The War on Courtesy

The Scrapbook
The Weekly Standard
Vol. 19, No. 30

Distinguished lineage is no guarantee of good breeding, and in the case of the junior senator from Rhode Island, the gap is startling. Mayflower ancestry, a diplomat grandfather and father, railroad money, and education at the best schools seem, if anything, to have encouraged the hauteur and contempt for opponents for which Sheldon Whitehouse is increasingly known. They were on display again at a Senate hearing last week, when the senator greeted the solid testimony of economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth with gratuitous insult.

You might think a Budget Committee hearing on economic growth and tax reform would be of interest to a senator whose state, at 9 percent, leads the pack in unemployment. But instead of using his time for any constructive purpose, Whitehouse chose to express pique that Furchtgott-Roth had testified too many times for his liking on Capitol Hill…



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