For the Federal representative of Illinois’ Sixth Congressional District, Pete Roskam is a surprisingly shy man. He’s so shy, some people say he’s an urban legend. Indeed, in his twelve years in Congress, his constituents have rarely seen him. He has held a single town hall in those six terms, and in his own words, it was a “ miserable ” experience. It’s not his fault, of course; he’s just chronically shy.
Fortunately for Pete, he has found a way to serve the people without ever having to come into contact with anything so intimidating as a regular American. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Ways and Means, and also the Subcommittee on Tax Policy, Pete has been able to hide in a back office writing a beautiful tax bill to slash the unbearable burden on members of the one percent, as well as on corporations.
He didn’t want any credit for it, because that would mean hogging the limelight , which is part of why the bill was passed with almost no oversight and without giving most of his fellow representatives sufficient time to read it .
While it’s true that the tax bill gave huge breaks not to the merely rich but to the ultra rich and only loaded further crippling debt onto millions of struggling middle-class Americans , Pete can’t be worried about people he hasn’t seen in years.
At this point, he could be entirely forgiven for thinking that real Americans are some sort of myth made up by the mainstream media.
Despite his condition, Pete is unable to stay in the back room writing bills 24/7. He does have to venture forth sometimes. Happily, he has come up with a brilliant way to avoid too much human contact; he delegates. By allowing a small number of lobbyists to get out there in the real world and find out what Real Americans are thinking, Pete is able to get the gist of it from those lobbyists and then let them tell him how to govern. The excellent decisions resulting from this process are many . Pete voted to allow health insurers to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
One company in Pete’s District bought $209,000 in TV ads to thank Pete for cutting your benefits and their taxes. This company also pumps “ethylene oxide, a highly potent, cancer-causing gas” right into the air that is breathed by the Real Americans currently living in Pete’s District. A pedant might say that the latter isn’t very consistent with Pete’s proclaimed pro-life position, but it’s important to remember, again, that Pete’s shyness means any injured children are purely hypothetical to him. Also, Pete is seldom home to breathe the air.
Best of all, Pete’s lobbyist friends helped him protect his fellow shy Americans, by giving tax breaks to corporations who lay off American workers . After all, if Pete’s too nervous to interact with his bosses in the form of the good people of Illinois, he can’t be the only one. Kicking workers out of their jobs protects the shy ones from enduring the sort of human contact that so horrifies poor Pete.
Pete’s life isn’t all cringing in back rooms. He has one safe space where he is able to blossom like a beautiful social butterfly. That place is the Capitol Hill Club , a very exclusive haven where GOP House members receive free membership. Only at this nirvana can Pete be among people he trusts, such as the lobbyists, hedge fund investors, and members of the one percent who pay all the membership fees.
Basking in the hospitality of these superior beings, who know how to behave and don’t pressure Pete into doing anything he doesn’t want to do or listening to opposing opinions, Pete can relax. That doesn’t mean he’s freeloading - too badly, anyway - as he managed to rack up a $30,000 bill of his own in about a year and a half! That puts him in the top 5% of Congressmen spending at the club !Pete Roskam is not ultrarich but merely rich and shows an admirable dedication to sustaining a social life for a man who is so frightened of crowds.
Yes, Pete is shy to the point of retiring - and if we good people of Illinois so choose, after November 6th, he’ll be literally retiring.