Explaining congressional morality


It’s always interesting to see Congress in action — though “interesting” can also be appalling. For example, what a sight it is to watch Republican leaders as they gleefully try to repeal Obamacare — the law extending health care coverage to all Americans. As they vote one-by-one to kill it, their mantra is, “No to biggovernment health care!” 

What you can’t see, however, is them later slipping down the hallways of the Capitol to a little-known, exclusive medical office that gives them free health care, paid for by the same “big government” they were just ranting about. You might think that such raw hypocrisy would cause them to feel at least a twinge of moral discomfort — but apparently they’ve been immunized to prevent such outbreaks of morality.

A good illustration of the congressional mindset is presently making the rounds on the Internet. Called “The Haircut,” it tells the story of a barber who cut the hair of a florist, but refused to take payment from the flower peddler. “I’m doing community service this week,” he explained. The next morning when the barber went to his shop, he found a thank-you note and a dozen roses at his door.

His next customer was a police officer needing a trim. Again, the barber declined any payment. The next morning, he found a “thank you” note and a dozen donuts waiting for him, a gift from the grateful cop.

Then, lo and behold, a congressman came in for a haircut. When he tried to pay, the barber once more waved off the money, repeating his commitment to community service. The lawmaker was delighted by this generous gesture. And, sure enough, when the barber went to his shop the next morning, he was greeted by another surprise: a dozen Congress critters lined up waiting for a free haircut.

See, it’s just a matter of one’s moral make-up. Assuming, of course, that you have a moral make-up.

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This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.