Quick Poll! respondents voted 60%-NO and 40%-YES when asked whether Rep. Pete Stark deserves to be insignificant. (He suggested that this was his rightful place during a speech on the House floor during which he apologized for suggesting that American soldiers in Iraq have their heads blown off for President Bush's amusement.) If he were insignificant, if what he said didn't matter, everyone who disapproved of his comment would have coughed and shuffled their feet with embarrassment and then moved on rather than pressing him to make a formal apology. As it was, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) did not like having her message hijacked, and Stark agreed to take one for the team.

He isn't insignificant and can't be expected to sink into obscurity any time soon.