As I watched Lindsey Graham roll up his sleeve, the needle piercing his pasty, floppy upper arm meat, I seethed. Same for Marco Rubio, who managed to look smug from behind a mask as his Covid 19 vaccine was administered. Mike Pence emerged from his usual hiding place in the hindquarters of his boss to receive the potentially life-saving vaccine and, grinning soullessly, pronounced it didn’t give him an owie.
One after another, Republicans lined up, masks in place, to receive the vaccine for a pandemic they downplayed and denied while regular folks kept on, dammit, dying. Oh, if they would just stop dying! These same Republicans hosted super spreader parties in Jesus’ name and pretended it would all go away. To do anything else might have earned a lambasting from the, er, head baster himself. It was that simple. And that deadly.
As I write this, four days before Christmas, my daughter, who teaches kindergarten in a high-poverty school, is home and marinating in her own case of Covid 19, locked down in a room she will not leave for one week. She has no appetite. No energy. But you know what she’s doing? She’s TEACHING HER CLASS. From downstairs, I can just make out her dutifully drilling 5-year-old’s on sounding out words, telling time and discussing types of clouds. I am gobsmacked by the cheer in her voice, the patience and calm, the forced energy she doesn’t feel. The kids, Zooming from their homes and daycares nearly four hours away, have no idea anything’s wrong.
It goes without saying she is lucky to be able to continue to work without infecting others. So many have no choice in the matter because they have to pay for basic stuff like housing and food.
Unlike the kindergarten students, Republican members of Congress knew perfectly well something was very wrong and chose to do nothing. No. Check that. They chose to make a terrible situation far worse by pretending (A) it wasn’t happening and the liberal media made it up (B) OK, it’s real but it’s not that bad unless you’re very old and sick anyway and, finally, when even that dog curled up in front of the fire and refused to hunt, pivoted to (C) OK, it’s bad but there’s nothing we could’ve done, and masks are for wussy liberals with critical thinking skills.
Not one single member of Congress—Dems included– should have gotten the vaccine until every first responder, front line worker, at-risk senior and teacher got it. As for those Congressional Republicans now embracing mask-wearing, social distancing and handwashing? Well, I’d like to enthusiastically invite them to do to themselves that which is anatomically impossible.
Ironically, after tolerating Trump’s hateful demonizing of the scientists and epidemiologists saving our collective bacon, Mitch McConnell (R-eptile-Ky.) was happy to be vaccinated.
Truth is, after taking months, MONTHS, to come up with an aid package for suffering American families and businesses, Congress doesn’t deserve to cut the line. Even a 5-year-old would know that.
Celia Rivenbark is much nicer in person.