Posts Tagged ‘Rep. Markwayne Mullin’

The New Yorker, Congress and Me

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

By Jeffrey Page

I’ve just received my renewal notice from The New Yorker and as usual I’m tempted to let my subscription lapse. I have no complaint with the magazine’s journalism or its arts reviews, but I find that some issues wind up in the discard pile almost immediately because I have no time to read all that’s in them. And there is plenty in them. Sometimes I don’t even look at the cartoons.

When the stack of read and un-read New Yorkers reaches an unusual thickness on my shelf, I drive them over to the volunteers’ magazine wagon at St. Anthony Hospital. And once again I think about giving up on The New Yorker.

But then, the next issue arrives and this time I do have time, and again I realize how much I enjoy this magazine. A good example is in this week’s issue; it’s a 26-question quiz about some of the utterances and actions of several members of Congress during the shutdown of the federal government.

I looked at this quiz and was reminded that while there surely are left-wing jackasses in this world, they’re vastly outmatched – in severity, volume and in some cases, sheer stupidity – by some remarkable idiots on the right.

These are the people who place party above nation and who will say anything so long as it serves to demean President Obama, and/or trash the Affordable Care Act, and/or defend the Tea Party’s successful shutdown of the government, and/or deny the damage they would inflict on the United States should they force a default on the nation’s debt repayment.

I thought I had been on top of these stories and all their wretched details, but The New Yorker called my bluff with its quiz which, when you read it and think about it, is actually more an essay than just an entertaining yes-no exam.

For example, what did you think about the future of America when Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla) declared – the following contains no typographical errors – “This country isn’t ran by just one individual; it’s ran by four branches.”

And how did you react when Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb) was asked if he planned to forego his House salary during the shutdown and said he planned no such thing, and added: “I’ve got a nice house and a kid in college.”

Or when Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind) said of his shutdown-happy colleagues, “We’re not going to be disrespected…. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.” No typos in this one either.

Or when Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) predicted that today’s congressional aides will eventually get salaries of $500,000 if they become lobbyists. “Meanwhile,” he said, “I’m stuck here making $172,000 a year.”

And when the ever dependable Rep. Michele Bachman (R-Minn) said of the shutdown, “We’re very excited. It’s exactly what we wanted, and we got it…. People will be very grateful.”

Remember when the House of Representatives was called “the people’s house?” It was a time when a member making the standard pay of $172,000 wouldn’t have dared complain about being “stuck” with such a salary. To hear Stockman come this/close to calling his pay a starvation wage is to hear a complaint splendid in its indecency.

But this class of Tea Party zealots thinks nothing of using their mouths and tongues as weapons to slap across the faces of a population of 300 million struggling Americans. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.