Thaddeus McCotter is Very Serious

Thaddeus McCotter is Very Serious

Thaddeus McCotter is Very Serious

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 1 2011 8:54 AM

Thaddeus McCotter is Very Serious

A reader reminds me of incipient presidential candidate Thaddeus McCotter's last grab for attention, back in 2009.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post. 

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, (R-Mich.) is set to introduce a bill calling on Barack Obama to formally apologize to the Cambridge Police.
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The Michigan Republican announced on Friday that he would introduce the resolution unless Obama apologized to Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley for criticizing Crowley's handling of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s arrest last week.

The resolution, which never made it to a vote (it was pre-empted by the "beer summit"), is here, and it's quite the historical artifact. Do you remember that week when Americans asked themselves whether the president had destroyed law and order in America by saying a cop "acted stupidly" by arresting Gates? How did we survive?

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McCotter talked it up on cable news.

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The temptation is to compare McCotter to some other "eh, why not" congressional veterans who decided to run for president, like Duncan Hunter in 2008 or Dennis Kucinich in 2004. Think of those campaigns in the rubric that John Avlon came up with.

There are three ways to run for president these days. The first is to run to promote yourself. The second is to run to promote ideas. The third is to actually run for president of the United States.
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The criticism of Michele Bachmann, that she's introduced frivolous or doomed bills in Congress without racking up many accomplishments. McCotter's record reveals some good ideas, some fluff, and not a ton of follow-through unless the issue was getting attention. McCotter's dream of a tax break for pet care (the Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years Act) never happened, and neither did a bunch of incremental health care and privacy reforms. What has he actually gotten enacted?

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And we're done.

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post.