With few home-state headlines and fewer pork-barrel opportunities, Congress’ D.C. subcommittee has always been a backwater. Sure, legislators try to make the best of it: For conservatives, beating up on the District’s gays, minorities, and liberals has historically proved popular. Thus Washingtonians were fretting in January when South Carolina’s Harold Watson “Trey” Gowdy III took the gavel. After the last GOP takeover, right-wingers moved to trip up home rule; many expected the same from a tea partier whose ruby-red district gives him every incentive to pick ideological fights. But where meddlers like Rep. James Walsh dominated Metro coverage during Newt Gingrich’s revolution, Gowdy rarely makes local news. “I’m not searching for ways to tell the District of Columbia what to do,” he told The New Republic. Not that he’s D.C.’s kind of guy: In July, when Texan wingnut Louie Gohmert wanted to rewrite city law to permit concealed weapons for out-of-towners, even most Republicans voted no. Gowdy merely voted “present.” Still, it beats the alternative. In 2011, Gowdy was newsworthy for not making news.