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McKinney Folds Her Hand

Here's the full text of Cynthia McKinney's statement today on the floor of the House:

Thank you Mr. Speaker,

I come before this body to personally express, again, my sincere regret about the encounter with the Capitol Hill Police. I appreciate my colleagues who are standing with me, who love this institution and who love this country. There should not have been any physical contact in this incident. I have always supported law enforcement, and will be voting for H. Res. 756 expressing my gratitude and appreciation to the professionalism and dedication of the men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police. I am sorry that this misunderstanding happened at all and I regret its escalation. And I apologize.

The problem for McKinney is that sincerity is dictated more by actions than words. So while she clearly said all the right things in her apology, the fact that it came days after the incident and also after her shameful attempt to smear a Capitol police officer as racist makes it impossible to accept that McKinney feels "sincere regret." She lost, plain and simple.

Going back to Steve Lubet's poker analogy from the Chicago Tribune yesterday, McKinney could see her high stakes bluff was about to be called so she laid down her hand. By the way, even though the game looks to be over, here's an interesting email I received from a reader this morning that discusses Lubet's analogy in more detail:

One observation about the poker analogy, which is morally neutral. It's morally neutral to bluff, because it is within the 'ethics of poker.' We all sit down, knowing that bluffing is legal, expected, fair, etc. Properly done, we never know if the bluffer was bluffing, lest he not be able to pull it off in the future. We even admire it, sometimes.

What if the bluffer in a limitless game suddenly said 'I am betting my firstborn against yours. You have to either see me or fold.' You would say 'you cannot make me bet that much, even in a limitless game!' That would exceed/bust the 'ethics of the game.' If the bluffer could somehow make you continue to play in that game, instead of picking up all your chips and going home, you would certainly fold. But the other player would never be allowed into another game with anyone who knew about it.

There's the problem. McKinney, by completely flouting what appear to be the facts/truth, and even worse, bringing race into it, has simply exceeded the ethics of the game. It's not even politics' ethics she's breaking. This isn't political - it's not about splitting up the pie among competing interests, immigration, social security, Iraq. It's about McKinney, and she's willing to introduce the most damaging divider left in American society, charges of racism, to protect herself against a momentary misjudgment on her part.

Tom Sowell's piece two days ago on a recent trend of completely ignoring facts/reality comes to mind here. Damn the truth if it gets in my way. I won't let the truth stop me or slow me down. I'm hoping the Capitol Hill police have the guts and unity to call her, make her show her cards.

It looks like that's exactly what happened.