Thursday, August 06, 2009

Our Representatives in Congress Are Hip!

So, Congress has decided to spend the $100 million in savings they recently trumpeted by purchasing three new Gulfstream G550 executive jets for $200 million. This makes Congressfolks hip, as in hypocritical, ironic, and privileged.

"The notion that some lawmakers feel it beneath their dignity to travel with the masses on commercial jets is nothing new. But news of the House plan does bring to mind three salient facts, all of which the Democratic leadership hopes the public does not think of in relation to the jet purchase.

Congress isn't short of hypocrisy. Most of the Democrats and their environmentalist allies are reflexively opposed to private jet travel because of its excessive carbon footprint. Or, at least, they are opposed to private jet travel for others.

Neither does it recognize irony. CEOs of the Big Three automakers were excoriated for traveling in their private jets last year to testify in Washington.

And some have an outsized sense of privilege. In 2007, just a month
into the new Democratic majority, Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked that taxpayers provide a jet that could make a nonstop flight to her Bay Area district. She reportedly wanted a luxury, stateroom-outfitted version of Boeing's 757-200 like those the vice president, first lady and Cabinet officials fly on.

And there was a lot of foot-stamping when the Bush White House said no."

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