The first thing you need to understand about U.S. Representative Mark Critz is that he’s no liberal. He’s a Democrat, sure, but he’s a Blue Dog Democrat. That means that he votes to enact a right wing agenda most of the time, while telling Democratic voters that they should suck it up and vote for him anyway, because they’re not going to be able to do any better than him. Way to feel the pride, Democrats of Pennsylvania’s 12 congressional district! In the legislative scorecard system put together by That’s My Congress, Representative Critz has earned a Conservative Action Score 20 percentage points higher than his Liberal Action Score.
The second thing you need to understand about Congressman Critz is that he has a cruel sense of irony. That sadistic enjoyment of twisted context will literally be center stage three days from now, as Critz will be hosting an elite box at the Kennedy Center, where people can pay for the privilege of sitting with him to watch musical theater.
The musical that will be playing that night: Les Miserables.
The setting for Les Miserables is Occupy Paris – in the 1800s. The heroes of the musical are the 99 percent – idealistic but poor students, orphans, the unemployed and hungry, exploited workers railing against abuses by the obscenely wealthy. The villain of the musical is Javert, a policeman dedicated to crushing a revolt by working Parisians.
As he watches the show, Mark Critz won’t be sitting with the 99 percent. He’ll be sitting with the 1 percent, with people who have piles of extra cash sitting around, ready to be spent on the privileges of wealth. Critz is charging $2,500 for just two tickets to sit right next to him in the theater, so as to have access to both of his ears for several hours. Critz has explicitly pitched these very special seats to political action committees – organizations that pay members of Congress money in return for friendly attention to their political agendas.
No one from the 99 percent has the kind of money that Critz is requiring PACs to pay him for the privilege of his time. Critz has designed this fundraiser to give political special access to financial elites.
Critz will be sitting with the representatives of the extremely wealthy, watching a show in which the extremely poor will dance and sing for their amusement – and die on the barricades. How entertaining economic desperation will be to them.
But, what about the economic show of our own time? When will Mark Critz make an appearance there? It’s been over a month now that occupation protests against economic injustice in the United States have swept across our country. Yet, in all that time, Representative Critz has not once attended an occupation movement protest. He has never acknowledged such a protest on the floor of the House of Representatives, or even in a quick press release.
Can Mark Critz hear the people sing? No, les miserables of our time don’t have enough cash to gain his crooked ear.
“Make Checks Payable To: Mark Critz for Congress”!