As if engineering new ways to kinda-sorta green light foreign wars without getting booted out of office in a few weeks weren’t stressful enough, elected officials must once again — thanks to wildly inappropriate behavior by marquee athletes — contend with age-old accusations about everything that’s wrong with Capitol Hill.
The rapid succession of domestic scandals that have upended the careers of professional running backs Ray Rice (aggravated assault) of the Baltimore Ravens, and Adrian Peterson (indicted for child abuse) of the Minnesota Vikings appears to have stirred up anti-congressional sentiments, leading to the reappearance of a meme designed to highlight pols’ absolutely worst qualities.
Per the urban myth slayers at Snopes, the original laundry list of political loserdom was most likely distilled from a five-part series called “Congress: America’s Criminal Class” which Capital Hill Blue unveiled in 1999. Six years later, the muckraking website revisited the myriad personal and professional shortcomings documented in the original expose and found a governing body still rife with human imperfection.
Team Snopes had a lot of issues with the original barrage, citing content ranging from distressingly vague (“the original publisher has steadfastly declined to provide any documentation for these claims”) to borderline absurd (“they would have no way of knowing how many members of Congress had been stopped for traffic violations without being cited”).
None of that, however, Team Snopes suggests, has halted armchair critics from subbing in the target du jour (British Parliament, the NFL, etc.) to get their preferred point across.
Making up horror stories about Congress seems like such an incredible waste of time.
Their real-life misdeeds are so much more engrossing:
The war at home
- Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C.: Love’s labor’s lost.
- Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla.: Perfect strangers
- Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn.: Do as I say, not as I do.
- Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La.: Your cheating heart
- Ex-Rep. Mel Reynolds, D-Ill.: Does not compute.
- Ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y.: Danger is his middle name.
- Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y.: Give me somethin’ to break.
- Ex-Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla.: You holding?
- Ex-Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., D-Ill.: Shopaholic
- Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas: Rules are for suckers.
- Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga.: What, me worry?
- Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont.: Don’t quote me on that.
Meanwhile, at least one incensed lawmaker is refusing to let the badly bruised NFL off the hook.
Could the @NFL fill an entire lineup just with domestic abusers? It’s pretty close. pic.twitter.com/Y4zHqE5POl — Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) September 16, 2014
Guess that means the ball’s in your court, Web trolls.
Related: Female Senators Write Letter to Goodell, Want NFL to Adopt 'Zero-Tolerance' Policy Blumenthal Floats Changes to NFL Antitrust Exemption (Video) Critics of Washington Team Name Target NFL Nonprofit Status (Video) Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.