Irony has been dead for quite some time and we miss her, but Lady Karma has stepped up in her place. Texas Congressman and anti-masker Louie Gohmert has tested positive for COVID-19 and so that throws the kabash on his plans to accompany Donald Trump on his trip to Texas. Plus, as an extra added bonus, Bill Barr will now be tested for coronavirus, because he was paling around with Gohmert in the hall before they went into the congressional hearing.
ACTUALLY… here is a video of AG Barr and Gohmert.
While Barr arrived with a mask, it was off when he walked into the hearing room, so both men were not wearing masks at this time. pic.twitter.com/xm6wuq6QvW
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) July 29, 2020
My criminal law professor described the difference between negligence, gross negligence and criminal negligence thusly: “It’s the difference between being a fool, a damn fool and a goddamn fool.” Gohmert is the third category of fool, flying blindly in the face of catastrophe, somehow believing himself to be omnipotent. The virus can never touch him, the voices in his head tell him. And he’s not the only GOPer in the House that is flagrantly irresponsible. Jerry Nadler had to correct a few others at Tuesday’s hearing. Politico:
“I would remind Mr. Jordan, Mr. Biggs and Mr. Johnson to stop violating the rules of the committee,” Nadler said, referring to Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs and Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson, three GOP lawmakers. “To stop violating the safety of the members of the committee. To stop holding themselves out as not caring by refusing to wear their masks.”
“Is it permissible to drink a sip of coffee?” one of the members asked.
“It is not permissible,” replied Nadler.
In a tweet, Nadler wrote, “I want to wish @replouiegohmert a full & speedy recovery. When individuals refuse to take the necessary precautions it puts everyone at risk. I’ve regularly instructed all Members to wear their masks and hope this is a lesson by all my colleagues.”
This will only exacerbate Trump’s arrival in Texas. The Editorial Board of the Houston Chronicle has a few choice words for him, as he wings his way to Texas.
“When you visited Dallas back on June 11, Texas was leading the stampede to reopen for business, spurred on by Gov. Greg Abbott’s aggressive plans and your administration’s false assurances that the outbreaks were ‘under control/ At the time, the United States had reported a little more than 2 million confirmed cases and almost 114,000 deaths. Texas was reporting about 85,000 cases and 2,000 deaths. Seven weeks later, as Air Force One descends on the Lone Star State, the United States has more than 4 million cases. America is closing in on 150,000 dead — nearly the population of Midland.”
“One important thing you could do on your visit, Mr. President, is to make an unequivocal commitment to improved testing, social-distancing and getting your followers in the Republican Party to give up their rebellion to Gov. Abbott’s face-mask order,” the Board writes. “We are almost certain you won’t, but that would be a good start to something resembling leadership.”
Once again in the Trump administration, the bar has been lowered. Texans aren’t asking for leadership, they’ll settle for “something resembling” it. Well, at least they’re grounded in reality, making minimal and modest demands. Got to give them that much. And they also tell Trump not to take the state for granted. Very sobering when the jewel in the Republican crown, bright red Texas, 38 electoral votes, count ’em, tells a sitting GOP president* to not take the state for granted. This is a case of first impression, so far as I know. Could it be that the perennial wet dream of the Democratic party will come true and Texas will flip blue in November? Oh, be still my beating heart.