps is to google their websites. There's usually a schedule of events where he/she is going around the district or state and often a town hall event. You can write them too. They'll almost always respond and the staff that drafts the responses keeps a tally of issues and what constituents are saying. I worked up there, so I know the drill. The one place where individual members are not open to constituent questioning is in committee hearings. Fair's fair.
    IMO, before they can take office in Congress they should be subjected to the people who they are supposed to represent and this should happen over a course of days. We both know that computer or email allows to much time for thinking which is something they usually never have when it comes to very important votes. Those that immediately effect all of us. A grilling if you would, the very same way Congress grills. And they should also impose a penalty if they do not live up to what they "sell" when they get those votes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post
    The witness was out of line, plain and simple.
    Quote Originally Posted by bigross86 View Post
    Not only was he out of line, it looked like the person leading the committee shut him down pretty quickly and efficiently
    Agreed on both counts. He could've made his point a lot better if he hadn't gotten belligerent. Quietly but firmly explaining what his name was, and taking issue with the rest of that Congressman's BS.

    On the other hand, I could see myself welling up in anger at the sheer ignorance and arrogance of that assclown and letting him have just like he did.

    Edit: JAD said it better than I did
    Last edited by TopHatter; 26 Nov 11, at 03:39.

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    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Nice to see you back on the boards.

    Yeah, the temptation to smack back got the better of that fellow. He could have put the knife to the esteemed congressman from Alaska in his opening statement, viz "I am aware my presence before this committee gives extreme discomfort to the esteemed Congressman from the great state of Alaska, and I am sorry for that, but there is no avoiding it, as the facts I have come here to present to the committee are beyond anyone's ability to change. They impact the public welfare, which, I am sure, Mr Chairman, all would agree is the principal aim of this important committee and its esteemed members...yada yada yada
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    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    IMO, before they can take office in Congress they should be subjected to the people who they are supposed to represent and this should happen over a course of days. We both know that computer or email allows to much time for thinking which is something they usually never have when it comes to very important votes. Those that immediately effect all of us. A grilling if you would, the very same way Congress grills. And they should also impose a penalty if they do not live up to what they "sell" when they get those votes.
    The issue was what happened in committee. But as to your larger point about members and candidates being more exposed to direct public scrutiny, I totally agree with you. To some extent this happens on the floor of the House and Senate as members of one party question members of the other, but it rarely makes the news and the right to revise and extend the Congressional Record obscures some of the most hardball stuff.

    I agree with you because I believe voters don't get enough of a feel for the men and women who are running for office and we usually end up with 2 choices, both of whom say less about themselves and more trash about their opponent. Now, I have really good Congressman. He's GOP but gets a lot of Dem votes. He's very accessible and really works hard with good results for everyone. And there are others like him in Congress you never hear about. But there are also a lot of members who oughtn't be there, and if the constituents could grill them more, might not be there come next election. How would you do it?
    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

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    The man's got a point. You have to admit that.
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    Concur with most of the commentary here. All were out-of-line, nonetheless a hearing is called to provide expert testimony for the congress committee's benefit. Distraction from the central purpose wastes everybody's time. I certainly found the Alaskan comgressman arrogant, however. Also, though, I found Brinkley stewing for a fight. You can bet little was gained from that exchange.
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    Quote Originally Posted by S2 View Post
    Also, though, I found Brinkley stewing for a fight.
    Definitely. He was on a hair-trigger and as soon as he had something (the name thing) he pounced on it and wouldn't let it go.

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