Video of the Day: An Illinois Lawmaker's Epic Freak-Out

By David A. Graham

Furious about pension reforms, state Rep. Mike Bost punches paper, invokes a Biblical prophet, and drops the mic.

Howard Beale had nothing on Mike Bost (that's the Network character, not the Australian politician). Speaking in the Illinois State House Tuesday, Bost lost his marbles during a discussion of pension reform. Like Beale, the longtime Republican representative from a southern Illinois district was mad as hell and he wasn't going to take it any more, unleashing an epic rant at Speaker Mike Madigan.

The top moments are undoubtedly early in the clip, when he tosses a bunch of papers in the air, then punches them on the way down; and when he shouts, "Let my people go!" But stay with it until the end for his excellent variation on the old rap-battle mic drop. Also worth noting: the faces on his colleagues around him, trying to maintain a sense of dignity, except the woman in the burgundy behind him who seems willing to indulge her amusement.

Being a politician at the state level might seem fun, but Bost isn't the only one to act out this week. California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, was so bored with his post (he was previously mayor of San Francisco) and so marginalized by Governor Jerry Brown that he started a television show on Current TV. The Sacramento Bee quoted this exchange Tuesday:

"How often are you up in Sacramento?" [hotelier Chip Conley] asked.

"Like one day a week, tops," Newsom said. "There's no reason."

It can be slow at the Capitol.

"It's just so dull," Newsom said. "Sadly, I just, ugh, God."

Like any servant's life, the public servant's life has its own frustrations and drudgeries.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/05/video-of-the-day-an-illinois-lawmakers-epic-freak-out/257840/