Hard at work? Congress spends all day playing with the iPad

The iPad is a huge hit in the United States Congress. I mean, passing any sort of meaningful banking reform is apparently out of the question with these guys , but there’s always time for the iPad. Just amazing, really.

The story is that several members of Congress, including Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, are head-over-heels in love with the iPad. My immediate reaction was, “Um, you do know that the American people have a very low opinion of you guys right now, right? It’s probably not the time to be gloating about how your $500 toy is the new hotness. There’s a lot of people out there who are out of work and would love to have an extra $500 to blow on a shiny piece of plastic, but that’s not going to happen any time soon.”

That was my first reaction. Then I cooled down a bit and thought to myself, “Well, if they’re just using the iPad to replace their BlackBerry, reading and sending e-mail to their staff, checking their calendar, and so forth, then that’s probably not such a big deal.”

There’s an “iPad caucus,” too, which I guess is trying to extol the merits of the device. Said one member, Rep. Rob Wittman of Virginia:

We are really trying to engage people about ways to apply this technology. This is definitely the wave of the future. … We’re explaining to people that this could actually make us all more efficient, especially when you only have 24 hours in the day.

See? Innocent enough.

But then you read something like this:

A small crowd of lawmakers gathered last week in the House Republican cloakroom, cheering on Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) as he wildly steered Chaffetz’s iPad in his hands, the tablet serving as the steering wheel for an iPad-compatible race car game.

Yeah, that’s pretty ridiculous.

Isn’t Congress great? I turn 25 next year, maybe I should run? My platform will be, “I won’t spend all day screwing around on my iPad. Oh, and I love America.”