On 11 March 2003, Representatives Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) and Walter B. Jones, Jr. (R-North Carolina) declared that all references to French fries and French toast on the menus of the restaurants and snack bars run by the House of Representatives would be removed. House cafeterias were ordered to rename French fries “freedom fries”. This action was carried out without a congressional vote, under the authority of Ney’s position as Chairman of the Committee on House Administration, which oversees restaurant operations for the chamber. The simultaneous renaming of French toast to “freedom toast” attracted less attention but was mentioned in the film Clerks 2.
Four and a half years later, Bob Ney is in prison. And Walter Jones? He’s against the war.
“If I had known then what I know today, I wouldn’t have voted for that resolution.”
He contends that the United States went to war “with no justification.”
A week ago, Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-Va.) died of complications from breast cancer. She had been the ranking member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness. The second ranking member is Walter ‘Freedom Fries’ Jones. Therefore, he should inherit Rep. Davis’ position. But…then…there is that whole thing about being against the war.
Rep. Walter Jones’s (N.C.) position on the Iraq war is likely to keep him out of the Armed Services Committee’s Republican leadership despite his seniority, as the panel’s ranking member mulls who will succeed former Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-Va.) as Readiness subcommittee ranking member, according to sources on both sides of the aisle.
A spokesman for Armed Services ranking member Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) said he has yet to make a decision and is working through the process of naming a successor to Davis, who died Oct. 6 following a two-year battle with breast cancer.
Jones most likely will be passed over for the subcommittee’s ranking member position for the second time in the 110th Congress, according to a congressional source familiar with the discussions. The anti-war Republican has been slighted in the past for siding with Democratic leadership on Iraq war resolutions.
Jones said last week through a spokeswoman that he had not discussed the Readiness subcommittee position with Hunter and that his thoughts were with the Davis family.
When asked again about the subcommittee post on Monday, a spokeswoman referred questions to the Armed Services Committee. Should Hunter choose Jones, it likely would be over the objections of House GOP leadership, who have been unhappy with Jones’s anti-war platform, a GOP leadership aide said.
My guess is that the position will go to Rep. Randy Forbes (VA-04). I can’t really see Duncan ‘Two Kinds of Fruit‘ Hunter overriding the House leadership to give a war protester the job of overseeing our troop readiness. Then again, Jones and Duncan do share a love of foodstuffs. Perhaps they will find common ground over a meal of orange-glazed chicken, fresh fruit groupe, steamed peas and mushrooms, and rice pilaf.
Never mind the idea that a member of the House should be free to express their conscience over matters of war and peace, life and death. If you don’t love the war, you don’t get to keep your seniority.