In March 2003, in the kind of classy diplomacy only House Republicans can offer, Reps. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) took time from their busy schedules to tinker with the menu in Congressional cafeteria. Frustrated that France withheld support for Bush's invasion of Iraq, Ney and Jones used their authority to change the name of "french fries" to "freedom fries" in the House dining hall.
Jones, who came up with the brilliant idea, told one reporter, "This isn't a political or publicity stunt. We feel sincere as to what we've done. This isn't going to change the debate or course of the world. It's a gesture just to say to the French, 'Up yours!'"
Three years after House Republicans trumpeted the new names to get back at the French for snubbing the coalition of the willing in Iraq, congressmen don't even want to talk about french fries, which are actually native to Belgium, and toast.
Neither Reps. Bob Ney of Ohio nor Walter B. Jones of North Carolina, the authors of the culinary rebuke, were willing this week to say who led the retreat, as it were, from the frying pan. But retreat there has been, as a casual observer can see for himself in the House's basement cafeterias.
Not a single Republican staffer or lawmaker wanted to comment on the development, but Brendan Daly, a spokesperson for Nancy Pelosi said, "Now that they've changed the name of the french fries back, maybe they will admit their other foreign policy mistakes were wrong, too."
A guy can dream....
--Guest Post by Steve Benen, The Carpetbagger Report