After about a month in control of the House of Representatives, Republicans haven’t managed to undo as many deeds of their Democratic predecessors as they’d like. They couldn’t get rid of “Obamacare,” and they haven’t made much headway in slashing the president’s $4-trillion budget. But the GOP has succeeded in short order in one critically important venture: getting rid of the “compostable” cornstarch-based knives, forks and spoons that were a universally — and bipartisanly — hated feature of the House cafeteria operation.
The tableware, the color of mucus and as bendable as a pocket watch in a Salvador Dali painting (and thus unable to pierce any foodstuff firmer than the innards of Brie cheese), was the most visible manifestation of recently deposed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Green the Capitol initiative. That was her carbon-cutting effort to use the food-service and other House operations to fight global warming and a host of other perceived environmental, health and social ills. During the lunchtime rush, you could observe dozens of staffers struggling to stab lettuce leaves and poultry pieces with fork tines that appeared to be double-jointed as well as dull.
But on Jan. 25, Dan Lungren, the GOP congressman from the Sacramento area who now heads the House Administration Committee, directed the House chief administrative officer to trash — so to speak — the composting program, which converts the dining service’s cornstarch tableware, along with its biodegradable plates, trays, cups and drinking straws, into garden mulch.