"Merciless" Criticism from a Republican Congressional Wunderkind and "Attack Dog"

Reporter Michael Luo profiled 32-year-old Republican Congressman Adam Putnam of Florida in Monday's"A Fresh Face Vows to Revive the G.O.P."

The piece is semi-favorable in the end. But take note of the harsh language used to describe Putnam's criticism, which isn't exactly the way the paper greeted liberal attack dog (or as the Times called him, "powerful muckraker") Rep. Henry Waxman in a February 6 articleon his promises to investigate Republicans, tobacco executies, and Halliburton.

"Mr. Putnam, something of a political wunderkind who at 26 was one of the youngest members of Congress in decades when he was elected in 2000, has taken on the role of attack dog over the last three months.

"Combining agility on the issues and controlled partisan outrage, he has helped lead Republicans in the debate over the war in Iraq, lambasted Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her use of a military jet to fly across country to her home district, and generally tried to eke out political points at every opportunity....His tactics, however, have earned him the enmity of the speaker's office, as well as others who accuse him of partisan showboating....He is merciless in his criticism of the Iraq bill that Democrats passed Friday, calling the vote 'little more than a political charade and an exercise in arm-twisting.'

Here's some of Putnam's "merciless" criticism of Democrats, as quoted by Luo:

"'The Democratic leadership has turned the people's house into a personal bazaar of horse-trading and wheeling and dealing,' he said at a session with reporters last week. 'What is the point here? What purpose are we serving?'"

"Clad in a navy-blue suit, his slim frame relaxed, he seemed in his element as he dished out another biting soliloquy about his Democratic colleagues, his age forgotten in the moment."