Last week, Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) decided to bring his grandson, Nico, to an oversight hearing concerning the Department Of Justice. That's fine. Members of Congress can — and should — encourage their children and grandchildren to visit them. They have numerous places for them to see, besides their offices. Yet, bringing them to a hearing about possible abuse of power by the DOJ is not OK.
First of all, it's boring for Nico. What child wants to sit on grandpa's lap while he questions to the Attorney General of the United States? It's insanely boring for the little guy. A violation of the Eighth Amendment is possibly at play here. Yet, in all seriousness, he may have been cute, but it was distracting towards getting to the bottom of what is developing to be an unconstitutional seizure of journalists' phone records by the DOJ. It's also bad optics.
The government allegedly seized phone records illegally. That's an egregious violation of the law, and again placed Eric Holder in the hot seat. We need the truth, and Watt's ploy to distract the public was brilliant. Nothing warms the heart of Americans than children playing with "pop pop." At the same time, this issue isn't going away, so those who were really upset about this should relax.
For the future, Watt should give more attention to the optics concerning his position as a member of Congress. Some viewed this as another reason why the federal government is a joke — and rightfully so. In the meantime, Watt scored some Twitter gold, but let's keep the grand kids out of hearings that involve abuse of federal authority.