Monday, February 27, 2017

I Have A Very Pretty Congressman Named Scott Taylor

My Congressman, Scott Taylor, a Republican from the second district of Virginia, is very pretty. It's undeniable. He has a square jaw, and all his hair, and when he wears a suit he looks like a guy in an ad for a high-end watch or something like that.

And part of why he's in such good shape is that he's a retired Navy SEAL. He even has a little pin on his suit. Scott Taylor, my attractive Congressman, is also a war hero.

When national magazines publish pieces about Scott Taylor, they don't generally point out how good-looking he is. Instead, reporters write that his "calm demeanor" defused tensions at a recent town hall. People on Twitter comment about how he was "doing a great job answering questions" and he looked "well composed." They say things like "I don't agree with everything you do but it is refreshing to hear a calm voice these days." All of this is really just a way of saying people look at my Congressman, and they imagine him rescuing kittens from a house fire with his shirt off. But reading it, you might also get the idea that Taylor's one of those thoughtful, responsible Republican politicians who is going to help balance out a lunatic like Trump. My pretty, pretty Congressman then tweets and retweets all this to reinforce the image of him as one of the good guys. We (men as well as women, mind you) give the benefit of the doubt to toothsome war heroes. But is he one of the good guys?

Sure, he has the chin and hair of a responsible Congressman. He could play a responsible Congressman in an action movie, and his backstory would be perfect if he needed to take out a team of terrorists, John McClane-style.

But in the real world, Scott Taylor, who is an honorable vet and would make a very good spokesperson for Seiko, and maybe someday, when he's older, for a reverse mortgage company... he is also a mediocre lawmaker. People might give him praise for his 8th-grade forensics-level ability to talk to crowds, but 538 says he agrees with Donald Trump 100% of the time. He wrote a book, Trust Betrayed, that is basically a playlist of every Benghazi conspiracy theory you've ever heard... but you can not get him to call for an investigation into that botched operation in Yemen that killed a Navy SEAL. His book also mentioned Vladimir Putin 39 times as a threat to the Obama administration. However, he won't put any pressure on the current leadership to investigate that KGB thug. Taylor's climate change position is basically: This is complicated. I don't know what to do, and I don't want to hurt Paul Ryan's feelings! He gets annoyed by his own constituents, he's been avoiding them, and he spent the recess meeting pro-life extremists and right-wing celebrity hacks in another state.

He's lazy, inattentive, and a complete hypocrite. Scott Taylor is exactly the kind of Republican Congressman who will let a clown like Donald Trump ruin this country. Please don't be fooled by his great military record, or his rugged, yet boyish features. Please don't let your gratitude for his service make you forget that there are soldiers serving right now, right this very moment in dangerous places. They are serving under Commander in Chief Trump, and Scott Taylor isn't doing a damn thing to protect them. As citizens we are the ones who have to protect those people by making sure that Trump is held accountable for their lives, and for so much else.

Ultimately people give Scott Taylor a pass because as a nation we romanticize war. And that's a bigger problem. It's partly why we've had more than two decades of counter-terrorist policies, interventions around the globe, and we're still not safe. It threatens our tradition of civilian control over the military. It threatens democracy itself. The key to solving this problem is to treat people who served like people, not characters in a movie or comic book. We often don't know we're doing it. It's silly. It's dangerous. We need to stop.

Hey, if it makes you feel better, after we kick him out of office, we can give Scott Taylor a parade. Promise.

TRUMP TALES OF TERROR is about ugly creatures, murderous fantasies, and apocalyptic worlds – and they’re right in America. YOU CAN BUY IT HERE.


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