The Diddly Awards

The Cruel Summer Award for relaxing with a vengeance

Illustration: Peter Hoey

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Rep. John Sweeney (R-N.Y.) crashed an Alpha Delta Phi frat bash at Union College in his district and let the students take videos and pictures of him in full party mode. A Sweeney staffer defended his decision: “As a committed representative of the people throughout the area where he lives and works, he enjoyed the discussion he shared with the students,” she wrote, adding that Sweeney “was impressed with the energy and enthusiasm the students displayed—particularly on a Friday evening.”

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) replied to critics who argued that immigrants performed a great deal of America’s farm labor: “I say let the prisoners pick the fruits.”

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) justified a trip to Santa Barbara paid for by the Fetzer Institute to “foster awareness of the power of love and forgiveness” on the grounds that such “spiritual self-reflection” was part of her “official duties.”

Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) proposed bill S.B. 2577, making it easier for a home-state company to import “certain golf club driver heads with plasma welded face plate.” Kerry offered a number of other obscure protectionist bills, including S.B. 2578, which would protect “certain golf club driver heads with rhombus shaped center face”—a club that cries out to be named “The Kerry.”

Senator George Allen (R-Va.) told U.S. News & World Report: “I cut my own grass,” and then, deciding to pump up the Bushian machismo, added that he uses a John Deere 155 lawn tractor while listening to NASCAR with headphones.

Winner! Jo Ann Emerson, who replied to a constituent’s letter about excess oil company profits by concluding: “Please feel free to contact me with other matters that are of importance to you. I am honored to serve as your Representative in the U.S. Congress. I think you’re an asshole.”

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate