Capitol Internships

The Macon Telegraph has a write up on college internships with the legislature. Read the first couple of paragraphs and you tell me that dude isn’t laying it on thick.

“In the mornings, I like to walk to the Capitol Rotunda and just stop and think a minute about what this … really means,” said Simpson, a Georgia College & State University student who is interning during the General Assembly session.

You are *not* thinking that. You are thinking . . . well, I can’t really write what you are thinking because we’re a family site, but it involves use of the word “holy” repeated frequently with lots of four letter words and utter amazement, double timed on mornings with hang overs.

UPDATE: Having gotten a phone call from someone intimately familiar with the inner workings of the internship program, I stand by my initial take. After the first week in awe, it descends rapidly into free booze, hook ups, and sucking up to the legislators, with very, very few exceptions.

UPDATE 2: You pansies should suck it up. Here I was having a little light hearted fun and you all get militant about it. I know how these internships work. The dude in the article may not be one of the intern drunks, but there are more likely than not faaaaarrrrr more of them than there are of him. Good for him, though.

41 comments

  1. Scotlion says:

    Erick,

    “he is not laying it on thick…”

    As an intern working with Daniel, I can attest to the truth of his statement. Despite your stereotyping of all the interns as flabbergasted drunkards, there are quite a few of us who are here because we truly have idealistic perceptions about the role of state government.

    It may be difficult to keep such principled beliefs as our journey into the world of politics continues through the years. Yet, it is my position that we should all endeavour to walk out into the Rotunda every morning and remember what being in this building is all about.

  2. rightofcenter says:

    Any college student who is truly more interested in the idealism of state government than free booze and hook ups will never make it in state government, either as an elected official or as a bureaucrat. And frankly, they shouldn’t.

  3. Bill Hagan says:

    Erick: Do ever think before you write? You clearly don’t know Daniel Simpson. I got to know a lot about Daniel’s character during Mac’s congressional campaign because he volunteered countless hours of his time to support GOP candidates. Unlike the vast majority of college students Daniel does not drink and therefore has never had a hangover. Furthermore I have never heard him use a four letter word. Our nation needs more young people like Daniel. I really can’t understand why you would want to libel someone you know nothing about.

  4. CobbGOPer says:

    So Daniel doesn’t drink or swear? He should be interning with Sadie Fields, not the legislature. Anyone can tell you the fellas at the Capitol are the biggest boozers and womanizers in the state…

    I love how these kids come out of college with such idealistic perceptions of government and power. I admit I was the same way. But once you see the underbelly, and realize how business is really conducted in places like the Capitol, that idealism is thrown completely out the window.

    Those that aren’t so disgusted that they leave politics, well those folks end up being legislators and lobbyists.

  5. Bill Hagan says:

    CobbGOPer: I writing about Daniel not the others in the State Capital. If Erick wants to attack someone’s character then he should know what he’s talking about. Daniel is a man of very strong moral character and I think we are very lucky to have a person like him interested in public service. I one of the biggest cynics on Earth but I know of Daniel’s character first hand. There is no justifiable reason for Erick to have singled him out in this fashion.

  6. Adam Fogle says:

    Cobb,

    You and Erick make damn good points. There’s really no place for idealism in politics and if this kid goes into the arena with such a mentality, he’ll soon be left behind.

    It sounds like Daniel Simpson, if he honestly believes what he said – which I highly doubt because it sounds like total BS – needs to learn this sooner rather than later.

    Let’s hope, for his sake, that it was just a flamboyant attempt to kiss some arse gone awry.

  7. Daniel Simpson says:

    Okay, based on this post, it seems like I swear like a sailor and get trashed every night. It is sad that such stereotypes exist for college students.

    The same personal beliefs I am called to defend in the arena of public policy also dictate other areas of my life. The same Scriptures which call me to not commit murder also instruct me to not be given to strong drink. They instruct me not to forswear myself. Admittedly, I am not perfect. I fail sometimes. However, I strive to maintain the standard.

    Many of my peers (college students in general) consider alcohol and physical relationships the most important thing in their life. They are sorely mistaken. There are some things so important they trump the selfish pleasures of life. Responsibilities like presenting a good example, maintaining your integrity, and working for the betterment of future generations are far more important than self-centered objectives of boozing and womanizing.

  8. Adam Fogle says:

    There is no justifiable reason for Erick to have singled him out in this fashion.

