Thursday, June 14, 2018

Day 9: Not telling, vs. not knowing

The next installment in my continuing futile efforts to see whether my congressman feels like doing his job. (Links to earlier installments are at the end - I'm counting days by number of work days, not number of days I've called.)
I’m checking in on my question from Monday, as to whether the congressman is working with his colleagues to rein in the trade war the president has launched with our closest allies.
I’m not the staffer who deals with that area, but I’ll be sure to write it down and get it to him. [Takes my name and email.]
I’m also checking in on my question about Mr. Faso’s views on the extent of presidential power. Rudy Giuliani says that the president could kill James Comey, and it would still be impossible to indict him; the only remedy would be impeachment. So I’d like to know how Mr. Faso would respond if the president were indeed to murder a person investigating his possible conspiracy with a foreign power. Would he vote to impeach?
I don’t know the answer to that. I’ll be sure to get the question to him.

Here’s the thing: I’ve been asking this question since last Wednesday. I’ve spoken to at least three different staffers, just judging from the voices. Everyone I’ve talked to has said they’ll make sure the congressman sees my question.
And yet I haven’t heard an answer.
It seems there are logically only two possibilities. One is that you’re not actually passing along the question.
The other is that you are passing along the question but he’s not answering it.
Now, I’d like to assume that when you assure a constituent that you’ll pass along their question, that you actually do that.
And if that’s true, it means that the congressman is getting the question, but simply not answering it.
Does that make sense?
Yes, it does.
So now I have a philosophical issue. What’s the difference between someone who doesn’t know whether he’d impeach a president who committed murder, and someone who does know what he’d do, but isn’t willing to say?
The effect for the constituent is the same: I have a congressman who apparently doesn’t know whether murder is an impeachable offence.
Does that make sense?
Yes, it does.
So that’s what I’m going with. I’m letting my friends know that Congressman Faso doesn’t know whether murder is an impeachable offense.
OK. You have a great afternoon.
You too. And I suspect I’ll be calling you again next week, when I still haven’t heard.
All I can do is do my job.
And hopefully I’ll actually get an answer before November.
Have a great day.
You too.
As Adrienne Martini observed about Faso on Facebook, "his office staff is unfailingly polite. Useless -- but polite."

Here's one odd aspect of this little project I've taken on: each day brings up additional pieces of insanity that my congressman would be dealing with, if he had any desire to serve in an independent branch of government. And so the longer I go with these same questions, the more they retreat into "quaint" status.

"Oh, you're still asking about Rudy Giuliani's verbal fart on the Sunday gab fests? That's irrelevant. We've moved on to not answering questions about Trump praising a dictator for murdering political opponents."

But I figure I have to give them as long as they need to not answer a single, repeated question. If I asked each time about a different outrage du jour, there would be the excuse that they hadn't had a chance to get an answer from him.

Here's Day 11.

Previous futile efforts in this series:

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