29 January 2011

Annals of Propaganda: Congressional Facebook

Karen Bass, California Democrat. A onetime physician assistant and
a Los Angeles native, Bass, 57, was the first African-American woman
to lead a state assembly in the United States, taking the helm of
California’s in 2008. Photograph © Christopher Leaman.

Billy Long, Missouri Republican. A longtime auctioneer and real-estate
agent in southwestern Missouri, Long, 55, has been voted the best auctioneer
in the Ozarks for seven years straight. Photograph © Christopher Leaman.

I stumbled across this story at The Washingtonian - mostly a set of portraits of some of the freshman class in the U.S.House of Representatives. Here, however, is how the folk at The Washingtonian introduce the photographs:
"The new class of the 112th Congress is the largest in years. Voter unhappiness in November swept in nearly 100 newcomers representing 39 states. As they begin work in January, their varied backgrounds and heritages underscore why the House of Representatives is known as the People’s House (stress supplied - JJ)."
Well, this seems partly true. There are some women here. And there are some non-Caucasians as well. And I concede that this is only a sample of the class. But if you look a bit closer you'll notice that the "varied backgrounds and heritages" have a distinctly partisan cast. Nearly all the Republicans are middle aged white guys whose incomes, I'd wager, place them in the top 5% or so of the distribution. Where are all those "varied" reps from the red districts? The "People's House" my keester! The class seems to be long on Billy and way too short on Bass. No surprise though, when the Republicans sweep into town.

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