These thoughts occurred to me while listening to Fresh Air tonight, in which Terri Gross interviewed journalist Robert Draper about the influence of the recent influx of tea party-controlled reps in the House. I don't know much about Draper's personal leanings, but he certainly thinks these idiots hold a lot of power--which only feeds into the perception that they do. And because perception is more important than reality in Washington, I just got completely pissed off at Terri Gross for letting this guy talk about tea party morons and republicans for a whole fucking hour.
I wonder what it's like to be a tea partier in the House of Representatives, living in my office so I won't have an actual residence in D.C. After all, I sure wouldn't want to live in the real world, paying rent, buying groceries, cooking for myself and my family, and having deal with all that unimportant "real life" crap. I sure wouldn't want my constituents to think I sold out by having an apartment in the Sodom-and-Gomorrah that is Washington D.C.!
Think of it: sleeping on a cot or a couch in my office (all of which is paid for by our tax dollars), working out and showering and such in the taxpayer-funded gym at the (corporate-funded?) Capitol, and devoting every waking hour to politicking and voting and being whipped around by the Majority Whip!
One of the coolest parts of being in the House would, of course, be the fact that I wouldn't really have to do anything but these things. I wouldn't have to worry about healthcare (it's provided for free!), or retirement (yeah, that's provided too!), or shopping for groceries (I'd eat in the Capitol cafeteria!) or anything -- all I'd have to do is make sure I voted like Eric Cantor wants me to, worshiped Boner's nuclear-induced tan, and walked the razor-thin line between voting against any and all tax hikes for the rich and pretending I give a shit about what taxes are paid by middle-class Americans -- because "no more taxes!" means "no more taxes," man!
And hey--I can always pose for photo ops in my skivvies and claim I work 20 hours a day, pay for my own stationery, and try to opt out of my guaranteed-no-opting-out-of-it healthcare plan! See, America! I'll never sell out!
And when the whip-guy plays us a video about how bad-ass we're gonna be and how people are gonna get hurt! to get us all pumped up and prepped to vote NO on anything the President or those damned democrats propose, I'll truly believe I'm a bad ass. And if any of you non-patriots think I've completely lost touch with reality, then you obviously aren't a christian or a patriot.
So I'll watch a movie, snap my fellow tea partiers on the ass with my towel in the gym, REFUSE to raise taxes on the rich or even close the millions of loopholes that allow billionaires and corporations to pay practically nothing in taxes. Why take that money when we can just cut spending on the poor, the aged, and the young instead? Easy peasy! "We're gonna hurt some people!"
In the past I've wondered how and "liberal" became a dirty word. Now, the big dirty word is "entitlements." All the republicans and tea partiers talk about is "entitlements" and how we have to cut them, by golly, or else!
Of course, they're not talking about the REAL entitlements -- like the unlimited funding for anything that can be remotely considered "defense spending." Whether it's trying to make sharks into spies or teach soldiers to communicate telepathically, or pouring trillions into boondoggles like the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, these guaranteed trillions are somehow NOT ENTITLEMENTS! I guess those people deserve those trillions, right? No, the bad entitlements we absolutely have to cut is stuff like medicare, social security, and healthcare -- because the people getting this money are REALLY bleeding us dry! THAT'S the true problem!
Yup, being a tea partier -- representing a fraction of the population that's too stupid to realize they're voting against their own self interests (wait until THEY retire or need healthcare) -- would pretty much rock. I'd eat, sleep, and breathe politics, because that's what I was elected to do, right? It's all about winning these political battles, not living in the real world.
But OF COURSE I would stay strong in the knowledge that I'm representing the little guy while I'm making sure the rich pay no more taxes! Making sure I cut the government spending that actually HELPS most Americans! Completely ignoring the true sources of government waste (defense spending, wars, lifetime healthcare and benefits for all members of Congress)!
P.S. -- Wanna get a headache? Check this out.