It's a cliche: the frighteningly out-of-touch congressman, too old and removed from the world to form legislation that could help it. But it's also real life, and watching Rep. John Carter of Texas try to grapple with computer security is funny until it's scary and sad.
Carter is the Chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee*, which is supposed to be an important position with a great deal of responsibility and influence. In 2015, it should be a given that securing the homeland probably means having to deal with computers. But at a recent hearing on the FBI's 2016 budget, it's not clear Carter even possesses the vocabulary to talk about computers, let alone the perspective to legislate around them: "Sah-ber's (ed note: Texan for "cyber's") just pounding me from every direction," he laments. "I don't know anything about this stuff." Which is a problem, since he's running a Congressional subcommittee on Homeland Security.
*Correction: This post originally stated that Carter is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Homeland Security, not the Chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.