Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 1, 2014

Fictional Franchise: Mean-Girls Edition

In HOH’s latest edition of Fictional Franchise — fictional characters and the real people who represent them in Congress — we take on the great villainesses of movies, television and literature.

The tools for misery runs the spectrum, from killing animals to bearing false witness to child abuse.

As for the series, the rules go like this: We decide where a fictional character lives and then look up who represents them in the House. (Learn more here.)

Whether it is physical or psychological torment, these girls got it going on.

Regina George (Rachel McAdams) 
“Mean Girls”
Evanston, Ill., Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky

We all had a Regina George in high school. She embodies the term “mean girl” and for good reason. Tina Fey based her screenplay on the book “Queen Bees and Wannabes” by Rosalind Wiseman that profiles the behaviors of teenage female non-violent psychopaths.

“She lives in Evanston and though the movie doesn’t specify where exactly, given the size of her house and her lifestyle she’s likely up north, closer to the border of Wilmette, and east, closer to [Lake Michigan],” CQ Roll Call reporter and Wilmette-native Meredith Shiner said.

Update | Schakowsky offered this comment on Regina:

Joan Crawford (Faye Dunaway) 
“Mommie Dearest”
Brentwood, Los Angeles, Democratic Rep. Henry A. Waxman

So what if Joan Crawford is not fictional? Let’s all say it together …

Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) 
“Fatal Attraction”
Greenwich Village, New York City, Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler

Alex will not be ignored in this series.

Michael Douglas’ fatal attraction lives on the northern edge of Greenwich Village, according to imdb.com. We told you Nadler would be back.

For the second time in this series, we’ll take the opportunity to invoke Antoine Dodson: Hide your kids. Hide your wife.

And your bunnies.

Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft)
“The Graduate,”
Pasadena, Calif., Democratic Rep. Judy Chu

Hello, darkness, my old friend.

Is Mrs. Robinson a predator or a protective mother? We have seen this movie about a thousand times and still don’t know the answer to that question. But we can feel confident about this: As the original cougar, Mrs. Robinson rocks the animal print like Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., rocks the mint green.

Just whatever you do, don’t call her bluff:

Charles Webb, the author of the novel the movie was based on, grew up in Pasadena and gossip swirled around town for decades that the Robinsons and Braddocks were real families, according to LA Weekly.

The rumors even inspired a sort-of sequel starring Jennifer Aniston called “Rumor Has It.”

So what if Mrs. R. drinks too much hard liquor, has an affair with the boy next door, destroys her own family, swears in church and slaps Elaine across the face?

Jesus loves her more than you will know. And so do we.

Amanda Woodward (Heather Locklear)
“Melrose Place”

Los Angeles, Democratic Rep. Adam B. Schiff

She owned Melrose Place. Literally.

For a certain generation, the world stopped on Monday nights with “Melrose.” It was not always that way — but when Heather Locklear joined the show as Amanda, everything changed.

Although Amanda had her compassionate moments, watching her psychological torture of subordinate Allison was Spelling TV gold.

Nellie Oleson (Alison Arngrim) 
“On the Banks of Plum Creek,” by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Walnut Grove, Minn., Democratic Rep. Collin C. Peterson

It should be Little Hellion on the Prairie. Pretty much everything about the Ingalls’ time at Walnut Grove was miserable — a grasshopper plague, unemployment, blizzards. But Nellie was just the absolute worst.

Michael Landon took Nellie to a new level of cultural awareness in the “Little House on the Prairie” television series.

And yet, as gifted storytellers as Wilder and Landon were, only Joan Jett can truly articulate our feelings about Nellie:

Update | The actress who played Nellie, Arngrim, found and reacted to Nellie’s classification as a Mean Girl: “I am deeply honored,” she tweeted of our story.

Abigail Williams
“The Crucible”
Salem, Mass., Democratic Rep. John F. Tierney

She was a McCarthy-ite 260 years before it was cool.

Wire hangers, burn books and boiled bunnies have nothing on this meanest of mean girl: the teenager who went around her 17th century town accusing everyone of being a witch — a fatal charge.

Nineteen people and two dogs were executed as a result of the real Abigail’s actions, according to SparkNotes.

Miller wrote his masterpiece as a protest against Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wis., and his reputation-destroying anti-Communist hunt.

In the process, he took dramatic license with Abigail. His version re-imagined the real-life Abigail as a composite of characters from the trials.

Since the play debuted, it is not unusual to see a soap opera villainess pop up named Abby or Abigail.

Thanks, Arthur. Thanks a lot.

Check out our previous installments of this series:

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