Marking up budget legislation can be a brutal affair, often beginning early and lasting long into the night.
But buried within the hours of debate in the Senate on Thursday is an exchange you'd be more likely to hear in a locker room than a congressional hearing.[..]
The back-and-forth came after Grassley, the ranking Republican on the finance committee, pressed Conrad to include an amendment of his. "I'd like to suggest to the chairman that he might want to support this because, you remember, you asked me two years ago not to take a vote on it and you said if we did take a vote on it you might not get your budget resolution adopted. So I did not ask for a vote on it and you said it was a very statesmanlike thing for me to do at that particular time and so I would hope that you would return the favor," said Grassley.
"You know, I used to like you. Let me just say: Oh, you are good," said Conrad.
"Well, your wife said the same thing." [responded Grassley]
Conrad didn't miss a beat. "She did, she said you were the biggest hit of all the speakers at the event," he replied.
What in the hell is going on with the Republican Party? Sure, they're effectually leaderless--because Rush Limbaugh doesn't dirty his fingers with actual details like the budget--but is it too much to ask that they not devolve into lame insult comics while doing the people's business?