With some House Democrats planning to walk out today when House Republicans vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for no good reason, it’s instructive to look back to a similar moment in 2008, when then-Minority Leader John Boehner led a walk out over a vote to hold Bushies Harriet Miers and Josh Bolton in contempt for a legitimate reason: they refused even to show up for a hearing about Bush-Rove firing U.S. attorneys who refused to play along with Rove’s bogus voter fraud campaign.
To Boehner’s credit, at least did not cry, via Dave Weigel:
February 14, 2008 — a date which will live in almost nobody’s memory — brought the first contempt vote on an executive branch official since the 1980s. Democrats had spent the better part of a year investigating the dismissal of seven U.S. attorneys, who (it’s pretty well agreed now) had refused to jump high enough when asked to pursue voter fraud claims. White House Counsel Harriet Miers and Chief of Staff Josh Bolten refused to appear before committee, citing executive privilege on the in-demand information. So Democrats brought their vote.
House Minority Leader JOHN BOEHNER (R-Ohio): Earlier today, the [Pres. Bush] said he would delay his trip to Africa, a long-planned trip, he would delay it so that he could work with us to sign the long-term foreign intelligence surveillance act modernization law into law.
House Republicans stand ready to stay here as long as it takes to get this bill passed and get it to the president’s desk.
And, ladies and gentlemen, we will not stand here and watch this floor be abused for pure political grandstanding at the expense of our national security.
We will — we will — we will not stand for this and we will not stay for this.
And I would ask my House Republican colleagues and those who believe that we should be here protecting the American people not vote on this bill.
Let’s just get up and leave.