Hey everybody! I’m going to run for U.S. Congress. Why? Why not?
I’d only have to work 120 days and get paid $174,000. That’s $1,450 a day. Or (based on a eight-hour day) about $181 an hour.
And think of all the frequent flyer miles I would accrue traveling to exotic locales to witness events such as wildfires, hurricanes, and grand openings of In-N-Out Burgers.
And, primarily, because I have absolutely no political experience whatsoever. Therefore, I have a good chance of winning.
I hear that’s all it takes to run for one of the top political positions in our great country.
Consider Curry County Commissioner Court Boice, who recently announced he might run for Congress. He had no political experience before being elected a county commissioner a year ago. He just woke up one morning and said, “How can I make my life harder? I know. I’ll run for commissioner.”
In looking at Boice’s accomplishments during his first year, I find … not much. Of course he’s been gridlocked with the other two commissioners since day one. So he woke up on another morning and said, “Hey. I’m not getting anything done as a commissioner. I think I’ll run for Congress.”
He’ll fit right in with the intractable politics in Congress.
The qualifications for Congress are tough. Candidates must:
•Complete at least four hours of work in one week.
•Be able to spend most of the day staring out a window.
•Tackle issues they know nothing about.
•Hang the toilet paper roll over the top.
•Have looked the wrong way at a woman, once, 40 years ago.
Other than those things, determining whether one is worthy to serve in Congress is up to American voters. It’s a popularity contest. And the winners get to decide our country’s laws. It could be the guy who flips burgers at In-N-Out. “Would you like fries with that Affordable Care Act?”
No formal education is necessary. Only in America. The land of opportunity. The land of In-N-Out Burger. Gotta love it.
Who wouldn’t want to be a Congressman? It’s popularity is rivaled only by having a colonoscopy or a root canal. Hmmm, that explains why the two political parties are having trouble recruiting suckers … cough, I mean candidates for the job.
Or maybe it’s the recent polls that show that Congress is less popular than head lice. Or that a majority of Americans are in favor of sending Congress to Syria. And I think it was Mark Twain who once said, “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself.”
Even Arizona Sen. John McCain has joked that the only people in support of Congress these days are blood relatives and paid staffers.
Now that I think of it, running for Congress may not be a good idea. After all, when aliens attack the Earth, what’s the first target? That’s right. Washington D.C. I know this because in every sci-fi movie I’ve watched, the aliens show up and blast the White House — and all of Congress — to smithereens.
Alien wife: “Honey, while you’re out conquering the universe, stop by Earth and pick up a Congressman for dinner.”
Alien husband: “Blue or Red?”
Alien wife: “Doesn’t matter. They all taste like chicken.”
If being in Congress doesn’t kill you, it certainly makes one age prematurely. Boice, who is quite a handsome fellow, should think twice about running for office. Do you think U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio always looked that way? Nooooo. DeFazio was quite the dapper fellow in his younger days, but years of being in Congress has transformed him into Yoda.
Being a congressman means constant stress. Ceaseless fundraising. Getting in trouble for using the wrong bathroom or looking the wrong way at a woman, once, 40 years ago.
Forget it. It’s not worth it. I don’t want to get blown up, eaten by aliens or end up looking like Yoda.
Boice can have the job. DeFazio can keep it. I wish them both luck and may The Force be with them.
Scott Graves was editor of the Curry Coastal Pilot from September 2000 to November 2017. He can be reached by calling 541-469-3123 or firstname.lastname@example.org