Republicans in Congress are stamping their feet and saying they want to go home from the pandemic

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Republican congressman Chip Roy rages over face masks (CSPAN)
Republican congressman Chip Roy rages over face masks (CSPAN)

A face mask requirement has returned to the House of Representatives this week in the face of rising Covid rates due to the delta variant, and Republicans have proven themselves to be just as incapable of regulating their emotions as the next class of kindergarteners. Lauren Boebert of Colorado — always good quality during a medical crisis — was reported to have represented her constituents by throwing a mask at a Democratic staffer who offered her one. She tweeted about refusing a “face muzzle” a few hours later, which isn’t just offensive to people simply trying to keep her safe but also offensively tautological.

Chip Roy of Texas delivered a speech on the House floor in which he complained that he was “sick and tired of this, and so are the American people”. Basic public health moves like masking up in Congress during the spread of a highly contagious variant is “an embarrassment, a mockery,” he added. Well, if Chip is tired of the pandemic, why didn’t he say so earlier! Let’s wrap this whole thing up and sorry if anyone else got a little annoyed while we tried to do a nice thing. Here I was enjoying the extra pizzazz dodging a widely circulating deadly disease gives my social life — especially when I see my parents! — but I understand it’s not everyone’s cup of Joe, so I’ll call Nancy Pelosi and Bill Gates and the pedophile guys who run my favorite pizza joint right now and tell them to knock it off.

“This institution is a sham. And we should adjourn and shut this place down,” Roy continued, which does sound a little bit like a Capitol insurrectionist but I’m sure he didn’t mean it that way.

Lucky the sensible Grand Old Party is providing hard-headed, well-needed commentary at times like these, otherwise those bleeding-heart liberals would get carried away again with their science and their vaccines and their letting people vote no matter what skin color they have and their not believing a covert entity called Q is secretly running the world, possibly with lizards. What we’re seeing from Republicans at the moment makes me really sad we stole that election from them.

For instance, Byron Donalds of Florida told reporters that he wasn’t vaccinated and didn’t want to wear a mask because “the rule is stupid”. That’s some Abraham Lincoln-level speechifying right there, isn’t it? As he said it, I’m reliably informed a bald eagle with the Stars and Stripes draped over its wings and a little hat that said “I

Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia — whose scientific knowledge has in the recent past been proven to extend so far as to believe that contraception is a form of abortion — answered a reporter’s question on the House floor about whether she planned to follow the new mandate with, “Do you see a mask on my face? There’s your answer.” (Reader, there was no mask on her face.)

And Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy thinks that the recommendation to wear masks in the workplace during a pandemic is due to Democrats’ desire to “keep you living in fear”. Fear of what, you might ask? Fear of the circulating illness so you act responsibly toward your fellow citizens? No, dummy! Just fear. You know, Democrat fear. That fear they love because…. something. Anyway, guns.

Much ink has been spilled — not least in minor and unimportant documents like the Constitution — on the need for government to hold itself to the highest standards, to provide a responsible example for the people, and to protect and serve its constituents while making sure democracy holds. Many words have been said inside and outside those hallowed halls in Washington DC about the importance of personal integrity; of leadership in a crisis; of sacrifice for one’s fellow citizens, whether that sacrifice comes in the form of years of grueling military service or wearing a thin piece of material over one’s mouth and nose for a couple of hours a day in the workplace. Once, Americans were called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice in the name of defeating Nazism; now, it’s best not to upset the neo-Nazis too much because those very fine people might be casting deciding votes in the midterms.

You don’t need me to tell you that Republicans are acting like very dangerous, malevolent children with a can of petrol in one hand and a lit match in the other. But perhaps they should consider, at the very least, that their unvaccinated fans are at most risk from the delta variant right now. Perhaps they also should consider, in the words of that great Republican president Ronald Reagan, whether “we can work to build a state where liberty under law and justice can triumph, where compassion can govern and wherein the people can participate and prosper because of their government and not in spite of it.”

Then again, that was decades ago, and what does he know anyway?

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