Today’s Morning Jolt explores how popular culture is attempting to redefine Chris Christie, some new signs about Congress toying with the public in Washington, and then this key announcement about the opening in Virginia’s 8th congressional district:
Geraghty for Congress 2014: Inaction In Action
(Somewhere in Virginia’s eighth congressional district, Jim takes the stage to cheers from crowd of residents.)
My fellow Virginians . . .
I have heard your call, ringing loud and clear from the wood-paneled offices of the trade associations in Arlington, to the gleaming glass tower of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, to the elegantly landscaped cul-de-sacs of Yuppie Acres, to the teeming miles upon miles of Starbuckses in our communities . . .
We of the eighth congressional district now face the question of how we will go on, without a representative who keeps being accused of violent behavior around women, who pursues a vigilante campaign against eight-year-old carjackers, who blames the Iraq War on Jews, and so many other unforgettable moments in a political career that is rivaled only by Mayor Quimby of Springfield. Clearly, we will soon see a vacancy in an office that needs to be cleaned out with sugarless Gummi Bears.
I have been asked what I am willing to do to earn the great responsibility and honor of representing you in the House of Representatives. My answer is simple and direct: Absolutely nothing.
(Nervous laughter from crowd.)
My fellow Virginians, if you elect me to Congress, I promise that I will not lift a finger for the special interests, the corporate interests, the lobbyists, Big Oil, Big Business, Big Papi, the Big Ten, the Notorious B.I.G., or The Big Bang Theory. I won’t answer to them or any other one of our public discourse’s designated villains of the week.
I can make this promise with confidence because I’m pretty sure I won’t do much of anything for you, either.
This is an area where my principled commitment to limited government and my deep disinterest in dealing with your problems will align perfectly.
Do you want a deduction or tax credit written into the tax code to benefit your business? Well, tough, because you’re not getting it. Your business is supposed to thrive because it provides quality goods and services, not because it gets some special help from the IRS.
(Murmurs of discontent.)
Do you want an earmark written into an appropriations bill? Argo-you-know-what.
(Someone drops a glass.)
Are you hoping I’ll persuade my colleagues to pass a law that will help your industry? I’ll pencil that in my schedule for the first of Never.
If you’ve got a great project that you want some federal agency to invest in . . . go find some venture capitalists, because it’s not the taxpayers’ duty to give you money and hope it all works out.
If you think Medicare isn’t spending enough on “vacuum erection systems” . . . go call somebody who cares. When you do, I hope you don’t use an Obamaphone.
My fellow Virginians, it’s time to take the service out of public service. That big dome on the Hill over there has one job, protect people’s rights. It is not supposed to be like Oprah giving away free cars to the audience. A lot of us have gotten way too comfortable with the idea that government’s job is to help us by giving us stuff and doing stuff for us.
Have you ever considered that maybe the reason Congress is so awful is you, dear voters? I mean, you elected these clowns. But even beyond that, most of the time when members of Congress interact with the public, they’re being asked for favors. The mail they get, the phone calls they get, most of the people who show up at their town halls – everybody’s asking them for something. Get more funding for this! Help us get money to do that! Make sure this agency spends more on this local project! Look, your congressman is not Santa Claus! (Okay, former Rep. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii kind of looks like him.) Through your behavior and expectations, you’ve conditioned our elected leaders to think of themselves as walking ATMs.
Ask not what your country can do for you . . . because I’m sick and tired of your whining. Do it yourself.
(The crowd is silent and not happy.)
What do you say, Virginia? Are you ready for a congressman who has nothing to offer you but . . . well, basically nothing to offer you?
Guy in crowd: Hey, doesn’t Mary Katharine Ham live in this district, too?
Another guy in crowd: Let’s nominate her!
The crowd moves on.