By now, you’ve probably read or seen the news coverage of the town hall meeting in Vinton, attended by scores of angry 6th District residents. Presiding was a life-size cardboard cutout of Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke County.
The courageous chairman of the House Judiciary Committee couldn’t make the meeting, his spokeswoman explained. Instead, he’s spending the current congressional recess with a bipartisan delegation that’s conducting important Judiciary Committee business.
For “security reasons,” she couldn’t reveal Congressman Bob’s travel itinerary. But she hinted one destination was India, noting he was meeting with that country’s prime minister.
All of the above indicates an immense brain-drain inside Capitol Hill’s Department of Congressional Excuses. Really? Couldn’t they invent a better pretext than the old and hoary “congressional fact-finding mission to India?”
For that reason, I’ve come up with a handy-dandy list of far stronger justifications the next time Goodlatte seeks to avoid a town hall meeting in his district. Here we go:
1. His gastroenterologist had a last minute-opening for a colonoscopy, and Bob figured that would be more fun.
2. Goodlatte hopped on the wrong plane at Dulles International Airport. Instead of Roanoke, it flew him to Rourkela, India. Oops!
3. The congressman was heeding the advice of fellow GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert, who skipped a town hall in his Texas district because he was afraid he’d be shot by one of his Second Amendment-loving constituents.
4. Goodlatte was out of clean underwear.
5. He skipped the meeting so he wouldn’t have to answer questions on why the Judiciary Committee is not investigating Trump administration ties to Russia.
6. He got caught in a traffic jam on Interstate 66 in Fairfax County.
7. Bob has a policy of not attending town halls held on days of the week that end in the letters, D-A-Y.
8. His internist said he needed more sunlight, so he’s spending the congressional recess in a tropical climate.
9. He attended a party, along with Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, in honor of Revolutionary War Gen. Andrew Lewis.
10. Bob needed the time to review the constitutionality of legislation the Trump Administration plans to offer. It brands journalists “enemies of the American people” and allows publication only of “real news,” reviewed and approved in advance by the White House.
11. Goodlatte figured a cardboard cutout could do a better job explaining his campaigns for seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th terms in light of his 1992 promise that he’d run for only six.
12. Bob changed the locks at his Capitol Hill apartment and found later he couldn’t get out.
13. He was busy studying “Horton Hears a Who” so he could convincingly read it to 5-year-old constituents in Roanoke on March 2, which is Dr. Seuss Day.
14. Goodlatte made it as far as Strasburg, but Interstate 81 was so jammed with trucks he couldn’t get any farther.
15. The congressman is leading a bipartisan congressional delegation to India, where it’s investigating the efficacy of various curries as weapons against impending global cooling.
16. Bob had to go shopping for a dog, which could eat the notes his staff had prepared for the town hall meeting, so he’d have a good excuse to skip it.
17. His iPhone broke and he forgot where to go.
18. He was interviewing a former Miss India in Delhi, to see if President Trump ever grabbed her by the p---- when she was a contestant in the Miss Universe pageant.
19. He didn’t want to cause his constituents to be arrested and locked up in Catawba Hospital. According to his Republican colleague, Rep. Dave Reichert, that happened in Washington state.
20. He’s never been to Vinton before, and he got lost on the way.
21. He was auditioning in Mumbai for a Bollywood movie role as a pasty-faced, inoffensive refrigerator salesman.
22. He heard from Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, that the room would be filled by out-of-the-district paid shills bused in by George Soros.
23. He’s too busy leading a Judiciary Committee hunt for government moles leaking information the ouster of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.