March 8, 1998 in Features

Dumbest Congressmen Named

Peter Carlson The Washington Post

Naming the 10 dumbest congressmen is a hackneyed trick of magazine journalism, and the lists are inevitably subjective, unfair and nasty. But I like them anyway.

This month, the Progressive prints its Bottom 10 list, and it’s a lot of fun. The Progressive is a liberal magazine so it’s no surprise that eight of the 10 are Republicans. But the two Democrats on the list are both senators - Ron Wyden of Oregon, who made the list because he allegedly failed to locate Bosnia on a globe, and Patty Murray of Washington, who once told a school group, “If I can do this job, anybody can.”

The Republicans include Rep. Brian Bilbray, a California surfer who enjoys being carried into fund-raisers standing barefoot on a surfboard, and Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana, who allegedly believes you can get AIDS from salad bars. My favorite is Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia, a thrice-married proponent of family values who once warned, during a speech attacking gay marriage, that the “flames of hedonism, the flames of narcissism, the flames of self-centered morality are licking at the foundations of our society, the family unit.”

Speaking of licking, Barr once enlivened a fund-raising luncheon by - as one local newspaper put it - “licking whipped cream from the chests of two buxom women.”

These are our rulers. God help us all.

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