Some of you may recall that in the lead up to the election Nik and I went to a bunch of “no vote left behind” type punk rock shows. The headliner of one was Anti-Flag, who actually brought out Congressman Jim McDermott to speak to the crowd. At the time I was amazed that a crowd of punks would cheer a Congressman, even one as progressive as McDermott.
Today I got McDermott’s newsletter to his constituents. On the back page there’s a picture of him posing with Anti-Flag in front of the capitol building. The caption notes that Jim McDermott commended the group on the House floor for their voter education efforts. He added that they were “good kids with weird hair.” I think this must be the first time a punk band has been commended in Congress.
The only other connection between punk rock and Congress I know of is by blood. In the mid-80s there was a great DC hardcore band called Marginal Man, who I was lucky enough to see at the Rat in Boston in 1986 or so. Ken Inouye was one of the guitarists for Marginal Man and his father is Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii. The elder Inouye is a World War II veteran of the famed Japanese-American “Go For Broke” unit and a Congressional Medal of Honor winner. I’m going to guess he never commended Marginal Man from the Senate floor though.