There's a lot of talk about the Beltway Bubble, the phenomenon where the nation's capital exists in an atmosphere insulated from the real lives the rest of us lead.
One Representative, however, recently tried to burst it.
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) saw the latest surveys revealing that public approval of Congress has plummeted to its lowest level ever and he wanted to make sure his House colleagues knew about the lack of esteem in which they are held.
Grayson attempted to use a special House rule that allows members to address harms to the "dignity" of the House. Yes, I did use the quotation marks around the word dignity to make a point.
But when Grayson started citing some examples of the rock bottom favorability rating of Congress, his Republican colleagues were not amused.
Questionable characterizations: "Surely our dignity has been diminished and is actively being called into question," Grayson said. "If we are to be called obstructionists, practicers (sic) of partisan petulance, if we are to be called an establishment that is rotten to the core, if we are leaving Americans wondering why there is so much poison in the system then surely our dignity has been diminished. If we're accused of willingly provoking crises that suspend public services and decrease economic growth then surely our dignity as a body has been diminished."As examples, Grayson noted some of the distasteful items that poll respondents viewed more positively than members of Congress, along with the New York Daily News scatological cover of "D.C. ces-pols." During this litany, the GOP speaker pro tem repeatedly interrupted the Central Florida Democrat.
Eventually, Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.), who was holding the House gavel at the time, had enough and shut down Grayson.
Have your uncensored say: Maybe Grayson will collect additional evidence in support of a future impugned Congressional dignity resolution from a pair of new websites designed to take advantage of public disgust with federal lawmakers.
It offers snippets of why Congress should be told off in such harsh terms. If you agree, you can share them on Twitter and Facebook.
You also can enter your Zip code and hit enter to "tell the elected official from your district that you've @$%#ing had enough."
Another creative way to express your outrage to a member of Congress is to take a shot of an adult beverage and then Drunk Dial Congress.
You probably won't end up connecting with your Senator or Representative. This website, created by a mobile ad firm, lets you "call and yell at" a random member of Congress.
It also provides you with drink recipes -- the Southern Congressman, Fancy Statesman, Bloody Bastard, Bad Representative and Sleepy Senator -- and talking points to help you, in your tipsy state, make your outrage somewhat intelligible.If, however, you're hearing your mother's voice in your head and prefer to connect with Congress in a more polite way, Contacting the Congress can help you find your lawmakers.
You also might find these items of interest: