“Supernanny” Jo Frost says Washington politicians could use some time in the naughty corner — especially given the recent scuffle between Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican, and Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Maryland Democrat.
“People have been asking me if I could walk into Congress and create some etiquette and manners,” the author and television personality explained at a book signing Friday at the City Club.
Last week, Lois Lerner, the central figure in the IRS-Tea Party scandal, was called to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee which Issa chairs. Lerner refused to answer questions, invoking her Fifth Amendment right nearly 10 times, much to Issa’s frustration.
He abruptly adjourned the meeting with a slam of the gavel, ignoring the pleas of Cummings to speak.
“Mr. Chairman? Mr. Chairman? Mr. Chairman?” Cummings said.
“We’ve adjourned,” said Issa.
“Mr. Chairman, you cannot run a committee like this,” Cummings continued. “We’re better than that as a committee. I have asked for a few minutes to ask a procedural…”
Then Issa pulled the plug on Cummings’ microphone, instantly silencing him.
Issa later apologized, explaining he should have been more sensitive “to the mood of what was going on,” and saying, “I take responsibility.”
For his part, Cummings took to Twitter using the hashtag #issacircus, to explain the showdown:
— House OversightDems (@OversightDems) March 5, 2014
“We could use some Nanny Jo in there,” said Frost, a Brit, adding: “”The House of Commons is exactly the same.”
Frost’s new book focuses on how to tame tiresome toddlers, who are learning how to differ with others for the first time, and is perhaps applicable to haughty lawmakers.
Her child care “SOS” motto is: “Step-back, Observe, Step-in,” when a child is mid-tantrum. “Regardless of political beliefs,” Frost noted, “one can still listen and say what you need to say and maintain decorum.” Issa, for his part, is taking to Twitter with some mood-lightening:
— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) March 9, 2014
And Cummings did accept that apology:
RELEASE: @RepCummings: “This evening, Chairman Issa telephoned me & apologized 4 his conduct, & I accepted his apology.”
— House OversightDems (@OversightDems) March 7, 2014