Posted Wednesday, March 2, 2011, at 10:57 AM
Is there anything more embarrassing than watching grown men with important jobs act like small children refusing to do something just because it was Mommy who told them to? Note to the Republicans who petulantly overturn Democratic green initiatives to show contempt for anything "liberal": If you find yourself stomping your feet to prove that you are too a big boy, you in fact demonstrate the opposite.
Oh, sure, there's a cursory attempt to excuse the House Republicans replacing the compostable plates, cups, and utensils that were used in the Capitol cafeterias under Nancy Pelosi's leadership with Styrofoam and plastic. The complaint was that the compostable wares were flimsy and broke all the time. Of course, this excuse only works if you're talking to an audience that's never been exposed to the greener materials, because those of us who have experience with these goods know that you must be stabbing the table directly to be breaking so many disposable knives. I worry about anyone who has the time to obsess over whether or not the box they're eating a sandwich from feels as sturdy as a real dinner plate; clearly such a person has too much time on his hands and needs to get a real job to occupy his mind. I've eaten my fair share of even quite soggy food out of those boxes while on the road, and not once have I ever wasted a moment worrying about it, due to the fact that I have grown-up concerns that occupy my mind. I would have thought that being a congressman would be that kind of mind-occupying work, but apparently not if you're a Republican.
The other complaint is that the program is expensive. I'm skeptical, since the claim that it costs $475,000 a year also comes with a claim that it wastes energy, a claim that is unsourced and just, frankly, sounds like B.S. (They have to drive a little further to the composting facility? Is that really a bigger problem than the resource-stretching and soil-destroying results of Styrofoam and plastic? Doubt it.) In general, I'm skeptical of claims of wishing to save money from Republicans, who have created (with help from quisling Democrats) a military-industrial complex where no amount of wastefulness is too much if it's spent on crap that blows up. Half a million a year is peanuts to save the planet compared to what we spend blowing large parts of it up.
No one is under any delusions about what this is all about. This is the sort of symbolic move that has no message beyond "screw the liberals" and "real men don't care about the planet." The economy is in tatters, and we have 10% unemployment, but House Republicans seem to have plenty of time both to force women to bear children they don't want, and to destroy the planet that those children have to inherit. I can't wait to see what's next. I've got my money on a House resolution denouncing those hippies with their long hair and their rock concerts.