Say That Again

by Timothy Geigner

Filed Under:
congress, dan coats

Governin': Sen. Dan Coats Questions The Wrong Witness At The Wrong Hearing

from the thank-god-for-video-cameras dept

Let's all admit something: being in government ain't easy. Between all the lies you have to keep straight, counting all that bribe lobbying money, and constantly looking over your shoulder to see if the CIA is having you followed back to your office, being a representative of the people is one hell of an undertaking. Maybe that's why that revolving door of government and lobbying keeps spitting folks out of our congressional buildings.

Take Senator Dan Coats, for instance. Coats is a serious guy with serious thoughts, such as "Hey, why can't the damned public trust us to spy on them?" and "That guy looks like he has no friends, so he's probably a terrorist!" His most recent thoughts, however, appear to be something along the lines of, "Holy crap, where the hell am I?" Here's your senator at work, Indiana.

Should you be unable to see the video, that's Senator Coats sitting down and questioning the wrong witness at the wrong hearing that he wasn't even supposed to be attending. He rambles on a bit and you can almost see the hamsters spinning up in that noggin as he looks at the witness: "Wait a minute, something isn't right." But he powers through his mistake like a champion until a helpful aide passes him a note that I imagine read something close to: "The home called and they want you to go back to your room and take your pills."

Look, it's a mistake, I get that. Hell, I've shown up at some really awkward places due to a scheduling mishap (big shout out to all my girls from the Saint Benedict's Nunnery bathroom, yo!), but to not only show up in the wrong place at the wrong time, but actually start questioning the wrong damned witness makes me wonder if Coats has anyone around him helping him out. He's not...a loner, is he?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Apr 4th, 2014 @ 1:06pm

    Your tax dollars...

    Are hard at work, everyone!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Apr 4th, 2014 @ 1:55pm

    Someone will take this man and make him VP.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    william (profile), Apr 4th, 2014 @ 3:26pm

    No he's not a loner, this is just how these career politicians able to formulate their actions and put on auto pilot on pretty much everything.

    We must admit that even Senators are human and it's impossible to know everything. However, they must keep up the fašade of having an opinion on everything.

    Therefore, to safely pilot through unknown waters, here is what you do.

    0. pretend to be listening
    1. Ask a questions that so generic that "The sky is blue" would be a valid answer
    2. reverse the answer as a question back to the witness
    3. now depend on the gut feeling, air temperture, weather, and what you have for lunch, you could either
    a) show some outrage on something
    b) congratulate on something that a committee has done (doesn't have to remember the name, since there is always at least one committee of some sort)
    4. pretend to listen some more
    5. rinse and repeat 3 and 4
    6. running out of time, again show your disbelief at something, then get a bit angry at something, then congratulate on how good/worse a job Obama is doing depends on your political alignment
    7. adjourn

    Now where is that patent form I needed to apply for "A process for uninformed person to simulate expertise of questions about life, universe, and everything"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 4:10pm

    Damn that is funny... and sad... well mostly sad... ok I it's pretty damned pathetic.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Beta (profile), Apr 4th, 2014 @ 4:41pm

    fair's fair

    He made a mistake, and as soon as he realized he'd made a mistake, he admitted it. All right, he made an excuse and didn't quite apologize, but he didn't try to bluff his way through or blame it on someone else. I don't like to defend a man with his record, but this seems like a small error well handled, not a hilarious gaffe, not an example of instinctive evasive-action dishonesty, and not an appalling lapse in cognition that ought to put him on the next plane home.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Noah body, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 5:44pm

    Re: fair's fair

    Dan? Is that you? Could you pick up some Diet Pepsi on the way home?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 6:19pm

    Re: fair's fair

    Its not so much that he screwed up and went to the wrong place, its his nonchalant attitude that is most worrisome.

    Its clear that he really doesn't care about what he is doing, if he did he:

    1. Would have verified that he was in the right place, (all you have to do is ask)

    2. Would have actually known who he was supposed to be questioning and immediately realized it was the wrong person.

    3. Wouldn't ask a question so generic that even the guy he was interviewing didn't realize what was wrong.

    It also bothers me that nobody else in the room realized he wasn't supposed to be there and tried to stop him before he got started (except for the aide).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 7:37pm

    Re: Re: fair's fair

    It also bothers me that nobody else in the room realized he wasn't supposed to be there and tried to stop him before he got started (except for the aide).

    Not that strange, considering that the hearing involved a subcommittee of the same committee he was a part of. He hadn't -scheduled- himself to be there, but it would have been easy to assume he had a reason to be there. Until he started talking and the mistake became obvious anyhow.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2014 @ 7:41am

    I live in Indiana

    And I want to say I appreciate your sympathies. But, like the rest of the members of our government, we keep putting them back in office every election cycle. It makes me wonder who is more ridiculous. The officials in office? Or, everyone putting them there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    ARGO, Apr 5th, 2014 @ 9:24am

    Who am I? What am I doing here? Where's my pile of cash!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    Michael (profile), Apr 5th, 2014 @ 10:49am


    ... about what this site is all about. I had - mistakenly, evidently - thought that this was a site about TECH and all things TECH as they relate to the world of TECHNOLOGY.

    But sadly, it appears that this site is rather about bashing one side of the political aisle, at every opportunity, no matter how UNRELATED that bashing is to TECHNOLOGY.

    Will there EVER be an end to EVERYTHING AND EVERY SUBJECT somehow becoming a "political-ideology" driven slanderfest?

    I guess I'll just mark 'Techdirt' down as another site to completely avoid, at least when it comes to reading about TECHNOLOGY. I will, however, be sure to pimp this site to all the conservative-hating, hand-wringing shriekers that I have the distinct displeasure of running across.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    That One Guy (profile), Apr 5th, 2014 @ 10:16pm

    The poster doth protest too much...

    You seem to be suffering from a rather severe case of 'confirmation bias', seeing what you want to see, and using it to justify an opinion you already had.

    Yes the site is primarily a tech based site, but it also covers other topics that the various writers for the site find interesting or funny, in this case having a bit of a chuckle when a senator who doesn't seem to care for the public made a rather boneheaded mistake and wandered into the wrong hearing, and then started questioning the wrong person.

    I do find it a mite funny myself that you immediately tried to act as though this was a case of the site, as you said, 'bashing one side of the political aisle', as though it had anything to do with what party the politician was from(which you may notice is not listed anywhere), or his ideological leanings(which, other than the previously mentioned dislike/distrust of the public, linked to in the article, also isn't mentioned), given you don't have to be on this site for long to see that the R or D tags aren't even mentioned when writing the articles, unless they are somehow central to what's being discussed, and the only thing paid any mind is how those being talked about are acting and what they're saying.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Apr 6th, 2014 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Confused...

    Here's when I know I'm doing it right: conservatives tell me I'm a conservative-hating liberal communist and liberals whine about how much I bash their side without ever bashing conservatives.

    In this politically idiotic country, if everyone's pissed off at me, I'm doing it right....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 6th, 2014 @ 4:58pm

    Re: Confused...

    I'm curious. Which side of the political aisle do you think we're always bashing?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 7th, 2014 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Confused...

    I sense that the corporate psyop guys have decided on a new tactic to deal with their "Techdirt problem".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Pragmatic, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 5:19am

    Re: Confused...

    At TD, they believe in equal opportunity and therefore bash politicians on both sides of the aisle when they screw up.

    In any case, we're not obliged to take sides, so why are you calling us on it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.