Congressmen, and idiots

May 6, 2011

Mark Twain, who had covered Congress as a reporter, once quipped:

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.*

Our friend and correspondent Jim Kessler writes of a run-in he had with the staff of Congressman Peter King (Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee):

Peter T. King, Republican, chair of the Homeland Security Committee

Rep. Peter T. King: Are "idiot" and "congressman" redundant?

A day or two ago Congressman King said that we owed the knowledge of who/where the courier that we used to get to bin Laden to Bush’s waterboarding.

And because I’m a general pain in the ass to Republicans I called his office and asked the person who answered if he was standing by that statement.  She said yes.  So then I asked “So…that means the Bush
administration knew how to get to bin Laden for years and didn’t do so?  Does that mean we can prosecute them for knowingly endangering the country?”  Her response was, and I kid you not, “I don’t think you
passed geometery class.”

My response was “What does math have to do with this?”

Her response:  “Geometery isn’t math.”

My response was:  “Yes it is.  Go ask a math professor.  Perhaps next time before you try and act condescending to someone by acting like you’re smarter then them you should actually make sure you’re smarter then them rather then being stupidly arrogant?”

That’s when she hung up on me.

I’m considering writing an editorial to whatever paper is in King’s district where I point out that his staff apparently hasn’t passed high school level math.

I’m not reassured that Congressmen don’t appear to have gotten a lot smarter in the more than 150 years since Twain reported on them.

* Attributed to Twain, supposedly in a writing,  A Biography.  I haven’t confirmed where it is, though I’m pretty sure he actually said it.

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