When Everyone Is Special, No One Is Special

Last night in Washington, DC, the Humane Society of the United States handed out its "Humane Legislative Achievement Award" to 131 members of Congress. Yes, nearly one-quarter of our federal legislators won awards.

Is it just us, or does this sound like one of those award ceremonies at the end of the eighth grade where the teachers want to make sure practically every kid gets a "Certificate of Excellence" for something?

This wasn't like some phony HSUS version of the Oscars. (Those are on March 20, and they're called the "Genesis Awards.") No—the Humane Legislative Achievement Award "ceremony" consisted of a photo op in a closed room. The Hill reports:

With this many awards to give out, it’s understandable that the animal-rights group couldn’t set aside special time for each of them. Instead, legislators were invited to stop by and pick up their award and pose for a photo anytime between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m….

A few Congressional staffers tell us today that most of the "awardees" never showed up to collect their awards last night. But hey! Did you see that? The Hill called HSUS an "animal rights group." (Memo to the rest of the media: This is called "accuracy.")

HSUS seems to think that it's conferring some sort of huge benefit on all these lawmakers, since it's an election year. The thinking is probably that many of these guys will appreciate having a "humane" endorsement (and a shiny gold star) to promote when they hit the campaign trail.

So we were thinking: we wonder what would happen if ordinary people—people like our readers, for instance—took a look at the list of all these fine award recipients to see if their representatives were among them. They could, oh, we don't know … let their staffs know about this humble website.

Better yet, maybe a few enterprising constituents could run small, inexpensive advertisements in a "winner's" hometown newspaper. Something simple and no-frills like this:

We bet you didn't know participatory democracy could be so much fun! Let us know if you need help.

Image: Schoolhouse Rock