The race, gender, and religions of the 114th Congress don't look like America. So what?
Philip Bump of the Washington Post must be depressed because of the composition by party of the 114th Congress, which opens today. And so, instead of informing us of the Republican and Democratic numbers, he informs us that "[t]he new Congress is 80 percent white, 80 percent male and 92 percent Christian."
The 114th Congress, which gets to "work" on Tuesday, is one of the most diverse in American history, comprised of nearly 20 percent women and just over 17 percent of which is non-white. Which means, of course, that four out of five members of Congress are white and four out of five are men. Ergo, given the name of a member of Congress (at random: Oregon GOP Rep. Greg Walden), you can probably guess his or her gender and race.
Um, isn't that profiling?
Congress is nearly as unrepresentative on race and gender. More than half of the population is female; white non-Hispanics are about 63 percent of the population. Congress is starting to look more like the rest of the country, in other words -- but the 114th Congress won't look much like it at all.
Well, since he puts it that way, Congress is also unrepresentative on age – there are no members of Congress under the age of 25. There is no mention whether the percentage of left-handed members is the same as the general population. And what about members' education and prior employment? How many were lawyers, teachers, farmers, hamburger flippers, postal employees, computer programmers, or bus drivers, and do these numbers match the general population? And let's not get into the metadata – is the percentage of white, left-handed postal employees in Congress the same as the general population? If not, does this mean Congress doesn't "look like the rest of the country" and is therefore unrepresentative?
And what happens when, given the information that a member of Congress is a black woman, you can probably guess her politics, stating confidently that she is a Democrat and for, oh, Obamacare? Well, if you guessed Mia Love, you are wrong; she is a black Mormon Republican who is opposed to Obamacare.
Bump doesn't bother with these and other identifiers and anomalies. Maybe they're not important to him, a white, male, educated Washington Post employee who is not representative of the country, but they might be of interest to others. And then again, they might not.