- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 13, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin, a Republican — which means he should know better — told a town hall audience just this week: I don’t have to be here, ya’know. It’s not like you’re paying me.

Umm, OK there Markwayne. Except — we are. And ‘lest there be doubt the good congressman knew what he was saying — ‘lest there be those who rise to his defense and interpret his remarks in a positive light by outright misinterpreting them — he said this, as The Hill noted: “You say you pay for me to do this? That’s bullcrap.”

That’s “bullcrap from your boss,” to you, congressman.

Mullin, in just one glorious town hall meeting, epitomized all that’s wrong with government.

It’s not like Mullin was trying to make the point that “this is bullcrap man — I don’t get paid to be abused by riotous protesters,” or “this is such bullcrap — I don’t get paid to take part in violent gatherings masked as free speech.”

No. Mullen was seriously saying to taxpayers — the taxpayers who pay his salary — that taxpayers don’t pay his salary.

“I pay for myself,” he said. “I paid enough taxes before I got here and continue to, through my company to pay my own salary. This is a service. No one here pays me to go.”

Constituents at the event tried to point out to Mullin how very faulty his logic was, how very elitist and constitutionally challenged he sounded. But he wouldn’t have any of it.

“[Being a congressman isn’t] how I make my living,” he said. “I’m just saying … this is a service for me, not a career, and I thank God this is not how I make my living.”

His spokesperson tried some quick damage control by telling the Tulsa World that Mullin only meant to underscore how he wasn’t a career politician, and never would be.

Ha. No kidding. ‘Cause a career politician would never try to so bluntly bite the hand that feeds him — at least not when a video camera happened to be nearby. But let’s be honest. This wasn’t a little nibble on the hand. This was a face-smack — a raw, red, angry slap to constituents, to the Constitution, to the Founding Fathers and to the whole of, by and for the people system of governance we have, the one that relies, in part, on a humbled public servant population, for success.

Actually, and in fairness, this was the spokeswoman’s statement: “The congressman is referencing the federal taxes that he and his businesses have paid to the government over the years, prior to his being in office,” said Amy Lawrence. “Like all business owners, Congressman Mullin pays his taxes, which contribute to congressional salaries.”

But that’s the after-party pare-down. Mullin didn’t exactly say that.

And just to clarify, for anyone who might be confused by Mullin’s comments?

All tax-paid officials — all — work for the taxpayer. That means congressional members, the president of the United States, the Supreme Court justices — the local school teacher, the Department of Motor Vehicle employee, the public librarian. All.

Those representatives, those public service officials who don’t know that — who don’t know who their bosses really are — have no business holding their public service positions. They should leave, and leave now.

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