Today, the House is poised to pass a bill creating a commemorative coin honoring American writer Mark Twain. Expect to hear lawmakers lauding the author of “Huckleberry Finn” as one of the great American voices and recounting the sage’s many witticisms.
Twain, we can imagine, would be...oh, what’s the word? Appalled, perhaps? But hardly surprised. Twain held a poisonous disdain for Congress in particular and politics in general.
As politicians praise him, it’s worth remembering what Twain had to say about them:
“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
“Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a Congressman can.”
“An honest man in politics shines more there than he would elsewhere.”
“There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.”
“All Congresses and Parliaments have a kindly feeling for idiots, and a compassion for them, on account of personal experience and heredity.”