Republicans are rightly disappointed this afternoon. Cynthia McKinney has finally decided to put a cork in it. Last week's crusade has become today's apology.
From a GOP perspective, the Democratic congresswoman from Georgia had been the gift that keeps on giving. Last week, as previously noted here, she struck a Capitol Hill cop after he attempted to detain her at a security check point. She had swept past the metal detector, and she wasn't wearing the requisite lapel pin that would have ID'd her as a member of Congress. The cop sought to stop her for those reasons. She hit the cop, then held a press conference declaring that she had been discriminated against because she was black.
The whole thing has been escalating ever since, with reports that she might be arrested, and with fresh quotes from McKinney about how she has been oppressed. I believe she hit the media mother lode the other day, sharing her views with all major networks. This has been too much for most of her fellow House Democrats, who have been working overtime lately to demonstrate that they are on the side of cops, troops, toughness, and security forces everywhere.
And she has been a boon for Republicans who have been anxious this week for something, anything, that would step on the Tom DeLay debacle story. House Speaker Dennis Hastert's eyes reportedly lit up yesterday when a Fox Newshound interrupted a press briefing about DeLay by asking Hasert about the McKinney saga.
But this afternoon, all of a sudden, McKinney has packed away the PC rhetoric and changed her 'tude entirely, with remarks on the House floor: "There should not have been any physical contact in this incident. I am sorry that this misunderstanding happened at all and I regret its escalation and I apologize."
It's called, Stop the Bleeding.
And there's no doubt that Republicans will be disappointed, given the current disconsolate mood in the GOP camp. As one highranking Republican official emailed to me yesterday, "We could use some more McKinneys."