12/02/2010 04:58 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Ousted Legislators Sent To Gloomy Basement 'Cubicle City'

WASHINGTON — Ben Smith has an item up about the sad state that outgoing members of Congress have been reduced to as they are ousted from their posh offices and await their eventual departure from Capitol Hill. Apparently, they've all been moved to a basement "warren" called "Cubicle City," where the conditions are cramped and crowded and despairing, like life on board the Battlestar Galactica:

"We have 82 members who do not have an office," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). "We have 82 members who are operating out of a little cubicle.... That's a terrible situation to have members in, and I don't like it."

And while nobody seems to be throwing fits about missing red Swingline staplers, the basement bullpen is quite a comedown for some of the most powerful members of Congress, who virtually overnight went from comfortable congressional veterans to homeless on the Hill.

Actually, this sounds like they're getting to experience what it's like to work inside the General Services Administration building where people who just had their wages frozen shuttle down hallways and contend with 1950's-era filing systems in the sub-basements.

Still, as Smith points out, the flickerings of some sort of primitive nation-state has lit up this gloomy dungeon abode of former legislative titans. Today, votes will be cast for the "Mayor of Cubicle City." The contest is between Lauren Oppenheimer, the legislative director for the outgoing Senator Paul Hodes, and someone named "Commander Jeff Siegel," who I think staffed outgoing Representative Michael McMahon. Whoever wins will do stuff like "Advocate for amenities that will ease the transition between Members and their staff. (For example, can we get some coffee and candy in here?)"

Eventually, we will reduce the deficit by moving all of the actual elected Representatives to Cubicle City and turning the network of offices into a Creationist Theme Park, so say we all.

An election in the basement [Ben Smith @ Politico]

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