From the Files of the Ridiculous

Picture 221, originally uploaded by Columbia Heights Climber.

From the Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire:

“Protesters who attended Saturday’s Tea Party rally in Washington found a new reason to be upset: Apparently they are unhappy with the level of service provided by the subway system.

Rep. Kevin Brady asked for an explanation of why the government-run subway system didn’t, in his view, adequately prepare for this past weekend’s rally to protest government spending and government services.”

Or does anyone think this is a valid complaint?

49 Comment

  • It’s an invalid complaint insofar as they’re against government spending and in that they expect the metro to be (as atrios put it) their urban theme park monorail.

    However, they are perfectly valid in arguing that the metro has systemic problems reflected in its inadequate weekend service caused by regular delays due to maintenance.

    In what should be a surprise to absolutely no one Rep. Brady voted against a bill that would have provided additional funding for metrorail maintenance.

  • Oh Texas – We are here to protest the expansion of government services!!! We are not happy with the current government funded transportation services! WE DEMAND THAT YOU EXPAND GOVERNMENT SERVICES!!!!


  • That’s hilarious! Maybe these right-wing nuts are finally coming to understand why we have government in the first place – to pay for public goods that benefit society as a whole. What’s next – complaining about how big brother is coming to get us because the government pays for firefighters, trash pickup, the military, roads, etc?

  • I personally would use the word “hypocritical” rather than “ridiculous”!

    That said, does anyone know if Metro generally provides extra service for political protests? (like the anti-war protests against the Bush Administration a few years ago?) If the Tea Baggers requested extra service and were considered eligible, then they may have a basis to complain.

  • He is an A$$.

    Back in July HR3288, a Transportation and HUD appropriations bill, came up for a vote. It included $150 million for emergency maintenance funding for the DC Metro.

    Brady voted against it.

    The only appropriate response to people like this is open, mocking laughter.

  • Yeah, I saw that article earlier. Pretty ridiculous. I mean, he does have a valid complaint.

    But join the club! I hate it when the metro is overcrowded and delayed too. But if they don’t listen to us, why the f*ck would they listen to you?

  • The complete ignorance and stupidity of all who marched on Washington this past weekend should be a point of immense shame for anyone who considers themselves an American. It’s great they have the freedom to express their opinion but the fact that so many misguided morons live here, in the most powerful and rich nation on earth, can only be described as lamentable.

  • Jimmy Carter said it best. the lies about “killing grandma”, etc. are all because we have a black president.

  • My comrades and I were down there gawking at these people on Saturday and were questioning their use of the public funded metro…these racist are ridiculous.

  • It’s valid for them to be disappointed in Metro’s weekend service. To believe that Obama is the anti-Christ or that God will blow up the world, but not before flying them out in flying saucers, is not so valid.

  • Metro seemed fine to me this weekend. Overcrowded for sure, but about what can be expected when there is a large influx of people attempting to get on the trains downtown all at one time. Plenty of trains running through downtown during the peak hours – I didn’t have to wait for a single train.

    I’d venture to guess that those that complained aren’t familiar with the system and didn’t expect to see it get so crowded. Sorry if you had to stand during your trip – Oh the horrors! and next to other people at that!

    The link says that two people on wheel chairs complained of not being able to get onto the overly crowded trains and were forced to leave to find taxis home. Really nice to see all these yesteryear yearning, simple life preaching, salt of the earth folk didn’t make way for those two people on wheelchairs. Limbaugh and the dittoheads would have had a field day with that one if this were, say, a NAACP-led march.

    Single tracking in VA out by Ballston stunk, but they do that on the weekends for a reason (you know, so they dont inconvenience the many more thousands of people that commute to work in the region every other day of the year).

    Which all just reaffirms my biggest gripe with DC: that this bonehead congressman, from Southwest Texas, unfamiliar with the metro system, and who has no vested interest in how this city works for the people that live and work here, has more say over its policies than the actual DC residents.

  • i blame obama’s “death trains”

  • Just more shenanigans from the Million Moron March.

  • So. Many. White people.

  • @wrong – From my travels I came to the conclusion that these folks are most certainly not from around here.

  • I think Jimmy D’s kicker bears repeating:
    Which all just reaffirms my biggest gripe with DC: that this bonehead congressman, from Southwest Texas, unfamiliar with the metro system, and who has no vested interest in how this city works for the people that live and work here, has more say over its policies than the actual DC residents.

    I heard (and made) several complaints this weekend about these people having the gal to ride the metro at all, given why they were here. But to complain? Because PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IS CROWDED?!?


  • more like–

    So. Many. Ignoramuses.

  • As a DC resident, I fully support the Texas secessionist movement.

  • I hope Metro responds along the lines of “we’re pleased you now recognize the value of public transportation and look forward to your support and leadership in securing additional funding so we can provide the level of service you expect.”

    As an aside, I’ve never seen so many ignorant people in my life. They didn’t even understand what they were marching for. It really was depressing.

  • Here’s a great question for Mr. Brady – did Metro even know there would be a protest? Did the system have any reason to believe that there might be an extra-heavy passenger load at certain times? Did anyone think to talk to the damn subway managers?

