Five Weeks

Monday, August 12, 2013

Last week both the upper and lower houses of our United States Congress went into recess, purportedly  to return home and interface with their constituents. Constituents, by definition, being the men and women represented by elected officials, the majority of whom cast their vote in the affirmative to seat that selfsame official. 

Our East Tennessee contingent of the Tennessee Congressional Delegation is composed of two Senators and four Congressmen with offices in East Tennessee as follows:

Senator Alexander - Blountville, Chattanooga, Knoxville
Senator Corker - Chattanooga, Jonesborough, Knoxville
Congressman DesJarlais - Cleveland
Congressman Duncan - Knoxville and Maryville
Congressman Fleischmann - Athens, Chattanooga, and Oak Ridge
Congressman Roe - Kingsport and Morristown

We're told they've come home to wander around their respective districts to speak with their homies much like Tennessee favorite son Colonel David Crockett, the original who was almost 50 years old when he lost a hand-to-hand combat exercise with a bunch of Mexican soldiers, but they knew he was there and he took several with him, not that cat who drives a black Suburban around Chattanooga in the middle of summer telling the rest of us we need to drive smaller cars and become greenies, was doing during his fictionalized encounter with Horatio Bunce. 

Where are they?

As of this writing, noon-ish on Monday, Aug. 12, only one of the six has any town hall meetings scheduled... Congressman Roe from way upper East Tennessee. Congressman DesJarlais, in fact, had a Tele-Townhall sign-up on his web page Saturday. It's gone now.

They tell us a Tele-Townhall, a spiffy name for a big conference call, is more efficient. It may be, but it's also a good way of hiding, of not having to face one's constituents, of not having to look into the eyes of someone whose pocket he's just reached into and grabbed what someone else has worked hard to earn.  Isn't it. 

They want our money to campaign for office. They want our votes to be first elected, then stay in office. They demand our tax dollars to pay for their feel-good projects with the force of a government gun. With that same gun they take our money to support themselves and their families. They tell us how to live our lives, going so far as to dictate what types of toilets and light bulbs we'll use in our homes, offices, and shops.

With hubris, they lecture us about courage. 

Then don't have the nads to face their constituents to explain themselves. If they do honor us with their presence they're only asked soft, meaningless questions in venues with attendees who don't want to offend.

That's cowardice. 

In his short story A Madison Square Arabian Night, American author O. Henry writes of an artist he named Sherrard Plumer whose portraits showed the true, hidden character of the sitter. It's too bad that was fiction, isn't it. How many in Congress possess the nobility, the sense of honor of Remsen in The Badge Of Policeman O'Roon?

It's raining. I need chocolate.

Royce Burrage, Jr.
Royce@Officially Chapped.org

Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

David Carroll: How About A Little Help For Officer Mark Garner?

I hope there’s someone in your life that you can say this about: “If I was stranded on the side of the road with an empty tank, I could call (enter name here) and he’d be here in no time!” Mark Garner is that person for me. I met Mark more than 20 years ago, in his early days as a DARE officer.  DARE stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, and has been in many schools ... (click for more)

Deonta Banks, 23, Shot On Wilcox Boulevard Early Sunday Morning

Deonta Banks, 23, was shot early Sunday morning on Wilcox Boulevard. At approximately  3 a.m.  the Chattanooga Police Department responded to shots fired at 3232 Wilcox Boulevard.  Upon arrival, Chattanooga police located a single victim, Deonta Banks, suffering from a non life-threatening gunshot wound. He  was transported to a local hospital for treatment. ... (click for more)

Man Stabbed In Domestic Dispute On Sunrise Lane Saturday Morning

A man was stabbed Saturday morning on Sunrise Lane.   At approximately  11:41  a.m., the Chattanooga Police Department responded to a reported stabbing at 309 Sunrise Lane.  Officers located a 45-year-old black male suffering from a non life-threatening stab wound. The victim was transported to a local hospital for his injury.   The ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Earns State Duals Berth With 45-33 Win

The Notre Dame wrestling team is peaking at the right time. It's been an up and down season for the Fighting Irish and for the first time all year, they have a full lineup. And now they can start making plans for next weekend's State Duals in Franklin after beating East Ridge for the second time in three days. The Irish beat East Ridge by eight points on Thursday night ... (click for more)

McCurdy's Clutch 3 Leads Bears Past Blue Raiders, 65-62

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – First place in District 5-AAA was up for grabs Saturday when bitter rivals  Cleveland and Bradley Central – both boys and girls – squared off at Jim Smiddy Arena. The Bearettes seized it. The Bears scrambled atop the standings as well. Bradley Central, scoring eight points in the final 35.9 seconds, including Bradley McCurdy clutch 3-pointer, ... (click for more)