As a political writer, my antennae always quiver to pick up blatant hypocrisy in elected politicians. The “do as I say, not as I do” mob on Capitol Hill never fails to provide madcap manna. Often, the quirky quarry are found in the oddest places.
Congress looks like America, or at least like the Hamptons on Long Island as far as wealth goes, with more multimillionaires to shake a ‘Murrican Exceptionalism stick at.
Enter one millionaire “fiscal hawk” Rep. Stevan Pearce, Token Republican Congressman of New Mexico. Pearce “represents” the bottom layer of the sparsely populated, semi-arid state south of Interstate 40 in the Land of Enchantment. Your columnist is moving west to Albuquerque soon (there’s a woman to blame), but most of that city is safely out of Pearce’s domain. I don’t think Brooks Brothers sells turquoise-stoned bolo ties in their Makers neckwear collection, but I’ll tie back my pony tail and manage.
Rep. Pearce is one of those gadflies inhabiting Congress always railing about “government spending” while demanding extra Grey Poupon for himself. Well, our $arah Palin-endorsed “fiscal conservative” and birther does entreat Federal workers in his district to tighten their belts. Of course, he made a point of taking the usual number of Congressional delegation junkets abroad. Pearce “supports the troops.” Visiting deployed members of the New Mexico National Guard in Egypt, Rep. Pearce dunned those “taxed enough already” taxpayers to the tune of $19,525 in last-minute first-class airfare to the land of pyramids. I’ll bet he didn’t consult Star Trek Canuck Captain William Shatner at Priceline.com. $nowmobile Barbie doesn’t fly coach.
Nearly twenty grand in airfare for one jaunt to showboat en pays bas with “the troops?” I had thought all the Air France/British Airways Concorde supersonic jet-set airliners had gone to retirement in museums years ago? There’s one at the Smithsonian. There’s not enough USS Intrepid flight deck for New York City’s chocked & chained Concorde to fly off. Book a seat, Congressman Faux-Cheapskate, but we didn’t want him to make a down payment on buying the airplane. Millionaire Pearce already has a private plane according to those ethics reports.
Pearce’s district includes Roswell, site of an alleged 1947 UFO sighting, Alamogordo, where the first atomic bomb genie was let out of the bottle in 1945, and enough Indian tribal reservations to keep up one’s casino betting practice. At least he didn’t go to Egypt via flying saucer.
New Mexico is a patch of green- and red-chilled sanity in the southwestern landscape between conservative wastelands Texas and Arizona. Majestic sunsets, and none of the oppressive, sticky humidity I endure back East. Unlike her loony neighbors, Gov. Susana Martinez (R) apparently isn’t screaming about “headless corpses” in the desert. She’s been mentioned a few times as a Republican show of Presidential ticket “diversity”, but she’s gracefully stayed clear of that fray of inept non-crazy Cuban Hispanic-hunting inclusiveness. She probably figures the Tea-drunk flatland loons would ask her for her “green card” or let her know more Charmin was needed in stall # 3 of the GOP convention center ladies lavy.
Remember when Texas-based Whole Foods got to wipe the huevos rancheros egg off their corporate face for suspending two Albuquerque employees for breaking a xenophobic company rule of forbidding speaking Spanish at work? I already figured I will need some work on my Español as a complementary means of communication. The residents of the Land of Enchantment probably don’t speak much Norwegian, a quarter of a circumnavigation from the nearest fjord.
America is a land of immigrants, our rich and diverse cultural patina is a national treasure if we aren’t lazily myopic. The Tea ranters make me wonder if that 7-Eleven microwave late-night munchies cure wallpaper paste beef & bean burrito was prepared aboard the Mayflower. This country is diverse; get used to it, unless the Party of the Lincoln Navigator wants yet another humiliating Bishop Myth Rob-me 2012 drubbing at the polls.
I’m headed to Albuquerque. At least I’ll have bible-thumping millionaire Texas transplant Congressman Pearce nearby for handy joke material.