    Sure there is… the kid gave a ridiculous quote to the Macon Telegraph. If you want to get your name in the paper, people are going to criticize you.

    Plus, this is all for his own good.

  9. Erick says:

    wow guys, I was just having a little fun. And I know what these intern programs like. I stand by my characterization, though obviously not everyone involved in them fits the stereotype.

  10. Matt Elder says:

    As a fellow intern and also being quoted in the article, I felt the need to want to chime in. I know Daniel, I go to school with him, and Id consider him a friend of mine. He’s a great guy and your characterization is way off. However I do realize you are trying to just have fun with this, and it is part of what you do to get hits. So keep doing what your doing, I just wanted to vouch for Daniel’s character.

  11. buzzbrockway says:

    These interns even have a facebook club that includes some really wild photos like this one:

    Look at the force he’s using to restrain UGA! Animal abuse!

    Not that I’m complaining. 😉

  12. john.d says:

    Hah, looks like Grand Politics won’t be coming here anytime soon…

    10 bucks to who ever knows who’s Grand Politics I’m talking about…

  13. john.d says:

    That photo was after the shot of tequila uga took off of Daniel’s belly button…

    But, to be serious – what is wrong with idealism? As long as you don’t let it blind you to the way other people play the game… why not play it your way, the way we should all want it to be played? You know, lead by example?

  14. Jas says:

    As a former intern at the Capitol and current employee working down there I stand by Erick’s statement as well.

    Sack up people

  15. Adam Fogle says:

    Uga does look pretty hosed in that picture. Are you sure there’s nothing you want to tell us Daniel?

    Crazy interns.

    But kudos to Daniel for being a good sport. We bloggers can be vicious; too vicious for our own good sometimes.

  16. Scotlion says:

    john d.

    the “Grand Politics” of my favorite nihilist Nietzsche?

    If that is incorrect then I will blame it on my insobriety. As a intern I am obviously boozed up and thinking about nothing but women…

    It is is correct then tell me where to pick up my 10 bucks 🙂

  17. DougieFresh says:

    Adam,

    Do you believe “There’s really no place for idealism in politics “?

    If so, I am sorry that you are working for Republican candidates. If that is the view held by Republican staff, that may be the reason, I have been so disgusted with them in recent years.

    Blind idealism is bad, but the total lack of idealism is worse.

    Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America” was idealism. It helped lead the Republicans to a majority in the house for the first time in 40 years. Today’s current meandering cynicism gave that majority back to the Dems.

  18. GAWire says:

    Erick, you should be ashamed of yourself. I thought we were friends and then you go criticizing interns … interns in the GA State Legislature no less!!!! I don’t even know what to say. I was under the impression that interning is the true heart of the policy making process, and not merely free labor in exchange for a resume builder. I know when I interned on The Hill, the pride I felt from opening mail, answering phones, entering data, and giving tours of the Capitol was an experience that I am sure can only be compared to actually serving in office. The policy I impacted and the lives I saved makes me drive forward everyday. Sure, there were drinkers around, but I was underage, so I couldn’t participate (maybe “couldn’t” isn’t the word I’m looking for there). Besides, I was too busy writing legislation and feeling all warm inside to be worried about drinking and playing softball on the Lawn. I’m sure it is the same for interns in the General Assembly. The stuff those kids put on the line everyday … well, all I can say is that I’m not afraid to admit I’m tearing up a little. Interns and College Republicans will be this country’s savior, mark my words!

    You make me sick! As punishment for your blasphemy and disregard for our nation’s leaders (i.e. interns), I think we should make you sit in the Rotunda and line up every intern and let them explain to you the pride and importance that is truly associated with being an intern.

    That’ll show ya …

  19. GAWire says:

    Oh and one more thing …

    I want my boy Jeff Emanuel to take notice of this too … serving/fighting in war is so 2004.

    Interning is the new Special Ops!

  20. Briardawg says:

    Shame on you Erick!
    The blogging world has no place for poking fun at over-the-top cheesy statements, and it certainly is no place for articluating opinions based from traditional fact and standard knowledge.

    How could you sink so low?

  21. Know Nothing says:

    If you think the interns at the State Capital are drunkards, just go to the Hawk and Dove on Pennsylvania Avenue during happy hour during the summer.

  22. gwinnettisgreat says:

    Half the fun of being an intern is working your ass off all day for pennies and then drinking those pennies away at night with other underpaid interns.

