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It’s nice to be nice, Senator Charles Schumer

You can learn a lot about people by how, when and why they curse.

Year 2009 ends on a sour note for foul-mouthed Senator Charles Ellis “Chuck” Schumer amid public astonishment that New York’s $174,000-a-year top representative on Capitol Hill %u2013 a husband and father of two daughters, no less %u2013threw his weight about on an airplane trip by calling a flight attendant a “bitch” because she asked him and his chin-wagging partner, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, to quit gabbing on their cell phones before take-off.

Clearly, the stewardess aboard the recent US Airways flight from La Guardia Airport to Washington, DC, wasn’t aware of how important Senators Schumer and Gillibrand thought they were, and was simply doing her job by requesting them to comply with a simple rule that their fellow passengers seemed to have no problem with obeying.

With terrorists running amok on hijacked planes, apprehensive commuters do not need unnecessary on-board headaches from a boorish public official, who should be ever mindful of the oath he has pledged time and again during his decades-long public career to “faithfully discharge the duties of the office.” One can safely assume those engagements include making laws, not breaking them.

As one of Brooklyn’s privileged best, who scored a perfect 1600 on his SATs and graduated as valedictorian from James Madison High School, Senator Schumer has not done his borough proud with his crass mouth.

Elected officials are held to a higher code of conduct because they are the chosen ones who should not forget that on their coattails ride the faith, trust and hopes of their employer: the public.

According to his flack, “the senator made an off-the-cuff comment under his breath that he shouldn’t have made, and he regrets it.”

Does Chuck regret his toxic talk enough to fine himself $100,000 for befouling the stratosphere? That was the maximum penalty he outlined in his April 2005 agricultural proposal to fine farmers who “pollute the air” with their feeding operations.

His ugly side is no surprise to those who have seen the lawmaker in action: “He’s not nice!” reportedly griped an air hostess who had the misfortune of attending to him.

Now that he has been hoisted on his own petard, Mr. Schumer should be advised that courtesy is free, and well expected from a perked-up-puffed-up pol, who should know by now that public service is about serving the public, not about abusing the people.

Sabruzzo@cnglocal.com

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