Thursday, January 3, 2013

Joseph O. Patton: Martha Roby bakes a cake

  I have never expected much from Alabama’s Congressional delegation – no soaring oratory, no landmark legislation. I just assume they’ll trumpet the usual talking points about Jesus and guns, gay folks and Muslims, and to a lesser extent poor folks and anyone whose skin color dares to differ from their own. And of course women, especially single women, whose uteruses have become quite popular with today’s Republican Party.

  I’m not too shaken when one of them utters something painfully embarrassing which casts the entire state in a bad light… As a native of the Deep South I’m not flabbergasted by ignorant utterances or people speaking in racist tongues even as they cower behind a Bible. It’s as common as kudzu and adultery facilitated by the bed of a pickup truck.

  But what is never palatable is a member of Congress – in fact, my member of Congress – making a political career of hypocrisy and having it both ways. My friends, Martha Roby has baked that cake… and she will eat it with or without a fork and do so while everyone’s watching and without apology. And when she’s done, our esteemed representative will spit those crumbs in our collective face.

  It’s not a complex routine to grasp at all. Whenever asked by someone posing as a reporter who will slather her in softball questions, or a constituent whose day will be made by the cheapest of pandering, Congresswoman Roby – upon pulling her string – will regurgitate the text of what could be a bumper sticker:

  “National debt!”

  “Redistribution of wealth!”

  “Government spending!”

  Y’all follow that? Deep, policy-laden stuff, no? But those third grade utterances don’t jive when stacked against the rest of her rhetoric or her stances on the corresponding issues.

  “National debt!” Congresswomen Roby is so hoppin’ mad over that debt that she has vowed to keep supporting the Bush tax cuts even if she’s the last one standing (and talking of course). The problem? Those tax cuts were never paid for. Our country had to borrow money to pay for those in the beginning, and for every day the cuts remain on the books, we have to continue to borrow more money. It’s like lecturing your child on the evils of illicit drug use – wildly flaying your arms about and screeching in the most dramatic of tones - then pausing mid-sentence to snort a line of cocaine.

  “Redistribution of wealth!” This phrase has become more popular among self-described conservatives than free condoms to a college crowd on Spring Break. And admittedly, it sounds far less offensive than, “We really fucking hate it when poor people get to keep their home or eat something this particular week.” The phrase of course refers to those so-called evil “entitlement programs” that put food on tables, bridge gaps between jobs and keep a roof over the head of children living in poverty… so naturally said things are a target of the Tea-Baggin’ crowd, including Congresswoman Roby. Yet Congresswomen Roby is a fierce advocate of farm subsidies, which fits her own definition of “redistribution of wealth.” The merits of Old McDonald Welfare won’t be debated here, but the unbridled, obnoxious hypocrisy this member of Congress will be…. Apparently “redistribution of wealth” is only a problem when said wealth falls outside of Alabama House District 2’s borders.

  “Government spending!” Congresswoman Roby is always twirling her anti-spending baton, apparently leading the parade to clamp down on government spending. I guess no one is bothered by the fact that Alabama is a welfare state, receiving more in federal dollars than we collectively pay into the system. So damn the facts, full speed ahead! Nonethless whenever the opportunity arises, Roby hurls herself in front of the nearest camera to gloat about her undying efforts to preserve every cent she can snatch for anything pertaining to Maxwell Air Force Base. Believe it or not, this qualifies as government spending. She will maul any available reporter to toot her own horn, sometimes an entire brass section, on how much effort she channels into grabbing dollars for her district, especially if it involves a photo op on base with someone sporting a uniform.

  I truly don’t expect much from my elected representatives… mostly because my fellow citizens don’t expect much either and are apparently content to get their daily dose of vapid, pandering themes, capped with some references to God. It doesn’t require much to keep them satiated – just keep repeating whatever they want to hear. I do, however, refuse to accept such unapologetic hypocrisy.

  Stop saying you hate government spending while wallowing in the trough of federal dollars. Stop insisting you hate the national debt while taking steps to increase it. Stop whining about redistribution of wealth while openly supporting it, voting for it just to keep some farmers’ votes in your pocket. It’s not much to ask for, and I humbly ask that you stop insulting us by assuming that we don’t notice or can’t seem to recognize the inherent, unacceptable contradictions and double standards.

  And to be fair, no one would mistakenly think Martha Roby is bisexual… but when it comes to these issues, she sure as hell insists on having it both ways.

  About the author: Joseph O. Patton is the editor-in-chief and founder of the Capital City Free Press. He is a former news editor for the Coosa County News, lead reporter for the Montgomery Independent and editor-in-chief of the AUMnibus, the student newspaper of Auburn-Montgomery. Patton is also the creator of and writer for the satirical news radio segment "Goat Hill Gossip," which previously aired on WAUD in Auburn, Alabama and has appeared on several Central Alabama radio programs as a political analyst.

Copyright © Capital City Free Press


  1. Maybe we wouldn't have to borrow money for those tax cuts if we cut money for those programs like the free condoms you speak of...ha. This is a rant not an article, nice try at being informative.

  2. agreed - Roby will eventually be found out, as she is not above using her office for personal gain and the lending of favors.

    For me, the worst is - right after she spouts her worst lines, she bares her teeth in an evil grin and smirks knowing that what she said isnt what she means.