As he helped propel the government towards a shutdown, far-right Tennessee Rep. Andy Ogles took a moment to announce urgent legislation to counter what he views as a threat to the American way of life.
“Biden’s war on everyday appliances is not over,” Ogles tweeted amidst a national crisis on Thursday. “Now, he’s having his bureaucrats come after your water heater.”
While responsible members of Congress were worried about the immediate impact a shutdown would have on everything from child care to cancer research, Ogles was concerned about a federal energy conservation measure for new water heaters that would not take effect until five years after final approval.
“I introduced the Hot Showers Act to require the Department of Energy to stop its climate tyranny and allow the free market to dictate the price of appliances, not woke energy elitists,” Ogles’s tweet continued.
He added in a press release, “Dealing with big government is stressful enough, and a good cure for those woes is a long hot shower. But, like most good things, Joe Biden wants to take that away from you too.”
Such nonsense is not surprising when you take a look at this freshman congressman from the vocal minority. For one, he has called himself an economist when it turned out after he was elected that he had not even majored in economics. He has also said he is a “former member of law enforcement, [having] worked in international sex crimes, specifically child trafficking” when he had only served from 2009 to 2011 as a volunteer reserve deputy with the Williamson County Sheriff. He was dismissed for not completing his training, skipping too many meetings, and failing to live up to his minimum time commitment.
One unresolved question from Ogles’ past is whatever happened to the $23,575 that he and his wife, Monica, raised with a GoFundMe appeal after the death of a son who was stillborn in 2014. Their stated hope was to establish a burial ground for other children in the cemetery where their son was interred and maybe install a swing set along with religious statues. Ogles has said that the project was stymied by burial regulations and that he dispersed money to other families who lost a child. He backed up this claim with a letter from a Republican fundraiser who proved to have a felony fraud conviction.
Ogles managed to get elected despite it all, and other bills he has introduced include the Teachers Empowered Against Classroom Harm (TEACH) Act to “expand access to firearms for educators to protect their classrooms” by “allowing teachers and school staff the option to participate in defensive training programs aimed at protecting schools and their children.” He announced that legislation a month after an intruder armed with an assault rifle killed three 9 year olds at the Covenant School in his district. He was unapologetic when it came to light that he had sent out a Christmas card last year with a photo of him, his wife, and two of their three children brandishing assault rifles as they stood smiling before a Christmas tree. The photo appeared on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update.
“Congressman Andy Ogles, who represents the district where the Nashville shooting took place, is being criticized for a Christmas card where he and his family are holding assault rifles,” Colin Jost told the audience. “Even putting aside mass shootings, who are you psychos sending these cards to? If I received that in the mail, I would move. All this card tells you is ‘I am armed, I have terrible judgment and I know where you live.’”
The TEACH Act was co-sponsored by such fellow far-right extremists as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ). Ogles has joined them and others of their ilk in seeking to take the nation hostage with the threat of a shutdown. He tweeted his particular demands on Tuesday:
“Until we shut down:
-Jack Smith -
- Woke Budget Proposals
-Bloated Washington Spending
-J6 Cover Ups
Let’s shut down the government.”
Jack Smith is the special counsel who secured an indictment against Donald Trump for conspiring to overturn the 2020 election by, among other things, storming the Capitol where Ogles serves in Congress.
Ogles was among those Trump addressed in a TruthSocial post on Wednesday, saying, “Republicans in Congress can and must defund all aspects of Crooked Joe Biden’s weaponized Government.” Trump said it was “the last chance to defund these political prosecutions against me and other Patriots.”
Trump and Ogles spoke on Thursday, after the House recessed for the week, hapless Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy having proven unable to broker a short-term deal to keep the government going.
“I was just on the phone with President Trump about an hour ago, talking about this process and how broken and weaponized the government is,” Ogles said on Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast. “He just said, ‘Thank you. Thank you for fighting back and being one of the voices for America because look, I’m fed up. You’re fed up. And quite frankly, I think America’s fed up.’”
Trump has been known to rail about federal conservation measures regarding dishwashers and showerheads and gas stoves and light bulbs. But perhaps because he imagines the current crisis is a final opportunity to derail the federal case that could land him in prison, even he was not digressing about appliances last week.
If Ogles really were an economist, he might have better grasped the gravity of a government shutdown. And he might have understood the absurdity of even thinking to introduce The Hot Shower Act.
Somehow, American history now includes a fabulist who tweets with the grandiose, puffed-up defiance of someone who imagines himself the Patrick Henry of hot water heaters.
“If Joe Biden wants to take cold showers every night, that’s his choice, but I won’t let the government tell me how hot my shower can be.”