Virginia Foxx, GOP Hero

Virginia Foxx is decent church-goin' woman with a mean, pinched, bitter evil face and she is the GOP's parliamentary superstar, handling the Rules Committee and the familes of hate crimes victims with the same grace.

The Rules Committee is one of the most important committees in Congress. It decides amendments, debate length, and basically determines when and how bills get to the floor. So Virginia Foxx's role, as a member of the minority party, is to be as big a pain in the ass as possible. Which is why she keeps making other members cry!

In January, Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) was testifying on the stimulus bill but left the committee room and did not return after Foxx drew a comparison between his handling of the bill and his habit of fiddling with a pencil.

Now this is not too terrible, because Dave Obey can be kind of a dick himself.

But:

She has also been an effective attack dog on the House floor. In March, Foxx caused freshman Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio) to become so flustered after an exchange about Kilroy's vote on the American International Group Inc. bailout that Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) soon held a parliamentary boot camp for Democratic freshmen to avoid future incidents.

Once again, not too bad. Parliamentary dickery is a time-honored House tradition, and the Dems could probably use a toughening up.

But where is the anecdote that basically proves that this is a small-minded, hateful, simplistic, miserable excuse for an elected official? Oh, here it is:

Foxx's most public gaffe came last week during debate over the hate crimes bill. One of the pieces of the bill is named for Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old man murdered in 1998 because of his sexual orientation. Foxx said naming the bill for Shepard was a "hoax" because his murder "wasn't because he was gay."

It should be noted that Foxx said this while Matthew Shepard's mother sat a couple feet away from her. It should also be noted that Matthew Shepard was, in fact, tortured and murdered because he was gay.

So bring on the apologetic non-apology!

Foxx later apologized. "In the heat of trying to handle the rule on the floor, anybody can use a bad choice of words. Saying that the event was a hoax was a poor choice of words," Foxx told a North Carolina TV station. "I've apologized for that. I never meant in any way to harm the family or offend the family, or anybody else for that matter."

Ah, the old "poor choice of words" apology. Those always mean "I believe the terrible thing I said but I should've couched it in euphemism."

A North Carolina political strategist points out that Virginia Foxx is very effective in the House but she is perhaps a detriment to the party as a spokesperson, because of her "inability to communicate the Republican message effectively," which actually means "her ability to communicate the Republican message far too exactly."