  23. Scotlion says:

    Heres the deal bottom line…

    The original comments by Erick was directed at Daniel and presumed to speak for what that particular young intern was thinking.

    Sure it was in jest (to some degree) and sure it is based on a fairly accurate stereotype of interns across the board.

    However, it is not cool to put words in someone elses mouth, particularly when you don’t know them. If the original blog had been more broad in its scope, I wouldn’t have taken issue with it. It was the personal hit on a guy I know that made me wanna write my first comment.

    As for the comments of GA Wire…its not free labor, we’re paid (thanks for your tax contribution towards my check)…additionally many of us ARE doing important work assisting the legislators. A number of the legislators have expresssed (most sincerely) that we have a significant role in helping the General Assembly function during session.

    As for all of those who feel that statements like Daniel’s are over the top or too fluffy…I am sorry that you are so pragmatic that you have misplaced any of the nobility that hopefully once rested in your breast.

    Simply because politics is generally a dirty and immoral practice does not mean that we should not strive to uphold a stronger standard of decency and ethics. It is no wonder that so many Americans don’t vote because they feel the entire system is corrupt. With the mentality that so many have espoused above, it is understandable that the public distrusts their elected officials.

    I may not make it far in this game because I won’t compromise my values, but that won’t stop me (and many others) from trying. Hoepfully, one day we will have a less nefarious political process. Young men like Daniel are a step in the right direction.

  24. GAWire says:

    Hey junior … the point is, if you want to work in politics, you better be ready to take some sh&t and laugh at yourself.

    In politics, if you can make it to breakfast without being humbled by someone, then it is a good day.

    I think Erick’s point was something like this: Chill out and loosen up … there’s plenty of time to be a tight-a** when you are doing real work.

  25. Brian from Ellijay says:

    Why can’t we do all of the above? Idealism, booze, hookups, it all goes hand in hand…right?

  26. Ben Marshall says:

    Wow. Get off your damn high pedastals. Erick stereotyping a program he never participated in and doesn’t know anything about, then you have others who are older and giving a bunch of hell to 20 year olds. Look, just because the rest of you are old and jaded – GAWire and Adam Fogle -doesn’t mean you need to ruin it for them. Let them have their internship, their experience in being a part of the legislature, and getting a free beer at the end of the night, without you jaded fools acting like you are so high and mighty above them because you are older and claim to know more.

  27. Burdell says:

    My internship at the Capitol certianly opened my eyes. I’m certainly more cynical about government now than I was before (I used to have similar views to those expressed by Daniel in the article).

    But this disillusionment brings to mind a quote that is well worth remembering among us jaded older-types:

    “While good men sit at home, not knowing that there is anything to be done, not caring to know; cultivating a feeling that politics are tiresome and dirty, and politicians vulgar bullies and bravoes; half persuaded that a republic is the contemptable rule of a mob, and secretly longing for a splended and vigorous despotism—then remember it is not a government mastered by ignorance, it is a government betrayed by intelligence.”
    ~George William Curtis

  28. Edward says:

    As a college professor who had the honor to have Daniel in two of my history classes I can attest that he is intelligent, a man of good character, and and an outstanding asset to any organization. It is also quite true that politics is rough and tumble and you need thick skin to endure the attacks. This blog is a perfect example of a statement being interpretted in the worst possible way and used to mock a innocent person. Daniel will learn the lesson and still remain true to his ideals and be a better man than his detractors can ever hope to be.

  29. Walt-G says:

    awww, were you old farts made fun of in high school? It’s ok, we young interns understand that some people are not privledged enough to intern at the state capital. And you get get paid to make fun of 20 year olds? Wow, you have come far in your career endeavors. Where can I sign up? Actually, I’ll keep my internship. You know, meeting powerful people, working on legislation, building a resume… Let me know if you guys want me to put in a word for ya. I’ll see what I can do.

  30. Romegaguy says:

    So whose job is it to tell Rep O’Neil that he passing a law that will only help out one of his clients?

  31. Demonbeck says:

    “Many of my peers (college students in general) consider alcohol and physical relationships the most important thing in their life. They are sorely mistaken. There are some things so important they trump the selfish pleasures of life. Responsibilities like presenting a good example, maintaining your integrity, and working for the betterment of future generations are far more important than self-centered objectives of boozing and womanizing.”

    What kind of Bizarro World are you from?

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