We Have Officially Reached Peak Absurdity In Congress

We Have Officially Reached Peak Absurdity In Congress

A California congressman introduced legislation to get Congress a swimming pool, because who even cares anymore?

Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) isn’t hoping to chip away at bipartisanship through marco polo and sharks and minnows. Rather, the pool will be used to check for witches during meetings of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, headed by Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).


“Voting by members has reached the limit of its usefulness,” Cárdenas said in a sarcasm-drenched press release. “We are picking winners and losers, when it is clearly obvious that witches can only be found by dunking them in water. If they float they’re a witch. If they don’t, installing a pool will allow us to retrieve the non-witch before he or she drowns.”


What? Issa has presided over a seemingly endless series of investigations — witch hunts, if you will — into the Obama administration, with a focus this year on Benghazi (you remember that), the IRS targeting scandal (you remember that?) and Fast and Furious (you remember that?!).

Issa’s penchant for often fruitless investigations, as well as his media savviness in promoting those investigations, has drawn the ire of many congressional Democrats. It’s the reason Cárdenas wants to name his proposed pool the “Senator Joseph R. McCarthy Memorial Truth Pond,” after the infamous red scare fearmonger.

For a taste of how intense the partisanship can get during these investigations, watch Issa cut off the microphone of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) during a hearing with IRS official Lois Lerner.


The accomplishments: It’s no surprise that these investigations haven’t really led anywhere, and it’s certainly no secret that Congress as a whole hasn’t been doing a whole lot.

Americans have noticed — only 7% have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in Congress according to a Gallup poll released last month. That’s the lowest amount since Gallup started taking stock of confidence in Congress more than 40 years ago, meaning it might be the lowest ever.


Image Credit: Gallup

On the other hand, Cárdenas did include a note that the pool would be “available for staff and member recreation” when not being used to test for witches. Why stop there? It’s been a hot summer, and Americans could use a pool at the Capitol, maybe with a waterslide and some taxpayer-funded noodles. Get on it, Congress.

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Matt Connolly

Matt has written for Mother Jones, the Washington Examiner and Chicago Public Radio among many others. He's a resident of Washington, D.C., but much like Bruce Springsteen and pork roll he is a product of New Jersey.

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