“You can send a man to Congress, but you can’t make him think,” Milton Berle quipped in the 1950s.
Rep. Jamaal Bowman, the socialist congressman who represents the Bronx and Yonkers, is the latest political jerk to justify Berle.
On his Instagram, Bowman boasts that he “causes a lot of trouble.”
He posted on Friday
He condemned Republicans for being “so dubious.”
The next day, Bowman got serious and tried to sabotage budget negotiations by setting off the fire alarm in a House office building.
Bowman’s disruption came just as Democratic congressional leaders were running for time.
Instead of the old question, “Why did the chicken cross the street?” the new riddle is, “Why did the stupid congressman pull the fire alarm?”
Bowman’s chief of staff, Sarah Iddrissu, claimed he “didn’t realize he was setting off a building alarm as he rushed to take an urgent vote.”
So Bowman believed that this particular fire alarm was a decorative novelty not connected to a central system?
Late Saturday, Bowman issued a statement claiming he was “in a rush to vote” and encountered a door that wouldn’t open. “I thought the alarm would open the door,” he told reporters.
This is nonsense.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) tweeted: “We don’t have to go outside to vote. All House and Senate office buildings are connected to the Capitol via tunnels for quick access to voting.”
Perhaps Bowman was so stupid that he didn’t know that congressional office buildings are peppered with surveillance cameras to capture the perfidy of anyone who breaks official rules.
It’s not as if Bowman was sent to Congress from a remote haystack lacking novelty gadgets like fire alarms.
Bowman was a school principal in the Bronx for ten years and regularly conducted fire drills for students. What would he have said if a student had pulled a false fire alarm and defended himself by thinking the switch was summoning a magic carpet?
False alarm, real damage
Daniel McAdams, who worked as a congressional staffer in the same building as Bowman for a dozen years, said: “Raising a false alarm like this in the absence of an emergency poses serious danger to life.” There are limited exits and any panic could result in injury or worse. We had several of these alerts right after 9/11, and I have to say, this is no joke.”
In theory, Bowman could face the same harsh punishment as the Jan. 6 protesters, who were jailed for years for obstructing an official proceeding.
After the incident, Bowman spoke with Capitol Police. Was Bowman’s statement videotaped? If so, can we common citizens see the “progressive highlights of 2023” tape?
Or will this be another case of the Capitol Police serving as cowardly tools of the political elite, sweeping their abuses under the rug?
In fact, pulling that fire alarm was a natural next step for a congressman who has a history of hysteria and claims it’s keeping America from “sliding back into slavery.”
Anyone who disagrees with Bowman politically is automatically a mass murderer.
In April, he claimed that cutting food stamps was genocide and would lead to “the deaths of 38 million Americans.” This collapse was triggered by a proposal by congressional Republicans to require able-bodied adult food stamp recipients to take jobs—the worst form of tyranny.
In March, Bowman verbally attacked Representative Massie near the House of Representatives and raged because Massie supported the Second Amendment. Bowman enthused: “Look at the data; You don’t look at data!” While Bowman screamed, no one could see anything.
What will Bowman do next? Are you going to start throwing stun grenades at conservative witnesses at congressional hearings? Set fire to the trash can in his office to protest Republicans’ lack of support for a Green New Deal? Protest high interest rates by hijacking a Brinks armored truck and ramming it into the entrance to the Federal Reserve?
Bowman tried to dismiss the false alarm story on Sunday: “I hope no one makes more of it than it was.”
A simple question resolves the controversy: Is Bowman a fool or a liar or both? Luckily for him, there’s no such thing as “too stupid to legislate” in DC.