I Never Thought My New Muse Would be CSPAN/I Wrote My Congressman and This Happened.


I have found a new therapeutic tool that I never expected to be so cathartic: CSPAN.

I’ve been telling people this with giddy amusement and all I receive back are looks of confusion or frustration and a guttural, “Why?!”

My personal thoughts on the news: for the past year and a half, nearly two years, CNN has been flooded with virtually every single tiny tweet that the now-president does. It makes me feel like I am in the most pathetic bubble in the world with absolutely no access to inner-workings of the government or things that are happening outside of the U.S.

I also watch MSNBC and it obviously holds a leftist bent, but I at least appreciate the commitment to giving more details and background on a specific issue whereas CNN tends to just pit one conservative against a liberal and it grinds my nerves instead of exposing me to anything pertinent happening.

Alas, one day I was lounging in my living room frustrated watching the news and I thought, “CSPAN?” I turned on a hearing of senators questioning Tom Price, including my senator Bill Cassidy, and fell into a deep relaxation and calm.

Why CSPAN, of all calming techniques!?
1. I know a lot more about government after briefly studying law but there’s so much that seems benign that the news doesn’t discuss. When you watch CSPAN, it’s not bending anything any which way but just showing straight up what’s happening. I’m watching committee meetings, hearing the blatant disregard of global warming from a senator from Wyoming and the frustration of coastal Democrats trying to get something done to protect their state. I’m watching Independents asking questions during a Finance Committee meeting asking for clarity on issues that tends to be so partisan, like tax law, and it reveals that you don’t have to know all the answers to everything to get anything done.

2. It feels good to know that you’re not alone in your frustration right now. Seeing senators and representatives get just as fiery over issues and wrongdoings makes me not feel like I am so alone.

3. I think watching CSPAN and listening to people like Nancy Pelosi also makes me realize how I need to be more willing to compromise with people and not think of good as the enemy of great. It’s obviously a volatile political climate in the United States currently, but watching CSPAN makes me think if enough people can focus on specific issues with clarity, that we are not utterly doomed.

Also, I wrote my senator for Louisiana, Bill Cassidy, a letter recommending that he vote against the confirmation of now Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Here is his response:

Thank you for your recent letter regarding Betsy Devos’ nomination for Secretary of Education at the Department of Education. It is good to hear from you, and I appreciate your advocacy on this important topic.
The constitutional responsibility of confirming executive nominations is one of the most important checks and balances within our federal government. I approach this duty with the posture that I am working to better the United States.
As a doctor who taught at LSU Medical School students and a parent of children attending public schools, I have a deep understanding and appreciation of the importance of this position.  Every child deserves the opportunity of an excellent education taught by great teachers.
For this reason, I have consistently supported an increase in school choice options by supporting magnet, charter and public schools as well as the option to transfer low-income students’ funding to transfer between schools through Title I portability. We should measure achievement and set realistic goals while equipping students and teachers with the means to attain them. Opportunities to succeed should not be hindered by a lack of resources or intrusive federal government mandates.
You will be pleased to learn that I serve as a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. As we hold hearings on and ultimately vote on her confirmation, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind.
I will continue to represent the views of my state and do so through hearing from constituents like you. Please continue to reach out, either by phone or by email, when you have another question or concern.
….Is it just me, or did he straight up just say he low-key doesn’t give a shit about my voice and will do what he wants regardless?! Thoughts?!

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