Chopped: Congressional Edition

Chopped: Congressional Edition

Adrienne BoettingerMonday,3 February 2014

The Snap:

We’re barely a month into 2014 and there’s already widespread acknowledgement that Congress won’t do anything this year. There’s always an election coming up somewhere and for some reason politicians think the best way to gain votes is to turn into brick walls. It’s not enough to do nothing; they must stop everyone from doing anything. If it weren’t such a disgusting waste of time, opportunity and money it would almost be impressive how capable they are of being incapable of actually governing. It’s not just the stakes of the game that need to be changed; it’s the entire game itself. With that in mind, we bring you Chopped: Congressional Edition.

The Download:

For those unfamiliar with the show, “Chopped” is a competition where four chefs are given baskets with mandatory ingredients that they have to use in timed appetizer/entree/dessert rounds to impress some seriously picky judges. Each round, a contestant is “chopped” until the victor is revealed by one of my future best friends, Ted Allen (formerly of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”). Don’t get too freaked/excited; no parts of their bodies are actually chopped. I actually tried a home edition of Chopped with some foodie friends and it was fun but crazy difficult, messy and resulted in dishes that, at best, were edible.

For Congress, we think the main elements that will help are the time constraints and having them all in the same room until they come up with an actual solution that is judged wondrous, or at least not vomit-inducing. What could spur them to try to excel in this situation would be their basic competitive nature and the knowledge that their constituents will not let them leave the room until they accomplish something.

1. Appetizer Round: Immigration Reform

Up first because hopefully politicians will be more motivated if only to gain important Latino voters.  Contestants will be given a basket with issues they need to address including a pathway to citizenship for 11.7 million undocumented immigrants, border security, interior enforcement, and modernization of outdated legal immigration policy. Contestants in this round will include House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, and Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. They will have one week to come up with a solution and will be judged by the Senate who actually managed to do something on immigration last year. If they fail, they lose their offices and their constituents get to pelt them with Cheetos to mark their shame.

2. Entrée Round: Health Care

We thought this round had been digested and judged by no less than the Supreme Court but politicians who have tied their futures to the defeat of the Affordable Care Act are forcing us to regurgitate it repeatedly. Judges in this round will be constituents with pre-existing conditions who had been denied coverage for years (and would be again under the 5-years-too-late Senate Republican plan). The only thing in the basket would be hammers for the judges to beat the contestants’ heads with until they quit being a pack of whiny asshats.

3. Dessert Round: Gun Safety

Notice, we didn’t call it gun control since no plan proposed will do anything to the hundreds of millions of guns already out there. Contestants will include the Congressman Steve Stockman (the assclown who brought Ted Nugent to the 2013 State of the Union address), Senator Ted “Crapweasel” Cruz, Senators Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey, Senate cousins Tom and Mark Udall, and Maryland’s feisty and asskicking Senator Barbara Mikulski. Issues in the basket will include gun registration, ammunition control and the chokehold the NRA has on the U.S. legislative process. The judge will be former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Contestants will have one week to come up with a workable solution to address the insanely high number of gun deaths in the United States. If they fail, they lose their offices and will be replaced by family members of the Newtown shooting.

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Hat Tips:

CNNPBSFood NetworkCenter for American ProgressNew York TimesThe AtlanticPew Research CenterCenter for Responsive Politics, Image Credit: Flickr

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