    I’m going to hazard a guess that the organizers of a protest against taxes that are allegedlly too high – even though they were cut just this year and the US has an insanely low taxation level compared to other industrialized countries – and the government “takeover” of three industries – auto, banking and healthcare – that didn’t/won’t involve the federal government taking over any company, likely did not think to plan ahead and just assumed the liberals in DC enjoyed wonderful subway service at all times.

    Sucks for them.

  • Erm, to stand up just a little bit for some of my fellow Texans, this *is* the capital of the entire country and we should expect that people from the other states believe they should have a say as to what happens here. We can debate how much say, and for what, but we seem to forget that sometimes.

    it’s probably also true, however, that the same % of Americans that can’t point DC out on a map also don’t know that people actually live here. It’s not uncommon for people to be surprised the city expands beyond the marble. So, if we were to plot a Venn diagram of those that can’t use a map and those that engage in Teabaggery methinks there might be a obvious correlation.

  • I am glad to see that so many others share in the frustration of the anti-tax folks taking advantage of tax payer-funded public transportation. What I would give to deprive these people of all government funded and subsidized programs (and I mean ALL) for one year. These guys would be crawling back smelling like the year-old trash they lived in because no one knew what to do with it.

  • Everyone watch this video of the protesters from this past weekend’s event.

  • @Odentex. They should have as much a say as what goes on here as I do in Texas. Which is to say, federal land, parks, etc belong to all the people, and we should all have a voice in their use. I don’t believe DC should be able to convert the Washington monument to the world’s coolest loft condo and sell it to the highest bidder, just as I don’t believe Texans should be able to sell drilling rights to federal parkland.

    However, I have no say (and I don’t want any say) in how often the bus runs in Dallas. I’m not sure why you think Texans should have a say in our public transportation.

  • Because they pay for part of it. That’s why. If Metro was self-sufficient and didn’t need to beg Congress for money all the time you might have a better point.

  • Make some phone calls, people:

    U.S.. Congressman Kevin Brady
    301 Cannon Building
    Washington, DC 20515
    Phone: (202)225-4901
    Fax: (202)225-5524

    Ask him why he voted against the 150 million for WMATA maintenance and repairs when it seemed to be essential for his Tea Party folks last weekend. Ask him why he is seemingly ‘flip flopping’ on the issue. Ask him why he feels so compelled to cater to these idiots.

    I’m sorry, some of these people are so stupid.

  • you guys are all missing the point! Just because someone is against health care or President Obama does not mean they want to get rid of the Metro. There is a difference between REDUCED government and NO government. Obviously, everyone agrees that the Metro is important and worthy of its govt funding. Dont paint everything with such a broad brush… it’s oversimplifying a complicated issue and it’s weak minded. Same thing as saying “if you dont like Obama or govt run healthcare then you are a racist.” which to me is the most offensive thing I have seen during this whole debate.

  • Hate to break it to you Odentex, but the federal government also provides transportation funding to the states (as well as funding for all kinds of other stuff…remember the bridge to nowhere?). Even Texas has accepted federal money for their public transportation systems! ( So I think jcm’s point still stands: we don’t get (and don’t want) a say in how Texas runs its public transportation system so why should they get a say in ours?

  • Odentex, federal dollars go to transportation projects throughout the country. Texas begs for money to repair their roads and pay for their public transit also.

  • @Odentex Because my tax dollars don’t pay for roads in Texas? And schools? And medicare? And Medicaid? Texas actually receives more federal spending than it collects in federal tax revenue. In other words, Texas is a welfare state, living off the largesse of state like New York and New Jersey.

    Why don’t you go through the 369 earmarks worth a total of $469,499,650 Texas received in FY2009 and let us know which ones you’re going to give DC residents a say in.

    The reason DC “begs” for fed money is because we don’t have reps to earmark it for us like Texans do.

  • @TonyS: I think it is fair to say that Congressman Brady was against funding the Metro. Maybe now that he has “suffered” an inconvenience, he might change his vote next time around.

    Anyway, it was a march, right. They knew what they were getting into. They should have been prepared to march right back where they came from. Never heard Gandhi complain about a broken down transit system ruining his salt tax marches.

  • While it is annoying to hear Brady complain, Metro’s problems aren’t simply due to Congress, they are due to poor management and anemic funding from the people who most benefit from the system in Virginia and Maryland.

    While you all gripe about a few bumpkins using the train one Saturday we are totally ignoring the very rich suburbanites that use the train daily and don’t pay their fair share of the upkeep. The NYC subway is funded by local and state sources while local funds barely cover 50% of Metro’s budget shortfall so we end up going to people like Brady with cap in hand. NYC only comes to Congress for capital improvements and NOT for operating funds. Further, unlike nearly every other major transit system there are ZERO dedicated funding streams (like taxes) so we constantly have to beg VA and MD every year just like Congress. Don’t like it? Then complain to Richmond, Annapolis, and City Hall.

    This is a LOCAL problem. I say threaten a 10% payroll commuter tax unless MD and VA cough up dedicated and permanent funding mechanisms. If we pay for most of it ourselves then Brady and those oh-so-offensive Texans can go hang.

