Illinois state representative totally freaks out in epic "Let My People Go" tantrum (video)

I'm not sure what kind of lawmaker he is, but Illinois State Representative Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) is, without a doubt, a source of high-quality viral video entertainment.

The tl;dr: according to various reports, he became upset when given 15 minutes to read, grok, then vote on a 200-page pension reform bill. Bost slings an angry rant while colleagues do their best to look bored.

At one point, Bost reappropriates a verse from the Bible, which is also a famous old African-American spiritual. He's pretty good, but he's no Paul Robeson.

Some context here. In Bost's defense, I get like that when a Starbucks barista makes my latte with the wrong kind of milk. (via Peter Serafinowicz)


    1. Apparently he voted for all the things he’s complaining about, and they were put in place by fellow Republicans in ’95.  Shameful grandstanding and crocodile tears from this bozo.

      Here’s an idea: Elect more Republicans, get a majority and then you won’t have to complain so much. Also, most of the rules that Bost is complaining about were put in place by Republicans in 1995, and he voted for them.

  1. I certainly understand his frustration, though I usually don’t react that way (unless they get my GODDAMN ORDER WRONG AGAIN AT TACO BELL I SAID FIRE SAUCE NOT MEDIUM).

    Really the saddest part is that everyone sitting around him looks like they are going to fall asleep, having lost even the ability to be shocked or annoyed by their surroundings, let alone engaged and constructive.

    1. Yeah, I don’t know about that. I watched the video a couple times yesterday. I was getting a very visceral, “I am really fucking embarrassed for this guy” vibe from the legislators, etc. surroudning him. “I shall now sink slightly lower into my seat and gaze more intently at the zit on the cheek of Rep. McOtherSauce until the tantrum has subsided.”

      Hell, even Bost himself seemed to be aware that he was looking D-U-M-B in 78 pt. caps. At that point, he tried to save his shit by doing his 4th rate Paul Robeson bit.

      To no avail. So he kept the temper and volume on 11 until he could exit his tirade on  a note that wouldn’t make him look like a complete asswipe.

      It reminded me of taking a solo (insert your instrument here) that starts off okay, but REALLY strong, ie, perhaps with a highly-charged climactic phrase in a high register that one might endeavor to reach towards the end of one’s 32/48 bars/whatever. How the hell ya gonna get out of that? I generally play old jazz standards, some be-bop and post-bop with a little Funkadelic here n there for therapy, so take it as you will.

      Something of value to musicians that relates to my comment (I promise): As an early-blooming perfectionist who fights every day against the insidious, sapping power of said curse, one of the most inspiring and reassuring tracks I’ve ever heard is an early recording of a very young Miles Davis taking a solo before Coltrane in an early-50s quintet (can’t remember the track or album at this point, unfortunately).

      Miles takes his solo next to last. Miles was never a speed demon: his brilliance lay in many other areas. His solo on this track, and he must have been about 18 or 20, is passable, it’s meh, and he knows it. He ‘s trying his good goddamnedest to resolve it into some form of Something before the head, but fails. And if you listen to it, it sounds something like: “bah, bah-deh bah, bah-bah-deeh, Bah…… beh…. buh… aw Fuck It.”

  2. Methinks those words he reappropriated came from something even older than that African-American spiritual.

  3. Elsewhere I read that the fifteen minute bit wasn’t when the bill would be voted on, but rather when debate on the bill would begin.

  4. I sympathize with the frustration, 

    except the part where he demands that all the power is in one person’s hands, which isn’t true.

    Oh and the part where he complains about checks and balances, or the rules that prevent one person or group being in charge.

    And I respectfully disagree that his job should be made easier, even if he is compelled to compare being a member of the HoR to being a literal slave of an ancient ruler. 

    Then there’s the part about being unable to account for himself in his home district. Perhaps he just sucks or he can do that come good or bad.

    Yeah he’s just a candidate for a big ol’ Man Tha Fuck Up.

  5. I like the Stranger in a Strange Land reference.  Totally impossible to grok and speak rightly under those circumstances. :P

  6. I never sign any contract without reading it, I’d be mad if asked to vote on a bill without time to read it.  A polite rule would be: minimum 1 hour/page in a bill must pass before taking a vote.

