If you pay any attention to American politics, you have undoubtedly heard about the incident that occurred on Saturday at the Cannon Office Building in Washington, D.C.
On Saturday, Democratic Representative Jamaal Bowman came under intensified scrutiny (and ridicule) after he appeared to have been captured pulling the fire alarm in the Cannon Office Building.
BREAKING: Capitol police release photo of Jamaal Bowman pulling the fire alarm. pic.twitter.com/XpUoEu9lU4
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) September 30, 2023
The prevalent hypothesis is that Bowman performed the juvenile stunt to delay a vote on a measure intended to prevent a government shutdown.
It’s a popular hypothesis that Bowman has vehemently refuted, despite admitting to having pulled the alarm on Saturday night.
Statement from Congressman Jamaal Bowman. pic.twitter.com/v6qjdHNI7T
— Congressman Jamaal Bowman (@RepBowman) October 1, 2023
“I want to personally clear up confusion surrounding today’s events,” Bowman wrote in a statement. “Today, as I was rushing to make a vote, I came to a door that is usually open for votes but would not open. I am embarrassed to admit that I activated the fire alarm, mistakenly thinking it would open the door.
“I regret this and sincerely apologize for any confusion this caused.
“But I want to be very clear, this was not me, in any way, trying to delay any vote. It was the exact opposite — I was trying urgently to get to a vote, which I ultimately did and joined my colleagues in a bipartisan effort to keep our government open.”
The beleaguered representative eventually added: “My hope is that no one will make more of this than it was. I am working hard every day, including today, to do my job, to do it well, and deliver for my constituents.”
Acceptable, Rep. Bowman. The author will not make more of this than it was worth. This author will accept you at face value and acknowledge that you had no notion what you were doing.
Rep. Bowman is either aggressively oblivious or extremely stupid, neither of which is a particularly ringing endorsement of the “squad” member of the progressive party.
Why such a negative evaluation of Bowman?
Well… Look at this image that has gone viral of the door that Bowman was attempting to “use,” courtesy of reporter John Bresnahan:
— John Bresnahan (@bresreports) September 30, 2023
For those who have never been a part of civilized society, the image above is the standard depiction of a door plainly marked “Emergency Exit Only.”
Consequently, if Bowman was not attempting to obstruct this vote (note that Bowman voted in favor of the continuing resolution, which does raise the question of why he’d want to delay it; however, by that time, Bowman may have realized his fire alarm stunt had failed and so he followed the rules), then this is one honest mistake.
Because if Bowman really had no nefarious or ulterior motives for this stunt, it just leaves the following possibilities — and questions:
- Bowman has never seen a fire alarm or emergency door — Does America really need a representative who is so sequestered in his echo chamber that he doesn’t recognize what most 4th graders would?
- Bowman can’t read — Wouldn’t this present its own can of worms for a sitting U.S. lawmaker?
- Bowman can’t see — Wouldn’t this also be an issue for a U.S. lawmaker?
- Bowman doesn’t care — Wouldn’t it be nice to have some Republicans with a backbone who’ll actually act against this nonsense?
Regarding the final bullet point, it appears that Republicans are preparing to punish Bowman in some way, with potential punishments spanning from censure to expulsion.
Given that Republicans have been relatively ineffective over the past few years and Democrats have not bothered for decades, this author will not hold his breath for anything to happen to Bowman.
But in all seriousness: If a grown man cannot discern between a door and alarm that is clearly marked for fires and emergencies, and a standard door meant to whisk you to the great outdoors (again, this is his explanation), how can anyone trust this man to discern between issues that will actually affect his constituents?