During a recent appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience, former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard spoke about her time in Congress and compared the dynamic to high school.
"This place is like high school," she recalled telling her family, as seen in a YouTube clip of the appearance.
"Even on the House floor that is the only time that we're all together — usually for votes — and you've got everybody, all 435 members there, and you see the little cliques gathering in their designated corners like the cafeteria tables."Gabbard said that some cliques would give the "mean girl side-eye" to other groups for associating with certain people around the room.
"I mean it's funny but it's so terrible when you understand that this is the power base for decision making in our country."Elsewhere, in 2019, former Rep. Max Rose jokingly compared Congress to high school when describing his time in the lower chamber, Politico reported.
According to Gabbard, this dynamic is created because people often vote for candidates due to superficial reasons such as their appearance, their political ads, and how well they speak. The former Democratic presidential candidate said that candidates should instead be selected based on their qualifications for the job and judgment.
"The power is in our hands, ultimately, in how we're making decisions, in choosing who gets to work for us," she said of voters and their ability to change this dynamic.
As reported by Politico, Gabbard announced in 2019 that she would not be seeking re-election to Congress — she held her seat since 2013 — during her bid for the presidency. Per The Hill, Hawaii state Sen. Kai Kahele won the election to replace Gabbard by defeating Republican Joe Akana.
Gabbard previously stirred the pot when she resigned as vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee due to what she perceived as bias against then-presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. She ultimately endorsed him over Hillary Clinton, who went on to secure the nomination and would later accuse the former lawmaker of being groomed by Russia.
Former Michigan Rep. Justin Amash has made similar criticisms of the legislative process and frequently taken aim at the American two-party system.
"Congress has become an elaborate form of performance art," he tweeted in June of last year.
Amash also claimed in December of last year that lawmakers are unaware of who is writing legislation. As The Inquisitr reported, he argued for a future legislative process that ensures leaders are nonpartisan and consistently enforces its rules.