With the GOP recently dropping the budget knife on Planned Parenthood, I have lost hope. My faith in the GOP to bring about change grew as questionable as the skin tone of Boehner’s face. I was ready to turn my back on the Grand Ol’ Party Pooper.
But after reading about the work conditions within Capitol Hill, I have had a change of heart. I see why the GOP members are so upset that they feel the need to scrape every penny from government spending.
Forks. Since then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi implemented the “Green the Capitol” initiative in 2007, the cafeteria in Capitol Hill has been pushing House members to use biodegradable corn-based forks, spoons, and knives. Many members complained that the utensils were literally like compost. One joked that the only butter the knives are capable of cutting is “warm butter.” Our politicians eating with ropey utensils. That’s just inhumane.
But Pelosi didn’t stop there. She replaced Styrofoam containers with biodegradeable containers, incandescent lights with fluorescent lights, and “trash cans … with a bewildering array of recycling bins that few have mastered,” as put by columnist Michael McGough of the L.A. Times. With corn spoons mixing into corn soups and recycling bins spawning in corner offices, Capitol Hill had become an inhospitable place to work.
Follow the life of Congressman Dan Lungren (R-Calif.). He wakes up to see his six grandchildren greet him in bed. He then walks into the kitchen for morning coffee, served in a sturdy mahogany mug reading “Number One Grandpa.” On his plate are sausage and bacon fuming with scents of cinnamon and maple. Next to them are silver forks and knives, sturdy like they should be. He enjoys his breakfast, eating slowly, enjoying each bite. He leaves his house for Capitol Hill, full and satisfied. But in his office, he glances at his clock as the minute arm inches toward twelve. Once lunch hour strikes, he drags himself to the counter to retrieve a wimpy lunch tray and soggy utensils. In his mind, he might as well be holding a patch of grass and a long stick of cardboard. He tries to fill his coffee, but he has to use the biodegradable cups. While pouring, he tries to hold the cup, but the hot coffee burns him. He lifts the cup by the rim, but gingerly, trying to not crush the cup and spill the coffee. He thinks of his breakfast. After he’s done eating, he prepares to dump his leftovers in the recycling bins he never understood.
After countless miserable lunch hours, Dan chose change. Dan is the chairman of the House Admissions Committee, and he has ended the three-year compost program. He brought back Styrofoam cups. And I applaud him. I have been burned too many times by cheap cups. We should all have cups like those Dunkin’ Donuts cups. They’re fancier.
Not everyone agrees that Styrofoam is a change for the better: the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has named Styrofoam as a possible carcinogen. The opposition presents this argument, but Lungren cleverly responds, “Styrofoam is cheap.” His answer carries the spirit of the GOP I know and love. Why spend more when you can enjoy yourself in the short term? Just do what makes you feel good. And be angry about taxes.