Heckling

March 2, 2022

Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Sen. Chuck Schumer
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Congressman Joe Morelle
President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.
Vice President Kamala Devi Harris
Congresswoman Lauren Opal Boebert
Congressman Joe Wilson

Dear Esteemed Leaders:

I am an American citizen and a voter in New York’s 25th district. I write to you fresh from enjoying President Biden’s first official State of the Union address March 1. I am concerned, however, with a practice that is becoming routine at this event, that of heckling the Executive from the Congress floor.

The heckling needs to stop.

A look at recent history can see how far and how quickly things have collapsed on this issue. When Republican Congressman Joe Wilson heckled President Obama in 2009, members from both parties condemned it. Sen. John McCain called it “totally disrespectful.” Wilson apologized, and President Obama promptly accepted the apology.

What are we going to do about last night’s outburst?

Look folks. The President doesn’t just show up for the SOTU out of thin air. They are an invited guest. Only a lout invites a person to visit and then hurls insults. And the Congress has no room for louts. This is the legislative deliberative body of the United States of America, and hecklers toward a co-equal branch should be smacked. This is nonsense. Your body is so feckless and weak that Congress critters can be allowed to scream and shout insults at the President and everyone just taps their hats? That’s insane. He is an invited guest, and a Constitutionally guaranteed one as well. But sure. Let them scream and shout inappropriate insults at the President of the United States without consequences. Heck of a job Brownie.

There are many appropriate outlets for Greene and Boebert’s outrage. Weird idea, they could work to be productive members of Congress and then get re-elected, and then could earn leadership spots and committee seats. Wouldn’t that be weird as that’s how people generally affect change in Washington?

While Rep. Boebert somehow continues to maintain her committee assignments, Greene has been stripped of hers just for being horrible. Regardless, had either of them been competent or collected enough to just get the seat, hang the head low, figure out how it works, and gain a few key committee assignments, they might have been able to affect some real change for Ronald Watkins, sorry, I mean Q. But they do not understand how government works and do not have the brains nor the patience to do the work. They seem to have come to office ready to do an upper-decker in the government and to be like SEE, WE’RE DOING IT. They are morons. And this body needs to stop them.

Marjorie Taylor Greene heard the following introduction and felt perfectly comfortable sharing the stage with this person: “Now they’re going on about Russia and Vladimir Putin is Hitler – they say that’s not a good thing.” I am good friends with a person whose mother was a twin, and you know if you know. So this set of events current in this country bothers me not only as a passive examiner of history but as a personal insult. I have heard the stories from the actual humans, from the woman who got her hand broken by a hammer as an infant because she dared to try to rescue her twin sister with feeble reaches into the next cage. That is what the Holocaust was. And this man just cheered for it. Yay.

If you are offered that platform, you demure, even if you have to say it’s because you have a cold or an itch in your tenderloins. You do not speak after that, but she kept the spot, and then she showed up at the SOTU even after, even after reporters questioned her mercilessly about this choice. And she showed up, and she heckled the President of the United States.

Q-Anon Betty and Veronica are embarrassments to this country and to this legislative body. They should be censured if not sent packing. And I don’t want to but have to mention to you the acidic nature of the charges they opted to bring in their heckling. The 13 soldiers who died in a horrific attack in Kabul as the U.S. government struggled to bring as many people away from that situation as possible.

On Aug. 29, 2021, President Biden, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Defense Secretary Austin and others participated in dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base of 13 service members killed in Afghanistan. Congress offered those servicemen the Congressional Gold Medal. Biden offered words regarding the service and sacrifice of those 13. And, in his own innovation, his every speech wishes that God will look over our troops. I’m a non-believer and this still gives me goosebumps every time he does it.

Any indication that President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. somehow lacks concern for our troops is laughable. And yet that is what our hecklers chose to go with. And it’s disgusting.

