Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

October 2, 2013

ROOT: The great American lie

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — We’re here with a Congressman from your state who has agreed to give us candid answers to the questions that have been on everyone’s mind for a very long time. We want to thank you for your time today, Mr. Congressman.

Mr. Congressman: Oh, it is no trouble at all. I wasn’t really doing anything today anyways, except throwing wadded up pieces of paper into my wastebasket like a basketball player.

Interviewer: Wadded up pieces of paper?

MC: Yes. My secretary brings me envelopes with handwritten mail in them and I just use the pages as wadded up paper basketballs.

Int: Wouldn’t those be letters from your constituents?

MC: Letters from my what?

Int: Your constituents. You know, the people who voted you into office.

MC: Oh, of course. Of course.

Int: Uh huh. Mr. Congressman, when you ran for office, did you tell the American people that you would use their government as leverage to push your personal agenda?

MC: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Their government? Look, WE are the government and WE make the rules. The only time that what we say to the public matters is when it is getting close to elections and we need good poll numbers to grab the votes that allow us to keep these sweet jobs.

Int: What about your track record? Don’t you think that will follow you into elections?

MC: Track record? Look, the American people have an incredibly short memory. Why do you think so many of us incumbents keep winning our seats back each election? We count on that short memory to keep putting us back here.

Int: Why are you using the American government as a pawn in your twisted game of chess?

MC: Oh, you mean the whole shutdown thing?

Int: Yes.

MC: Eh, that really wasn’t about Obamacare or whatever they are calling it. A bunch of us had riders on the budget that weren’t going through. The only way we could get the others to vote for the budget and give us our spending amendments was to threaten to close down the government.

Int: 800,000 government workers were affected by that entire charade. What kind of amendments are we talking about?

MC: Mine was for the land next to my house to be designated a national park so I could legally have federal employees mow my lawn and fix up my house.

Int: Incredible.

MC: Ain’t it?

Int: Why would our military be asked to take government IOUs during a shutdown, but Congress will continue to get your full paychecks?

MC: Hey, I support our troops. But I prefer to support them back here where there is no fighting and with my paycheck intact, you know? We didn’t make that rule. It was on the books when we got here, and it is a damn good rule.

Int: So you have no problem putting a soldier in harm’s way and then delaying the pay he uses to support his family, while your paycheck is completely intact?

MC: Hey! You’re making me out to be the bad guy here! Harm’s way? Have you tried driving in D.C. on a Monday morning? Well, me neither. I have a driver for that. But he says that the traffic is brutal.

Int: Do you feel any kind of obligation to the people who have elected you into this office?

MC: I will say anything those people want to hear, just so long as I get to keep my job. And as long as I don’t do anything too stupid, like post a picture of my shining glory on Twitter, then I am just fine.

Int: One final question Mr. Congressman. What do you think about the situation in Syria?

MC: I have a buddy who runs a government contracting firm and he is mad that we did not bomb anyone over there. He pumped a lot of money into my campaign, so I will need to find someone else to bomb. I hear North Korea is shooting off missiles again, which means that they may be our next target. War is good for the economy, you know? Well, at least it is good for my economy.

Int: Amazing. Any final words for our readers?

MC: Uh, yeah! Thank you for your support and, as your Congressman, I look forward to several more years of this cushy job where I get to push people around and live in this big, glass bubble I bought for myself using funds that were supposed to go to public schools in my state.

Int: Thank you, Mr. Congressman. This has been most enlightening.

George N Root III is a Lockport resident and not a government watchdog. His column appears every Wednesday, even if the government is shut down. He can be reached at georgeroot@verizon.com but, once again, he has no answers to your questions.