The men and women of Congress showed off their cooking skills in an annual casserole contest hosted by Al Franken in Minnesota. The Duluth News Tribute reports that the event is “designed to promote Minnesota cuisine and nonpartisan cooperation.” Congratulations to Tim Walz, who won the competition with a delicious-sounding and artery-clogging tater tot, cheese, beer and brat dish.
I’m all for promoting nonpartisan cooperation, but it seems like there are many, many problems with this scenario. First: Why aren’t you guys doing your jobs? Last time I checked, there are some problems that are kind of pressing right now, including a crazed North Korean dictator and a budget deficit that rises every second. Last time I checked, you were elected to try to negotiate laws that affect millions of Americans. And you are having a cooking contest? On a workday? And we’re — I’m — paying for this? We’re paying your salary so that you can have a party? Millions of us, the people you swore to serve, are having increased money taken out of our paychecks for this?
Second: Nonpartisan cooperation in cooking doesn’t count. It doesn’t solve the issues that gridlock Congress, and so doesn’t actually address the problem. I understand the benefits of building camaraderie, but when we are dealing with a budget crisis like the one we are dealing with now, becoming friends with your colleagues doesn’t matter to me, representatives. What I care about is that I and millions of Americans are living under the poverty line, that we can’t find jobs, and that North Korea has effectively declared war on our allies, and that every minute you take out of your day to have a cook off is one minute that you are not working to find solutions to these problems.
Third: With the current obesity crisis, is a showcase of casseroles really wise? Wouldn’t a showcase of healthier food be more apropos and helpful to addressing this medical issue? The blatant disregard for healthier food choices emphasizes just how removed our leaders are from the issues that the rest of us are facing. We are told that obesity is a crisis that affects all of us, because it requires an already-overburdened healthcare system to address issues that might have been avoided with wiser personal choices. But our representatives don’t have to worry about the healthcare system, because their healthcare will never look like ours. They will never have to operate in the same system as their constituents. They will always receive the best care, the best treatments, and the best doctor-patient experiences.
This cooking contest only serves to further highlight the disparity between our elected leaders and average people like me. There are very few of us whose jobs allow us to take time to have a cooking contest. At what job, in what universe would this be allowed? Not surprisingly, in the U.S. Congress.
It’s really no wonder that people are fed up with their representatives. What an extraordinarily disappointing show of priorities from Congress.
Laura Creel (@Little_Utopia) is the managing editor of Little Utopia.
Previously from Laura Creel:
♦ ‘Ware the Monkey!
♦ St. Augustine’s Scrumptious Stuffed Cabbage
♦ Endless Highway: An Interview with Kelley McRae
♦ Morning Radio Surprisingly Insightful in Wake of Mike Rice Scandal
♦ Remembering Trololos