The President of the United States comes to Congress at the invitation of Congress as per the Constitution, to deliver the SOTU. Congress is the President’s host. As such, the President should not expect any booing or hollering or heckling nonsense. If MTG and Lauren Boebert want to affect change on public policy, they should learn how do do so, work hard, and do so in the committee system and the processes that exist in Washington. They should not boo. They should not heckle. And Congress should work with its full muscles to stop such behavior. It is disgusting and it must stop for the good of our great country. Please censure these two with the urgency and sense that will prohibit this from occurring again.

God bless you and God protect our troops.
Aaron B. Pryor
Henrietta, NY

P.S. Find me an example of a Democrat treating a President so equitably horribly during a SOTU and I’ll contribute five whole dollars to their campaign.

A New Path for Pence

I am not often in the business of advising Republican politicians. However, I really hate to see Columbus North High School’s most prestigious fella pass up such a smart opportunity.

Former Vice-President Mike Pence has let a few impressions leak that seem to me to be trial balloons regarding his recent invitation to testify before the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. Via the New York Times:

In recent weeks, Mr. Pence is said by people familiar with his thinking to have grown increasingly disillusioned with the idea of voluntary cooperation. He has told aides that the committee has taken a sharp partisan turn by openly considering the potential for criminal referrals to the Justice Department about Mr. Trump and others. Such referrals, in Mr. Pence’s view, appear designed to hurt Republican chances of winning control of Congress in November.

The problem is that Pence, who presumably has designs on the presidency himself, is in a rather difficult spot. He seems concerned that capitulation to the Select Committee would lose him sway among the mighty Trump base. But didn’t he already lose that precious anointing when he refused to throw out the generally accepted election result on 1/6/2021? Or when he’s seen on video being quickly evacuated from the legislative floor?

This why I suspect we are reading such speculation in the great NYT. He needs to test his standing with the MAGATs. With the Qanons. With the true believers. With those who await the necromancing of JFK Jr., the ones who think Wayfair furniture is built out of human remains. Pence is sticking a wet phalange into the wind. And I don’t think the results are gonna be all that great for him.

That’s got to be quite a kick in the gut for a guy who spent four years staring into the back of Preznit Carnage’s head with a look on his face like when Itchy the Wookie is watching Diahann Carroll sing “This Minute Now” in the Star Wars Holiday Special. This is Mr. “I Am Deeply Humbled to Be Your Vice President,” after all. His repayment? HANG MIKE PENCE. HANG MIKE PENCE HANG MIKE PENCE.

So why is he even pondering this when there’s a much better, albeit more risky, way forward?

Hey. Mike. Get to marching in Liz Cheney’s parade.

Do I think Liz Cheney is doing what she’s doing because she wants what’s best for the country and she believes the Big Lie is a Big Lie and that the Insurrection of January 6 was ungood? I guess. But on the other hand, I think Liz Cheney sees a BIG FAT LONGSHOT PATH TO BECOME LA PREZNIT OF DEEZ UNTIED STATES OF AMERICA.

After all, what happens when or if the unexplainable shine wears off of der cheeterhosen? Criminal charges. Lawsuits. Sexual assault charges. Civil suits leaving him hemorrhaging money. His recent vaccine endorsements are already throwing off his most loyal unwashed. Who’s going to be there if and when the Republican Party tosses Former Preznit Disgraceful Carnage out on his ass in his fat golf khakis? Liz Cheney is so far the only one betting the long game that it’s going to be she. (Okay, yes, Adam Kinzinger, blah blah blah. Dude is really kind of an afterthought on all this, methinks.)

Cheney has begun to forge a path that might could behoove the former Vice-Preznit to embark upon. It could start with his straightforward, unredacted public testimony to the Select Committee, followed by public calls to his own party to purge itself of this enormous, treacherous lie, to respect the fair and correct result of the 2020 election, and to get back to the business of working for true conservative values.

Mr. Former Vice President, heed my call: You sir, are in need of a reinvention. And I would argue that the Congresswoman from Wyoming is showing you the way. Show up. Testify. Cooperate. Throw your former boss, who I remind you tried to have you assassinated, way deep and far under the bus. It will be good for the country. It will make you seem to be presidential.

Heck. It might even make you presidential.

