Last night, Bill Maher's final New Rule may be viewed pretty controversially around here, as he ripped into old members of Congress that he feels have been there for too long.
And finally, New Rule: as long as our legislators spend their time protecting their jobs instead of doing the people's work, the official seal of Congress must be changed from this to a picture of this guy.
This bundle of energy is Mark Rosenthal, who for the last 15 years, was a union boss in New York City, a position he earned by eating Jimmy Hoffa. (audience laughter) He lost his job this week after these photos of him sleeping on the job appeared in the papers, including of one where he was holding Princess Leia on a leash.
Now I must say, I feel a little bad for this guy because he had to take pain meds that put him out after lunch because of a bad back. And I believe him when he says he has a bad back, 'cause as you can see, he's a huge fat fuck! And that's mostly on him.
But if we're down on him because he's unconscious on the job, why did we reward it in this guy?
Or this guy?
Or this guy?
That's Michigan's 87-year-old Congressman John Dingell. And last week, he set a new record for the most time in Congress — 57 years. And everyone applauded. Why?
There's a difference between public service and hoarding. (audience applause) This guy has had 30 terms! He was first elected in 1955, six years before Obama was even born in Kenya! (audience laughter)
Congressman Ralph Hall of Texas is 90, and he's running for re-election. Which would be cool if he was one of those spry old guys who does the crossword and plays tennis every morning, but he's not that guy. He said recently he doesn't believe in climate change, and that "I'm really more fearful of freezing". Yes, 'cause you're 90! (audience laughter and applause)
New Jersey's Senator Frank Lautenberg — my first Senate vote — died this month in office at 89. And when Cory Booker, the Superman mayor of Newark said last year that he was thinking of running for his seat, Lautenberg's top aide called it "disrespectful". (BruinKid note: Actually, it was Lautenberg himself who said that, not an aide.)
Really? Really?? The guy who runs into burning buildings shouldn't take over for the other guy who can't blow on a piece of paper and make it move across the table? (audience laughter)
And let me emphasize, this is not about age. This is about Congressmen who suck at their jobs because their jobs are never at stake. There are only three ways a Congressman goes out: they die in office, they cash in as a lobbyist, or they mistakenly tweet a picture of their dick. (audience laughter and applause) Three ways.
The approval rating for Congress is 10%. And yet in 2012, over 90% won re-election. And that's because we've created a system where it's almost impossible to beat an incumbent. The districts are too gerrymandered, the ads are too expensive. So every few years, we're treated to the sight of some crypt-keeper who hasn't shown up at work for years being wheeled out by a staff member so he can raise his skeleton hand to vote "Aye".
A couple of years ago, for the health care bill, it was 92-year-old Robert Byrd.
In 2002, it was 101-year-old Strom Thurmond,
a man who raped the family maid the same year Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby. (shocked audience laughter) True. (BruinKid note: Yep, it's true. Both occurred in 1925.) But who was still voting in 2001 on issues like stem cell research, even though he once referred to a microphone as "the machine". (shocked audience laughter)
When did we become this Weekend at Bernie's government... (audience laughter and applause) where Senators are coaxed into key votes by someone whispering in their ear, "Who wants pudding?" (audience laughter)
George Washington was the greatest American because he set the precedent of WALKING AWAY! Two terms, I'm out! If anyone in our history was indispensable, it was him. And he still said, no thanks, from now on I just want to watch SportsCenter in my underwear.