The Washington Post

McConnell drops a Russian lit reference

What would Franz Kafka make of the IRS? (Katherine Frey/WASHINGTON POST)

But Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell had a much higher-brow comparison to make on Thursday. The Kentucky Republican said the embattled agency’s inner workings were the stuff of Franz Kafka’s novels.

Kafka, as lit buffs know, is famous for portrayals of inflexible, nightmarish bureaucracies. In fact, the word “Kafkaesque” is often used to describe something that’s needlessly complex and labyrinthine.

And so, the Loop’s quote of the week: “This is an agency that’s basically a euphemism for mind-numbing bureaucracy — The kind of place where you’d assume nobody does much of anything without signatures and counter-signatures from section chiefs, and sub-section chiefs, and deputy office heads, and secondary assistant deputy sub-associate directors,” McConnell said during a speech on the Senate floor. “Sort of like a Kafka novel without the laughs.”

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.


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