Insurrection

In the early summer of 1989 in Washington, D.C., my Dad and I took a Metro downtown (or maybe we drove) and went to the Capitol to see the mighty legislator Claude Pepper lie in state. As I recall, it was kind of on a whim. He at the time was running his own newsletter so his schedule was flexible; I was a kid, so my schedule was flexible. We woke up, he said hey, let’s go see Claude, and we went.

My Dad up and moved to D.C. a few years before this. By this time, he had purchased a hovel of a house over the river in Virginia that he would soon raze and replace. So I had been hanging out in D.C. for several years by that time. I was commuting like a pro by age 15, taking the Metro to wherever I liked, and where I liked was often to the National Mall. My favorite spot was the Lincoln Memorial, where you could stand at the man’s feet and see so much of our Nation’s Capital’s great landmarks all in a line. I’d sometimes walk the whole way from Lincoln, down to the Vietnam, along the Mall passing all of the great museums, past the Washington, and then wonder at the majesty of our U.S. Capitol building.

I would later spend a semester in D.C. via a program sponsored by my school, interning and visiting various interest groups and lobby shops. I would work a summer there as a busboy just off of Georgetown Much later, I would finally succumb and move there, landing a job on a magazine published by a trade association, and ending up as their Web guy until the job was too much for me. I lasted there 13 years. And, when the weather was nice, a lunchtime walk around the White House was a usual event. (This blog, in fact, was born there, a nice way at the time to get this introvert to go out and meet people.)

Washington, D.C. is in my backbone. And though I haven’t even been there in more than a decade, it is one of the places in the world that I call home. It is decades of memories. And many of those memories involve that big beautiful bicameral building.

So I was properly horrified watching the events of January 6, 2021. I was not just horrified for my country, or for my government, or for the insurrection’s victims. It was as if my own house was being mauled. It was as if someone had crapped all over my temple. I think of the fellow who sat with a big grin on his face with a foot up on Speaker Pelosi’s desk. I think of those morons rifling through legislators’ notes looking for “dirt,” as if they had half the brain-power required to even comprehend what was on those papers. I think of that douche in the horn-hat crowing from the lectern, those who climbed the walls, those who came prepped with plastic cuffs, and my blood boils.

Due to this, yes, I wanted to hear more from Attorney General Merrick Garland today. I have liked to imagine that his demeanor through his speech would be closer to how I feel about this event, that he’d get a vein-bulge on his forehead, that his eyes might bug out some, that he’d clench his fists and declare that heads will roll. But Garland doesn’t seem to be the veiny-forehead type. C’est la vie.

But I want to see heads roll for this. 365 days now and I have yet to witness this cathartic experience. I want heads to roll. I want tales told. I want names. I want to know who paid for this. I want to know who advocated for it. I want these people to suffer as I suffered seeing my home, my temple, so horribly violated.

More than anything, I want that orange idiot to be shuffled off in chains for this. Not for tax evasion. Not for fraud. This. I fear largely that this country may punish him for his toilet business practices but may never assign him accountability for his septic tank presidency. The Republican Senate failed to do this job. It failed to do it twice. And while the Attorney General is taking massive pressure to do something regarding this, I think every conversation about that should note that had the Senate done its job in February 2021, Garland’s position would not be nearly as precarious as it is now. He would feel far less political pressure as he does now to do the right thing, to prosecute this doorknob to the fullest extent of the law. Don’t land this on Merrick Garland. Land it on Mitch McConnell. He drove the getaway car.

As an American. As a person who used to live there and considered it home to my heart. As a person who followed public policy since I was 4 years old. As a guy who took a field trip with his Dad to see Clace Pepper’s dead bald head. As a person who would genuflect entering the Capitol but would refuse to do so in any other building.

I detest what took place one year ago. I hate them all. I hate them all with a passion that spills bile from my eyes, from my mouth, from my penis. I hate them all. I hope they all find a place in a burny place after they die, I hope that burny place chops them into little pieces one crouton at a time. I want them to suffer. I want them to know that what they did wrong. They invaded my home. They violated me personally. And I want them to pay the price.

Let’s go.