An observation on the second to last day of my internship in Minority Leader John Boehner's office- When I first began in August I received a red identification badge. I was told it basically grants me access to run around The Capital building and Senate/House office building. Cool. Little did I know, this red staffer I.D. would actually open a number of unexpected doors. This token of entitlement allowed me to enter the floor galleries at my own convenience, sit in on hearings and other legislative meetings, observe press conferences (and consequently appear on C-SPAN), and most the most lucrative opportunity of all, to shmooze and wine & dine with lobbyists during receptions who don't know your an intern, and take you for a staffer. All in all, great ways to spend your day as an intern.
But on the eve of the revocation of my little red badge, I come to realize all these opportunities I have been so hungrily taking advantage of, have left me with some pervasive sense of entitlement. After all, the majority of the things I attended, the average citizen could attend as well after passing through a simple security check. Until one becomes a member, they really aren't being exposed to anything exceptionally special and for the most part, this "cult of exclusivity" exists only in the minds of staffers eager to sustain a hefty ego. So long Capital hill, I look forward to further encounters in the future.