Public esteem of the House of Representatives is historically low, say new polls, but Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) might just have nudged it even lower. During a House Armed Services Committee hearing last week, Johnson appeared to suggest that the presence of a large number of American soldiers might upend the island of Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific. While questioning Adm. Robert Willard, head of the Navy's Pacific fleet, Johnson said: "My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize." Seemingly trying to hide a smile, the admiral replied: "We don't anticipate that." Johnson's spokesperson claimed he was speaking figuratively, but that didn't stop conservatives from mocking him. "Call it a new low, a new 'tipping point'—even in the halls of Congress," said Left Coast Rebel at his blog. Others pointed out that Johnson suffers from hepatitis C, which may have impaired his mental faculties. Johnson hasn't used it as an excuse, says Kate Dailey at Newsweek. "But we do think it's worth noting."
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Congressman: Guam could 'tip over and capsize'
April 1, 2010
of The Week magazine.