4 Cringeworthy Ways Politicians Are Invoking Pop Culture

There's no harm in trying to spice up your workplace with the occasional pop culture reference (when will those Office Space jokes get old, we wonder?). Unless, that is, your job happens to be in politics, where being profoundly uncool and having the pop culture savvy of a dead antelope are part of the job description. Just look at the following attempts to stay "fresh" that ended up the political equivalent of watching your grandfather rap "Informer" by Snow ...

#4. Senators and Congressmen Are Tweeting the Worst Doge Memes Ever

In terms of methods for conveying your core beliefs, memes fall somewhere between skywriting and farting through a megaphone in Morse code. Yet unfortunately, they also bear the broad tag of being "hip with all the kids." The painful result looks like this:

When you've lost Dickless Turdpusher, you've lost America.

That would be Congressman Thomas Massie choosing to show his disdain for the bipartisan budget deal with a half-assed Doge -- a meme so immediately overused that you could call it the meme of memes. And while he didn't exactly get the Comic Sans font right, we actually have to give him points considering this:

Presumably "Paid for ..." in Dogecoins.

Yes, campaigning Senator Steve Stockman saw Massie's tweet, slammed his fist on the table, and decided to give his challenger a piece of his mind using what he thought was the meme, while bypassing its most essential element: the actual Doge. Seriously, you couldn't get an intern to Photoshop the dog's face on the guy?

#3. Congress Debates "Obamacare" Through Terrible Wizard of Oz References

When the Obamacare website went belly-up, responsibility was quickly pinned on the Secretary of Health and Human Services (and former Governor of Kansas) Kathleen Sebelius. Her punishment? Suffering a room full of old guys who apparently all had the same exact joke prepared.

You see, when Sebelius was called to testify before Congress, one Representative Joe Barton decided to inform her that, like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, she's "not in Kansas anymore." Undeterred by the fact that the joke had already been made one time too many, three more people proceeded to bring up the movie again: Representative Frank Pallone said, "I know we're not in Kansas anymore, but I do believe increasingly that we're in Oz because of what I see here."

Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images
"Can someone get these singing midgets out of here? They're distracting me."

Another congressman unironically compared Obamacare to the Wizard of Oz's magical wonders, as yet another pointed out the Wizard was actually a charlatan. The only thing they could all agree on is that Judy Garland is simply divine in the movie and Cats is the best musical.

#2. A Congressman Dodged a Legal Marijuana Question With a Confusing Breakfast Club Quote

It's pretty hard to muck up a yes-or-no question unless you really don't want to answer or are way too stoned to comprehend it. We'll let you decide which one Congressman Jim Himes was:

"Can you clarify your stance on 'taping buns together' as a valid interrogation method?"

For the few of you who can't quote every Anthony Michael Hall movie by heart, the line in question is from a pot-smoking scene in The Breakfast Club -- which still doesn't give any hints as to what the fuck this guy meant by it, other than "I can reference things." And while Himes didn't offer any elaboration to the numerous replies asking for clarification, he did take the time out to bow to the only person who got it.

"Note that while my opponents claim to support The BC, their IMDb voting record
clearly shows them ranking Pretty in Pink higher."

#1. Japan and China Are Battling Over Who's the Bigger Voldemort

When you're selected to represent your government in another nation, it's expected that you should at least make an effort to immerse yourself in their culture. China and Japan's ambassadors in Britain apparently immersed themselves a little too deeply, as a diplomatic impasse turned into a Harry Potter fanboy pissing match. When China's British ambassador wrote an op-ed column about the Japanese PM's visit to a war memorial, he found no better metaphor than "If militarism is like the haunting Voldemort of Japan, the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo is a kind of horcrux."

chinese-embassy.org.uk, Department of Defense
Left to right: China's ambassador (Team Edward), Japan's prime minister (Team Jacob).

Rather than saying "What the fuck is a horcrux?" as a 62-year-old man probably should have, Japan's ambassador said "Oh, it's on" and shot back in kind with a carefully placed opinion piece that urged China to either "seek dialogue" or "play the role of Voldemort." Ralph Fiennes has since declared war on both countries.

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