My assistant, Jim, woke me on Thursday. I like being able to say, “My assistant, Jim.” Makes me feel like Marlin Perkins.

I’d been sleeping – leaning back in my big, swivel chair with my feet on the desk – in the office again. No, I haven’t fired Bridgett already (that’s the girl I hired in New York). Jim is my Washington assistant. Bridgett hired him. She’s hired all my staff.

Jim pointed out that at the end of the day I would no longer be the newest member of Congress, the woman replacing Ed Markey would have that honor. And I had yet to make even the most banal of general speeches to the empty chamber (and a C-Span camera). This, he said, was why people didn’t know me.

He further announced that it was likely our last day in session for the year, that we would pass the budget compromise and go home, thus, if I wanted to say something to the non-assembled during my first calendar year in the body, it would have to be by the end of the day. And he would have to arrange it…NOW.

I told him to set it up.

I didn’t want to say something just for the sake of saying it. This of course, is at odds with the way I’ve lived my life, but a representative, in my opinion, should talk when he means it and mean it when he talks. How’s that for naive idealism?

I mean, it’s not like I’m president or something and I have to dance around the truth to protect the fate of the world or some kidnapped insurance guy in Szfazi (a made-up country). I can talk or not talk and if I’m gonna talk, I’m gonna talk the talk. I watched Speaker Boehner last week slamming Democratic initiatives I damn well know he’s not against, with the fervor (and perhaps sincerity) of an evangelist. And I thought, how can someone do that, simply say what he’s expected to, whether he means it or not, regardless of larger consequences? Gotta admit, though, I’ve been impressed by the man this week. Maybe I’ll buy him a gallon of Gunky Orange for Christmas.

“Jim! Where does Boehner buy his gunk?”


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