Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Reflections on JOBs at the Capitol

What a disappointing day!

Question: how many JOBs did law makers and their staffers make today? None. And, the sad thing is they didn't have to debate, didn't have to vote, and didn't have to worry about deficits or tax-payer money. They simply had to pull a lever twice – more times if they wanted to make more JOBs.

I set up my little stand on the corner of Independence Avenue and 1st Street, SE, between 7:55 and 8:00 AM this morning. "Business" was at a trickle. Eventually a walker passed and asked a few questions. "Is this some sort of right wing thing?" "No, sir." I replied. "No right wing. No left wing. Just makin' JOBs."

See... if you drop your Gs, people think you are folksy and can relate to you better. At least, that's what I've heard.

He chuckled and made a JOB, and then took another JOB for a friend.

Then the Capitol Police showed up and asked me for a permit. I stated that I did not have a permit, but that I did receive permission from Officer... McDonald, was it?... on the phone last week.

"You mean O'Donnell?"

I suppose that was her name, I responded, and fiddled with my audio recorder, trying to get it in my pocket.

"Can you please keep your hands away from your pockets, sir?"

So, there I was chatting with one officer, arms akimbo (or on my pedestal), while the other officer radioed in. Fun times. I was told about the things "I wouldn't believe" people do while they are on patrol. Apparently one time this officer was asked for directions while he had a gun on a suspected felon, patting him down for a firearm.

I had to move. I could not be on the sidewalk. I had to be on the grassy area. So, I moved away from the street into the land of little traffic and no interest. A couple of staffers, when asked if they would like to make a JOB, declined saying, "No thanks, I already have one."

Nice. The JOB is for you to make and give to someone, not for yourself.

To paraphrase James K. Polk, people in Congress busy themselves with making jobs, and then hurry to fill them themselves.

Other Capitol Police approached. Some walked away. Officer Gallagher talked to me for a while and told me where I was supposed to and not supposed to be. However, since I was one person (and since I was leaving at 9:30), I could kind of be wherever, so long as I was in the grassy area.

There seemed to be a lot of foot traffic near the middle, and I asked if it was okay to move over there. Sure! Then, Officer Gallagher made a JOB and took another.

I moved toward the middle, and once there people were a lot friendlier. Of course, by then I was calling out to passersby like Dan Ackroyd with a Bass-O-Matic (minus the cocaine buzz). People smiled, laughed, said "good one!"

Still... only one other couple made a JOB. Vacationing tourists are more interested in making JOBs than people walking past with badges and pins on their lapels.

So it goes.

1 comment:

Pave the Whales said...

Not so surprising. Given how many crazy people are often at that spot (LaRouchies, Teabaggers, etc) they probably didn't want to associate with you. And I'm sure Democrats took your project as an assault on the legislation they've been working on.