It's been a week of bad manners all around. First, there was the White House Super Bowl pre-party, in which Bill O'Reilly achieved the dubious distinction of being the first interviewer in history to prevent a sitting president from uttering a complete sentence. MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell ran a few segments counting the interruptions, which totalled more than 70. I kept waiting for President Obama to be the first president in history to tell an interviewer to STFU. Didn't happen. The man is made of stone.
Then those most famous gate-crashers of all, the Salahis, managed to worm their way into a Super Bowl party hosted by the Dallas Cowboys' owner. They were discreetly escorted out by security, but not before they managed to memorialize their presence via a tweet complete with photo. The party rocked for several minutes before they were caught.
Not to be outdone, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch showed up uninvited to a Tea Party bash in D.C. last night to schmooze with Michele Bachmann, fresh from her secret Hawaian getaway where she worked hard for her freezing Minnesota constituents. Hatch, according to Talking Points Memo, "is presumably just the kind of Republican the tea party would like to take out in 2012."
Taking a page from the Salahi playbook, Hatch insisted he was invited, while Tea Party Express Director Levi Russell said he wasn't. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle: a Hatch staffer called a Tea Party staffer and finagled an unofficial, underhanded invite in lieu of an engraved invitation. Hatch was likely remembering the fate of his Utah cohort, Bob Bennett, at the hands of the Tea Party last fall and figured if he can't beat 'em, he might as well join 'em. Kind of a variation on the Tea Party tail wagging the establishment GOP dog theme. Establishment guy Hatch is running in circles, frantically biting at his own mangey tail.
The week is only halfway through, so I'll be adding to this post as needed. Suggestions and tips on various items of rudeness, mean-girliness and further evidence that the New Era of Civility is ending as quickly as it began are always welcome.