Finding humor in a congressional hearing

Published 5:11 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2017

was born with a sense of humor. I can find something funny in most situations, but have to admit, there are days when finding humor is more difficult than others. Like those days when there are Congressional hearings!

Think about it. Are there any more wasted hours in eternity than when Democrats and Republicans get together in one of those dark-paneled rooms in the Capitol to discuss a problem?

“We’re going to get to the bottom of this,” Senator Foghorn rants. “The people of the United States deserve to know all that’s going on and we are going to hold our opponents accountable.” Let me translate. Senator Foghorn is up for reelection and is after some free publicity. Or he just hasn’t heard his voice on television for a long time.

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These hearings are tremendously enlightening. Not! The Chairman opens the hearing by telling us of the grave situation into which the opposition has led us. Time is of the essence and the American people need answers. Aren’t you glad these people know what you “need?”

It’s not that the congressmen need the television exposure. The “American people” are clamoring for answers. It doesn’t matter that the “American people” are too busy working to pay the taxes so that the paneling in the room shines with a sheen.

The Chairman welcomes the one who is to come before the committee and makes certain he has a cool glass of water to keep his throat soothed through the grilling of the committee. The “grill-ee” responds by thanking the Chairman and the committee for inviting him to this hearing. Of course he is lying. He would much rather be cleaning his fingernails.

There are usually eight or ten congressmen and women. The Chairman is from the majority party; at this time that’s the Republican brand. His counterpart on the Democrat side is called the Ranking member.

Both have opening statements to make. They speak of the gravity of the situation. By the time they are finished, if you are listening, you might think that at any time, the world is coming to an end. Naturally, the two parties have opposite views of what’s happening. Never the twain shall they meet.

At some point, after all the members get their five minutes, the “grill-ee” gets to make an opening statement.

He may or may not have a lawyer’s background, but you couldn’t tell it by the way he speaks. He tries to sound like he knows what he is talking about and, at the same time, say nothing.

After all the opening statements by committee members and the one they will be interviewing, I am reminded of Shakespeare’s character Macbeth. He is speaking of life, but it’s easy to think of him speaking of a congressional hearing.

“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

I told you that I can find humor in just about everything, but I don’t want to disparage our Congress too much. They do a good job of that themselves. Ha-ha.

It’s just that they go chasing those rabbits that don’t seem to matter all that much. I’d much rather they work harder on the subjects that truly affect our country. Leave the rabbit chasing to preachers. We do a pretty good of that, especially on Sunday mornings when we get through with our sermons and still have a few minutes to keep everybody awake!