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April 28, 2004

Seeing Lautenberg Was Painful

NJ Sen. Frank Lautenberg was on the floor of the Senate today with a cartoon posterboard sign of a chickenhawk, in order to decry Cheney and other "chickenhawks" who did all they could not to serve.

That was a painful moment, but not for the reasons you might expect. It, of course, has root in truth. But it seemed wrong to see such a, well, cartoonish charge on the Senate floor.

Now, don't get me wrong. Nothing about the long history of the Senate should lead anyone to believe it was always or ever a model of decorum. People fight political battles in there. People want to be heard.

But there are eloquent put-downs and there are blunt, tired insults.

See also this St. Petersburg Times column - not so much because it's on point but because it's a good read - and it does use the word "chickenhawk."