I’m really getting tired of listening to people who don’t know what they’re talking about.
One of the dirty little secrets of Congress is that many of us legislate in areas in which we are utterly bereft of knowledge. If ignorance is bliss, then some of our Members must be deliriously happy. (No wonder Sen. Ted Cruz is always smiling. Green eggs and ham. Yummy!)
Seriously, we have Members on the Agriculture Committee who couldn’t tell a plow from a harvester. We have Members on the Science Committee who couldn’t tell a proton from a photon. We have Members on the Foreign Affairs Committee who couldn’t locate Indonesia on a globe if their lives were at stake. And we have Members on the Intelligence Committee who are as dumb as . . . .
Well, you get the idea. And don’t even ask me about the Ethics Committee.
Even worse, to the extent that Members of Congress know any stuff at all, it’s always the same stuff. According to Roll Call, out of the 435 Members of the House, we have 187 businessmen, 156 lawyers, and 77 educators. Do the math. That leaves 15 Members.
For four years, I worked as an economist. As far as I know, I’m the only Member of Congress who can make that claim. Roll Call did not uncover anyone else. And believe me, whenever I start to talk economics in a Congressional hearing, the eyes glaze over. Quickly.
But don’t worry. Whenever we need an expert opinion on something, we can turn to the three former talk radio hosts in the House. (It was four, until one got caught inhaling cocaine.) Or perhaps we can benefit from the expertise of the former professional football player – whenever it’s third and nine on the Floor of the House.
George Gollin is a physicist. In the 70s, he worked on muon scattering, to test quantum chromodynamics theory. (I’m not making this up.) In the 80s, he studied neutral K meson decay, to test for CP violation. (I swear that this is true.) In the 90s, he measured the production and decay properties of heavy quarks. (I kid you not.) Since then, he has specialized in the design and construction of electron-positron colliding beam facilities. (This is indeed bona fide.)
So we can elect George Gollin to Congress, or settle for yet another lawyer/businessman tool. What do you think? And as you consider that question, also consider that the U.S. Department of Energy spends roughly $10 billion a year in taxpayer dollars on physics research, with no one in Congress qualified to do oversight on that effort.
I serve on the House Science and Technology Committee. It is bleak, really bleak. A few months ago, one of our Members on the Committee said that evolution is “a lie straight from the pit of hell.” Most of the Members are climate change deniers. I keep encouraging them to transfer from the House Science Committee to the House Religion Committee, and follow their true calling. (There is no House Religion Committee, but their eyes light up anyway, when I tell them that.)
Here’s another really good thing about George Gollin – he’s a liberal Democrat, and he’s not afraid to say so. In fact, that’s exactly what his TV ad says – that he’s a proud progressive Democrat. For that reason alone, he deserves our support. A progressive who is proud to be a progressive – how refreshing! I hope that this catches on.
By the way, there is another good progressive in this three-way primary, named David Green. I respect Green’s stands on the issues, but I don’t think that he has a chance to win. Gollin does.
George Gollin is in a tough primary race on Tuesday. It looks like he’ll come in ahead of David Green, but his real opponent is a Democrat-in-name-only, the choice of the local political machine, who appears to suffer from issuephobia. She’s a lawyer. Maybe Congress always will be crawling with witless lawyers and businessman, like vermin. But if someone like George Gollin can win, then maybe not. Maybe there is hope.
Rep. Alan Grayson