The life of a Brammofan is filled with excitement. Whether I’m mediating a name-calling session on a playground, or scouring the web for pictures of scantily-dressed Brammosisters being attacked by giant insects, my days are brimming with news and images that are shocking and riveting.
But I didn’t know the meaning of “excitement” until I witnessed the 76 action-packed minutes of smack-downs, body slams, and BrammoJams that happened yesterday in Hearing Room SD-366 inside the Dirksen Senate Office Building in our nation’s capital. I wasn’t able to attend the match live, so I watched it here, and you can too. The anticipation is palpable during the first 20 minutes of the archived video, during which you must wait for the real action to begin, all the while reading and rereading the tantalizing tease: “Subcommittee on Energy, Hearing to consider pending legislation. Coverage begins at 2:30 pm.”
I imagine that, during that 20 minutes, more than a few dollars exchanged hands as the audience placed bets on who would come out of the room battered, bruised, but victorious, and who would have their Earthly remains removed unceremoniously from the room and hustled out a side door to a waiting panel van.
When it finally began, one thing was clear: there would be blood. And lots of it.
Moderating the melee was Senator Maria Cantwell, from Washington state. She introduced the victim witness, Department of Energy Under Secretary Kristina Johnson.
Johnson stomped around predictably, talking about the DOE’s accomplishments and responsibilities, and mentioned, specifically H.R. 3246, the Advanced Vehicles Technology Act of 2009.
Too bad a camera wasn’t focused on Oregon Senator Ron Wyden at that moment. Reportedly, he sat up straighter in his chair, cracked his knuckles, and then continued to doodle small pictures of Under Secretary Johnson doing wheelies on a motorcycle.
You might as well fast forward to the 60 minute mark, when Wyden begins pummeling Johnson with energy storage questions. That’s right… he hit her with the energy storage mojo right at the get go. Truly hardcore. That’s how he earned his nick-name, Ron Wyldman Wyden, of course.
But at 61: 35, when he jumps off the top rope and does the BrammoJam on Johnson’s body as she writhes in agony, well folks, that’s Washington at its finest. He mentions Brammo by name, and pushes hard for answers about what the DOE has done for 2 wheeled electric vehicles.
Oh sure, Johnson has a few moments of pure genius. For instance, when Wyden smacks her with yet another question about what the DOE is doing to support funding of manufacturers of two-wheeled electric vehicles, and then he goes for the pin, she comes back and nearly knocks him out with a “we’ll get back to you.”
It’s not for the faint of heart, but definitely worth a look if you like to see how your legislators and public servants in Washington are earning their street cred.