Big surprise: F. Jimmy doesn't bother listening to his constituents if he can help it. | Wis.Community

Big surprise: F. Jimmy doesn't bother listening to his constituents if he can help it.

[img_assist|nid=84805|title=F. Jimmy|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=139|height=185]I know it's an exercise in futility, but trying to talk sense to Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner is, in my mind, better than ignoring him. F. Jimmy is, unfortunately, my congressman and a number of times in the past I've written him to state my views on issues ranging from the environment to our nation's military posture. His office has always returned a form reply, disagreeing entirely with me, but at least they have paid attention. Not any more, apparently.

Recently I jumped onto Sensenbrenner's web site to compose a message urging him to reconsider voting against components of -- or better yet, the entire -- jobs package proposed by President Obama. Yes, this is a fool's errand, but I keep telling myself if we fill up their email queues with views and constituent requests contrary to their world view, senseless legislators like Sensenbrenner might just have to sit up and listen a bit -- if only to save a few votes in a fast-narrowing political environment.

Well, Sensenbrenner's office electronically sat up and listened to my message today -- but only as far as its web page daemon was programmed to pay attention. Which, evidently, was not very much.

I composed my brief, polite message (containing nothing in the way of views that would surprise regular followers of UppityWis), added my name and address information and hit the onilne SEND button. I was immediately taken to another web page, blank white except for the following words:

Congressional courtesy dictates that members of congress be allowed to assist their own constituents. Please contact your own representative at .

Aside from the certain fact that Sensenbrenner often talks to non-constituents about public policy issues -- which makes the above message at best a misdirection and at worst a lie -- a reasonable person would have to conclude that one or more of the following is true:

1. The machines have taken over at the Sensenbrenner offices, and those automatons no longer recognize legitimate addresses within F. Jimmy's congressional district as belonging to his constituents. Send help! He's been walled off and made captive by his own technology!

2. Sensenbrenner really is getting flooded with a lot of angry and contrary opinion from constituents, and from citizens from outside his district, and he and his staff tire of answering all of it, much less reading it. So he's had someone program his taxpayer-funded web site to electronically blow away constituents that the system recognizes and with whom he disagrees. Or perhaps all of his constituents. That would really save time and money, wouldn't it?

3. Anyway, F. Jimmy doesn't need pesky guys like me emailing him when he can tune in CNBC or Faux News and see video of Occupy Wall Street and understand perfectly well that I'm just another scruffy, out-of-work college student of a thug who, as Herman Cain puts it, is trying to ruin America.

3. Sensenbrenner, his staff and/or the web masters of his Internet domain no longer have a clue as to the actual borders of his congressional district. Perhaps in part because Republicans have been so busy gerrymandering legislative borders to gain an edge in votes at the state level and prospectively at the federal level.

4. F. Jimmy is just feeling like one mean mutha these days, and thinks this is an amusing way to treat his opponents, giving him more time to dig into another cheesecake.

Whatever the reason, it's a heck of a metaphor for what's wrong with D.C. and our politicians. Clueless, careless, and uncaring, except for a very narrow set of interests. It's also one hell of a congressional "courtesy" that disses and tasks one's own constituents.

But you have to give Sensenbrenner some style points. Rep. Paul Ryan and other GOP congressman have avoided angry constituents by dumping out on town meetings and charging for other get-togethers. Or having constituents arrested when they actually show up at their public offices, as Sen. Ron Johnson did. F. Jimmy is more clever; he just pretends he's not your elected representative, and pins the blame on you for not knowing the difference. Sensenbrenner fiddles; America burns.

Published

October 18, 2011 - 5:20pm

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