Garrett Epps wrote a blistering article for the Washington Monthly yesterday that led with my favorite John Kerry tweet of all time. (Seriously, John Kerry? Whodathunk?)
On March 27 of last year, Kerry wrote:
Breaking news: Congressman Massie has tested positive for being an asshole.
Breaking news: Congressman Massie has tested positive for being an asshole. He must be quarantined to prevent the spread of his massive stupidity. He's given new meaning to the term #Masshole. (Finally, something the president and I can agree on!) https://t.co/N1CNLPsZjc
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) March 27, 2020
The “let’s not offend anyone” mushmouth that derailed Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign has long since disappeared. So, why was Massie an asshole in March 2020? Who cares? (He was holding up the coronavirus relief bill, of course, like any self-respecting asshole would.) He’s still an asshole today, and now a potentially lethal one.
Massie (R-Dipshit) is one of a number of idiotic House members who demand the “right” to carry firearms onto the House floor. The other day, after Speaker Pelosi had metal detectors placed at the doors to the House chambers, Massie just stormed right through them carrying — well, we don’t know what he was carrying. A pistol, maybe. Extra ammo clips in his jockstrap, perhaps. A backup derringer in his — you get the idea.
Massie says the Founding Fathers gave him the inalienable right to carry whatever kind of firearm he desires onto the House floor. He told the Murdoch-owned New York Post that preventing assholes like himself from carrying weapons onto the floor of the House chamber violates
the part [of the Constitution] that says you can’t be stopped coming or going, you can’t be detained coming or going from the House. It just says that, very specifically.
Actually, it doesn’t say that at all. Surprise.
Murder moppet Lauren Boebert (R-Sedition), who may be one of the Congressional members who told the January 6 insurrectionists how to find the House members hiding from them, also insists she has the unfettered right to come onto the floor of the House packing heat:
The metal detector policy for the House floor is unnecessary, unconstitutional, and endangers members.
Not sure how letting Spree Killer Barbie on the floor of the House with her Glock doesn’t endanger members.
Add Louis Gohmert (R-Kill Em All), who is fighting for the title of America’s Dumbest Congressperson against a raft of new contestants such as Boebert, to the mix of murderous Republicans who want to drag their gats into House deliberations. He said:
Article 1, Section 6 of the U.S. Constitution contains specific language prohibiting Members of Congress from being impeded on the way to a session of the House or to a vote.
Imagine the hours Gohmert must have spent in front of the mirror, practicing saying, and remembering, the words “Article 1, Section 6” over and over again.
Epps, however, knows more about the Constitution than the entire Chucky Caucus combined. He wrote:
The idea that the police cannot stop—or arrest—Members of Congress on their way to or from the chamber is widely held. It is based on Article I, Section 6, Clause 1, which provides that members “shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective houses, and in going to and returning from the same.”
It surely does say that. But it doesn’t mean that if Gohmert decides to stomp his way into the House chamber carrying an axe and a sign around his neck reading “IMMA CUT A BITCH TODAY” that he can’t be impeded. He may think that. He also thinks injecting bleach into the lungs cures COVID-19.
Those who have an actual understanding of the Constitution, such as Epps, who moonlights as a professor of law at the University of Baltimore, says Gohmert, Boebert and the rest of the Street Sweeper Caucus don’t know what the blithering fuck they’re talking about. In fact, they have it precisely backwards.
[T]he language is the Framers’ roundabout way of saying that members are liable to arrest on any criminal charge. The “privilege” clause protects them only from arrest in civil lawsuits. In the 1908 case of a House member arrested for land fraud, the Supreme Court examined legal authorities stretching from Elizabethan England to Justice Joseph Story, and explained that the “exception” from immunity from arrest—“treason, felony and breach of the peace”—in fact, means any criminal law: “[t]he privilege of immunity extends to civil arrests only and does not apply to any indictable offense.”
Example six million, nine thousand and three of Republican morons insisting that the Constitution says something it absolutely does not.
If Massie, or Gohmert, or the Murder Moppet, or any of them try to carry an unlicensed firearm on their way to the Capitol or on their way to their D.C. home, they can be arrested by the D.C. Police. If they try to shove past, or around, or through the metal detectors on their “Constitutionally sanctified” way to the House chambers, they can be arrested by the Capitol Police. Guns can be, and are, banned on the House floor. And it is a federal offense to carry a weapon into the Capitol building — with one exception. Congressional members can carry a firearm into the Capitol “in the lawful discharge of [their] official duties.” Not sure how a Congresscritter would use a pistol to discharge their lawful duties, unless discharging a bullet into a Democrat’s head is part of their official duties. (Massie and the others might well try to make that argument.)
Epps also wrote:
And, for that matter, some members—I won’t mention Josh Hawley or Ted Cruz—might want to remember that it’s a crime to “conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States . . , or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States.”
No guns in chambers, assholes.