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Existentialists Watch, Wonder in Digital Cloakroom

The Senate's real-life waiting rooms have gone digital with the Cloakroom service. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Capitol Hill can be a confusing place, even for insiders.  

Just ask the growing army of perplexed public servants trying to figure out what it’s all about on the nascent sounding board/app Cloakroom.  

According to Co-Founder Ted Henderson, the anonymous service has, over the past few months, garnered a respectable following among the glue that keeps the legislative branch together.  

Sure, some disgruntled staffers use it to talk smack. "Waiting for the elevator during the vote and two loads of old white male [congressmen] spill out. Who wants to guess average net worth to complete the privilege trifecta?" one participant floated.  

Others prefer to play it more confessional.  

“I like to anonymously send the Hustlers to Members I don’t like with the internal mail envelopes using the ‘Members Personal Attention’ stamp,” a passive-aggressive prankster shared.  

But plenty of folks do attempt to spark semi-serious discussions about that which is currently weighing on their minds.  

Some of the pressing issues swirling around the cyber-echo chamber include:

  • “Thoughts: David Vitter? Huge piece of [s***] or complete piece of [s***]? I look forward to a spirited debate,” proposed one pot-stirrer.
  • “Does anyone ever wonder how little power we really have?” posited a defeatist navel-gazer. (“Getting a little down, buddy?” a respondent inquired.)
  • “Am I the only one that finds it weird how receptions play such a big role in Hill life?” a newcomer asked. (“They have free food and drinks, and we make s***,” a veteran commenter counseled.)
  • “Does anyone still read national journal?” pondered one news buff. (“I like nj. On the other hand, does anyone ever read The Hill?” fired back another.)
  • “Ever get so bored that you wish we were back in session?” one apparent masochist put out there. (Weirdly enough, 2 out of the 3 respondents agreed with the mind-boggling sentiment.)

Which is not to say every member of the Cloakroom contingent is blinded by the rigors of political life.  

“Looks like it’s time for ‘mandatory office fun.’ I’d rather go back to reading approps bill text,” groused an aide presumably in no mood for team-building exercises.  

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