  • jcm and others: I never said that Texas took no money NOR that you, presumably as a federal taxpayer, shouldn’t have a say in how those funds were spent. As a taxpayer you absolutely should have a say – unfortunately for you, you live in DC and don’t have a voting member. Sucks. But just because you and I chose to live in DC shouldn’t mean that Brady’s constituents shouldn’t be able to suggest through their representative exactly how their taxes should be spent.

    Some radicals might suggest that’s sort of the point of representative democracy. Those Texan heathens!

  • no Yatrakarna – he voted against additional emergency funding for Metro (on top of what it usually gets). He did not vote to unfund Metro. Again… big difference.

  • p.s. i cant believe i am defending rep. brady… hes terrible 😛

  • Its interesting to try and find out how many people were actually at this rally, estimates range from 30,000 to 2 million. If anyone knows anything official, shout it out. If tens of thousands, then I’d say this was a bunch of fringe elements, especially given that this was supposed to the culmination of a nationwide campaign. If 2 million, I’d be quite sad that so many ignorant people are likewise so motivated.

    Regardless, its likely that a lot of people are angry and upset over the economy in general and then taking it out on Obama is just convenient. Racism probably plays a role as well but I doubt its the prime motivator for the majority of such a group.

  • Ok. He was against funding Metro enough so that it could make improvements and run a decent schedule, and service out of towners. Is that better? Maybe next time he will vote in favor of providing enough funds for the Metro to operate to his desires now that he knows it can’t quite live up to the expectations of folks from Jasper, Texas.

  • Heaven Forbid… White Trash Teabaggers having to share Public Transportation with “colored” people. These MORONS should have arrived in Limos.

    I rode METRO on Sat @ 4:30 without any problems. These Teabaggers did leave a huge mess (newspapers / bottles / food wrappers / trash) at street level exits of Stadium Armory, I wish now I had taken pictures to share.

  • I wonder what the reaction would be if a congressman stood up and said “A constituent of mine was vacationing in East Bum Fuck, Texas and was taking a bus while there. This bus system receives federal funding and this bus driver stopped the bus for a whole five minutes to take a cell phone call and have a cigarette.”

  • DCFD “official” estimate was 65-70K. I find the whole controversy over “how many Teabaggers it takes to screw up a National Mall” to be sort of funny. I think the insistence on making the figure 2MM to rival the inaugural is sort of transparent – or rather – pathetic. They’d rather argue about the “cover up” regarding participation in this bizarre protest then explain why, exactly, they are against their neighbors getting health care.

  • yatrakarna – while I agree with your general point, it’s worth noting that your Gandhi comment falls a little flat, since being kicked off a train is one of the most commonly cited origins of Gandhi’s activism.

  • Yatrakarna: Little Jasper’s been whupped up on enough. If you must pick a Texas town use pejoratively, use Dallas, which besides being the preferred home of Bush and the Bush Presidshul Liberry, is the worst city in the U.S.A. (proven fact).

  • … or as Jimmie Dale Gilmore sings: “Dallas is rich man with a death wish in his eyes. A steel and concrete soul with a warm hearted love disguise. A rich man who tends to believe in his own lies. Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eyes.”

  • Anyone claim that Petworth pooch poodle yet ?

  • Am I the only one that thinks there is a point to be made here? Seems to me like federal taxes support Metro (making it a gov’t program) and it doesn’t work well. They would argue that if it were privately ran, it would be much more succcessful. I’m just sayin…

  • PD, yeah that’s a point. But follow it out a bit. You will see that a privately run Metro has zero chance of working. You’d have to triple fares just to break even. Then, no one would use it.

    It’s the same reason the fed gov had to prop up Amtrak to replace the failed private railroads. No fed gov, no train.

  • And PD, maybe federal dollars are used, but considering how many federal employees use the Metro, plus the tourists coming to visit their congress critters, and the congressional staffers, I’d contend that the feds don’t contribute nearly enough. Can you imagine the daily bottlenecks in downtown DC if there were no Metro? The traffic is already congested enough.

  • Honestly? I think Metro is pretty good. Yes, they have a ton of problems, with safety, and funding, and lots of other things, but I honestly think it’s one of the best public transportation systems I’ve ever taken. I certainly don’t mean to disregard the difficulties the system faces – they are certainly great. But in large part, in the six years I’ve lived here, I’ve had mostly good experiences. It gets me where I need to go cheaply, and for the most part, efficiently. In other cities, I’ve had trouble waiting forever for a train, not knowing when the next was coming, dirty subways, etc.

    Have you ever seen those videos of Japanese public transportation employees whose sole function is to push metro riders onto the trains, because there are so many? It sounds to me like Representative Brady could spend his time on more important issues for his constituents. It really just makes him sound whiny. You’re choosing to bring a large amount of people into a city, where thousands live and work – I’m sorry you had to smell the person next to you, but I’m sure the experience was brief and largely painless. Your time could be better spent, perhaps, spell-checking your hyperbolic protest signs.

  • God, I love America!

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