Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC10) appeared on CNN's Late Edition this morning with Rep. Chuck Rangel (D-NY15) . He mounted what can only be described as a moronic attack on Nancy Pelosi, claiming that she and others in the Democratic party had information about Mark Foley and timed its release for political gain.
Pressed by Wolf Blitzer about whether he had any evidence to support his allegation, McHenry tried to sidestep the question and even asked, at one point, "Do you have any evidence that they weren't involved?"
(Do you have any evidence I don't own a purple cat? No scholar, McHenry studied history at North Carolina State University and Belmont Abbey College, run by the Dominican order. He might have learned about logical fallacies had he studied with the Jesuits.)
At the age of 30, McHenry is the youngest member of Congress. His only previous experience, aside from his activities as a College Republican, was a single term in the North Carolina legislature. As a political favor, he was appointed special assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Labor by President Bush in 2001. Like a surprising number of House Republicans, McHenry is a real estate salesman. He was one of only 20 Republicans who wanted to change House ethics rules to protect Tom DeLay.
McHenry, who would have been 25 when he first went to Washington, said he didn't know Foley well and denied knowing he was gay. "It's not something I'm interested in, to be honest with you," he said.
Asked whether he thought House Speaker Dennis Hastert should resign, McHenry said there was no evidence the speaker had broken the law. Pressed on whether he should resign for committing an error of judgment, McHenry said no.
At that moment, Chuck Rangel piped up and said that he agreed because if Republicans started resigning for their mistakes, many of them would have to leave.
In other news, Tom Reynolds was nowhere to be seen this morning and cancelled his scheduled appearance on ABC's "This Week," citing "flu-like" symptoms. Reynolds apologized (sort of) for his role in the Foley scandal in a TV ad that began running yesterday.
Patrick Buchanan appeared next on Late Edition, and, impossibly, managed to look even sillier than McHenry. His contribution to the national discourse was an announcement that Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton have marched in Gay Pride parades.
More later as we live blog the discussion . . .
Correction: McHenry was 23 when he first went to Washington in 1999, to work for DCI commuications group, the heart of the Republican slime machine. He was 25 and had no relevant experience when appointed by Bush to the Labor Department as a special assistant.
Rep. Patrick McHenry among his constituents.