Trial Balloon

Trial Balloon: August 13, 2009 Archive

Going Incognito

Posted at 5:25 AM on August 13, 2009 by Dale Connelly (14 Comments)

Radio Heartland has 3 pairs of tickets to give away to Dar Williams and Haley Bonar in concert at the Minnesota Zoo on Friday, August 21st.
Use the online form to enter by 1pm today. Obey the rules. Good luck!
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Yesterday, 9th district Congressman Loomis Beechly (representing all the water surface area in Minnesota) called a press conference to do something our political leaders try regularly these days - he made an impassioned, rambling statement with a swipe at the press. Unfortunately for Mr. Beechly, turnout was low. Here's what he said to the assembled camera:

Earlier today, an irresponsible report in the media claimed that I didn't even show up to my own Towne Hall Forum about health care. That's a lie. I was there! Just because this certain reporter for a not-very-available radio station got it into his stuffy head that I wasn't, I have been unfairly criticized by people who otherwise would have paid no attention to this at all.

How could this be? Maybe he looked right at me and didn't recognize me. What kind of reporter does that make him? Not very good, I guess. But you don't see me holding him up for ridicule. Until now.

A good reporter would know that I make it a habit to attend all my Towne Hall Meetings in the very same manner my constituents do - dressed as if I just got up from a half finished dinner to rush down there to give the big stupid government a piece of my mind. No Washington D.C. Inside-the-Beltway fancy suits for me. I'm a man of the people. I had on my shorts, my flip flops and a t-shirt that said "Shout First and Ask Questions Later".

Right away I got a clear sense from the crowd that something underhanded was up. Our government was trying to pull a fast one, and we weren't going to let it happen. While this "reporter" was rubbernecking around the front of the room trying to find some authority figure to explain it all, I was vocalizing my answers to the problems that face us and thrusting my fist in the air to show that I "got it". If people didn't notice it was me, that's because I don't practice politics as usual. I practice politics as unusual.

As time went by and the chanting got louder, I was frustrated by how there weren't any decent answers or explanations or anything sensible at all coming from the front of the room. Some of my staff people got up and said the rumors about what is in the bill simply aren't true. These denials made perfect sense when I rehearsed them with my aides in our offices on Monday, but when I heard them from my place out in the crowd, they rang hollow, like exactly the sort of empty thing you'd say when you didn't know what to say about a bunch of wrong stuff that's way too wild to understand.

The longer I stayed and the more I listened to these weak explanations, the madder I became, until I finally couldn't stand it anymore. Plus, it was hot in there and my fake moustache was starting to peel off. I stormed out of the meeting, along with many of my most belligerent constituents. We complained loudly to each other out in the parking lot. Fortunately it was dark, so nobody noticed my toupee was slipping. Then I went home to fume about what was being done to our country.

Earlier today, when I heard on a news report that "the congressman" wasn't even at my meeting, I got angrier. Until I realized they were talking about me. That's why I called you people, uh, person of the press here, to listen while I tell you how unfair you've been to me.

I guess you could say I had a much better grasp of what was going on in that crowd than the so called "reporter" who claimed he didn't see me. I was more "there" than anybody there. Until I went home early. As you can see, I'm still upset.
No questions
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Congressman Beechly is fortunate that most of his constituents don't have a clue what he looks like. The disguise may have been totally unnecessary.
Have you ever spotted a high profile person trying to keep it down low in public?

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