This is a copy of a letter I am sending to Representative Joe Walsh, a freshman Republican and TEA Party stalwart representing the Eighth Congressional District of Illinois. It was inspired by a February 13 Chicago Tribune article detailing the fund raising devotion of freshmen members of the Illinois delegation. It prominently featured the Walsh quote that starts the letter.
This is formatted as a letter to be sent via USPS since the Congressperson refuses to accept e-mail from outside his district.
February 13, 2011
Rep. Joe Walsh, (R-IL 8)
432 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Hey, Joe, whatcha doin' with that dough in your hand?
"Every single congressman, from the moment they're elected, part of their job is to be as prepared as possible for the next election, and part of that is money. There's nothing dirty, yucky or evil about it. It's part of our job."
-Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL 8)
Now there's some refreshing candor, coming as it does from a TEA Party Republican. The class of such creatures is generally known for regurgitating a mouthful of platitudes with no real concept of how to live up to them. It's nice to see a departure from that norm, even if it was a departure in the wrong direction and blurted out inadvertently.
But you know, Joe, I just went over Article I of the Constitution of the United States, (that's the part that establishes the Congress, if that's news to you) and the only part of it that mentions you collecting money for yourself is Article I, Section 6, clause 1 which states, "The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the United States," and in Amendment XXVII, which states that, "No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened." There's no mention of campaign fund raising as a part of your job.
I can, however, think of one occupation where such an aggressive marketing of oneself is an essential part of the job. That is, of course, prostitution.
Let's start with first principles, Joe. You know, and I know, and the TEA Partiers that pushed you those few votes over the top know, that when you go gladhanding around those serial fundraising lunches, you're selling something. What you're selling is you, and your duty as a Congressman, and your vote. You can try to gloss it over with some blather about how you need to be there to see to the will of your constituents, but really, everybody still knows that you're bowing and scraping to your "constituents" on K Street, and you just make yourself look ridiculous with declarations to the contrary.
So, why fight it, Joe? Now that you've come this far, why not go the rest of the way? Maybe you could be considerate enough of your benefactors to publish a menu of services with prices just like the good old Republican, Randall " Duke" Cunningham, did.
I can even suggest a strategy that could double your take. When you're up on the block at one of those luncheons, why don't you auction off each cheek of your ass individually? Hell, there are two Koch brothers. You shouldn't have any trouble finding takers for the proposition. Why do you think that "American business" is sitting on those three trillion dollars?
You know, Joe, you can be a disgusting sellout, an obsequious boot licker, and even a loathsome traitor, but fer chrissakes, don't be a piker too.