  7. This boob represents a down-state district where the constituency constantly carps that their taxes go to pay for services in Chicago.  The reality is that Chicago and surrounding suburbs pay the lions share of the state’s revenue.  Yet this rant was set off by the suggestion that local districts should pick up the tab for paying pensions for teachers, et. al. in THEIR OWN district rather than from the general fund. 

    On the other hand, it served its purpose because he’s now a hero to the yokels and teabaggers south of Peoria.

    1. Let me point out that:1) School districts in Southern Illinois are very poor financially.  I strongly suspect that when you took high school world history, you didn’t use a book that ended with the Camp David Accords.  (14 years out of date at the time)  These districts can’t afford this.1b) Why are these districts poor?  Because education is paid through property taxes, thus propagating the best education for the rich, and subpar education for everyone else.  If education was truly a priority, education funding would be paid out of a statewide fund on a simple per-student basis.2) Chicago directs all the money to Chicago, leaving nothing for the rest of the state.  (Have fun with the potholes on state roads hicks!  I’ve got to maintain the three square mile radius in which I spend my entire existence!)  Madigan and every other Chicago politician work to prevent a bipartisan non-Chicago caucus from forming by penalizing those that join together.This isn’t (just) Democrats versus Republicans.  It’s Chicagoland versus everyone else.

      |On the other hand, it served its purpose because he’s now a hero to the yokels and teabaggers south of Peoria.
      Fuck you Allen Koechley of Schaumburg.,692/.  

      1. You forgot to mention how stupefyingly bad some(most) Chicago public schools are. But you are right that it’s because they are funded from property tax revenue.

    2. Really I think you meant to say something more like “now this guy will be a hero to all the yokels, teabaggers, hicks, hoodrats and poor people south of the Loop”.

      Also, FWIW, in most places where there is a megalopolis and the rest of the state (like New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon) you are correct that they produce a very large percentage of the revenue. But ignoring the fact that they also consume a very large portion* of that revenue is pretty disingenuous and makes your argument pretty weak sauce.

      *And in some cases larger than what they produce.


      What I think I really mean to say is: bite me elitist scum.

  8. Since it was mentioned, I’d rather see a video of Xeni saying an impassioned, “Let my people go!” over a botched order at Starbucks.

  9. I laughed out loud when bro said “folks, we live in a democracy”….sorry bro, you don’t live in a democracy, you live in a “corporatocracy”, or an “oligarchy” , you should know that?  When will you Americans clue in on that important point?

    1. Maybe when you drop the intellectually lazy practice of lumping millions of individual citizens together into an undifferentiated mass in order to maintain a fragile sense of superiority?


  10. In context, the representative has a reasonable point in that 15 minutes is not enough time to read a brand-new version of the 200 page bill. As the Chicago Tribune pointed out, this is the sort of time where the bosses of IL push and get things through that cause problems in the future, kinda of like the giant super clusterfsck of Illinois that is going on now.

  11. The final paragraph in the linked local newspaper article is enlightening:

    “It’s apparently not connected, but a day after Bost’s explosion, Madigan made a rare concession to Republicans and downstaters, dropping a proposal that would have forced local school districts to take over the state’s teacher pension expenses.”

    That’s right: it’s now “conservative” to require other people pay your bills for you.  But that’s not welfare or socialism, nosirreebob.

  12. Goddammit. ANOTHER political fool, making my state look bad. I think it’s ADM products in the water supply, myself….

  13.  You missed the part where this is Illinois, I think.  The control that the speaker, Mike Madigan, has there is legendary.  He’s basically running the state, not the governor, and has been for decades.  That’s who Bost is referring to.  And he’s right.  But, they’re all guilty as hell of kicking the can down the road for a couple decades, taking money that the state was constitutionally MANDATED to fund their share of the pension plans, and instead spending it on other crap.  The chikkens have come home to roost. 

  14. See, I’m curious how real this outrage is. How long after this bill made it out of committee did it take for it to reach the house floor for this vote? I don’t imagine it was passed right out of committee. And I would guess the committee had a rep from his party on it that could have provided a useful summary of the ups and downs of the bill to his colleagues. That sort of what the committee thing is about, right? I’m not saying it isn’t silly to limit debate to 15 minutes on that big of a bill, I’m just curious what the actual timeline was, and whether this guy was actually in a position of having to vote on a bill blindly or not. 

  15. Every time I watch a Republican speak I am inevitably grateful I never dated or married one. Worst men ever.

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