It's not just wimpy kids and their wimpier parents who complain about bullying (see: Matt Labash's masterpiece on the anti-bullying movement in schools). The anti-bullying movement is trickling down to wimpy legislators.
The Boston Herald editorialized today "House chamber no place for thugs." Apparently some some gruff old legislator came up to a relative newbie and talked tough. The Herald's account:
A colleague came up to [Rep. Jennifer Callahan (D-Sutton)], chatted about a health care amendment that had come up earlier in the week, then what had been a casual conversation turned ugly. According to Callahan, he said, “I’ve been in this building for a long time, Jen, and I wanted you to know that I could make things really difficult for you. I mean, Jen, I could really hurt you.”
While this is far from collegial, it's not much more than the kind of tough talk one learns to expect from Hollywood depictions of hard-boiled legislators (see: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington). It's hard to imagine that Rep. Callahan was really as shocked (shocked!) as she makes herself out to be at the discovery that some legislators are assholes.