QUOTE OF THE DAY…. During the floor debate over health care reform, Rep. John Shadegg (R) of Arizona generated a little attention for himself by bringing a 7-month-old baby to the podium, and pretending to speak on her behalf.

Last night’s speech wasn’t nearly as adorable. Shadegg spoke from the House floor to rail against a criminal trial for alleged 9/11 conspirators in New York City. In particular, the far-right Arizonan was incensed that NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) believes, “It is fitting that 9/11 suspects face justice near the World Trade Center site where so many New Yorkers were murdered.”

As Matt Finkelstein reported, Shadegg doesn’t see it quite the same way. “I saw the Mayor of New York said today, ‘We’re tough. We can do it,’” the Republican congressman said. “Well, Mayor, how are you going to feel when it’s your daughter that’s kidnapped at school by a terrorist? How are you going to feel when it’s some clerk — some innocent clerk of the court — whose daughter or son is kidnapped? Or the jailer’s little brother or little sister?”

As a matter of decency, Shadegg’s little tantrum was vile and unnecessary. If Shadegg has a policy argument to make, fine. But openly speculating on the House floor about imaginary kidnappings of the mayor’s daughter is loathsome, even by the standards of congressional Republicans.

And while I’m hesitant to offer any kind of substantive response to such transparent nonsense, I can’t help but wonder, where has John Shadegg been? Why didn’t he pop off like this during any of the other criminal trials against the hundreds of terrorists who’ve been put through the federal justice system? If this right-wing lawmaker seriously believes court proceedings lead foreign terrorists to kidnap children on American soil, why has Shadegg remained entirely silent on the point over the last couple of decades?

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.