July 31, 2020

I'm pleased to announce here that I have proposed to Rep. Jamie Raskin via Twitter. He has not responded, but I'm certain an affirmative answer will be coming soon. Before the happy nuptials, though, allow me to explain — both to you, and my husband and children.

Today in a House hearing, Jim Jordan, resident GOP screecher and sphincter-clencher extraordinaire, badgered the panel before him, which was made up of top members of the White House coronavirus response team, including Dr. Anthony Fauci. Jordan focused on Fauci, attempting to get him to admit that Black Lives Matter protests were dangerous, protesters should be arrested, and that it was patently unfair that governors had the ability to shut down churches while allowing protests to continue.

Dr. Fauci did not cave, stood his ground on the dangers of gathering indoors without masks or distancing, and refused to opine on whether protesters should be arrested, for f*ck's sake. That is not his job, nor is it why he was there.

My future husband, Rep. Raskin had the final round of time to question the panel (Admiral Giroir had left by then) and he took the time to absolutely destroy the substance of Jordan's arguments, such as they were.

REP. RASKIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. If you're trying to still figure out why the administration and our Republican colleagues cannot formulate a plan of action, look no further than the disgraceful diversions and distractions of some of our colleagues today. I want to address the First Amendment line of questioning first our distinguished colleague from Ohio keeps raising, for some reason, the Supreme Court decision in South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newton, which rejected his position just about six weeks ago in a 5-4 decision. There, a church said that the restrictions limiting the number of people who could go to church to 100 were perfectly constitutional because that was the exact same rule that applied to lectures, concerts, movies, spectator sports, theatrical performances, political party gatherings and so on. In other words, there was no religious discrimination taking place, which is why the Supreme Court rejected the claim, and there is no religious free exercise exemption to public health orders, as you were indicating, I think, Dr. Fauci. So the parties in the case cited numerous cases of church gatherings with people unmasked, singing, chanting, and so on, that became super-spreader events. There is no religious immunity to this disease and there is no free exercise exemption to universal public health orders.

In all honesty, what is Jim Jordan's purpose? Does he ever propose legislation? Is he there solely as a smokescreen and/or irritant? His arguments are so easily disproven, does he think being a fast-talker and a yeller makes them harder to take apart? They aren't - my fiancé just proved that in the span of 90 seconds. What is the point of Jordan's existence, well, anywhere?

Then Rep. Raskin (to you) went all in, bringing up the disgusting lack of federal response to the right-wing pseudo militia boys playing GI Joe and Nazi in Michigan, as compared to AG Bill Barr's illegal kidnapping and abuse of peaceful protesters in Oregon.

Now, as for protests, let us not confuse the issue. Whether your protest is a right wing protest like Boogaloo or Proud Boys and anti-public health order protesters like the ones who threatened the life of Governor Whitmer, and tried to shut down the Michigan legislature, and succeeded in doing so, or it's the non-violent assemblies of millions of people with Black Lives Matter across the country, the kind endorsed by our late, beloved colleague, John Lewis, the champion of non-violence, the same rules must apply. If a jurisdiction has a six-foot rule, and a masking rule, which I assume and hope every one of them does, it applies equally to everybody. And the preliminary results suggest, and I know because i've been to a lot of the Black Lives Matter protests, is people are not getting infected there as much because they are observing those rules. Obviously, when you go to an anti-public-health-order, anti-masking protest like the ones that shut down the legislature in Michigan, most people are not wearing masks and are not observing the public health protocols they've come to try to destroy

If you're really concerned about people getting sick at protests, and we should be, then we have to look at the use of tear gas and pepper spray. Everybody saw the secret federal officers who were assembled by Attorney General Barr in Oregon remove the mask of a naval veteran and spray pepper spray right in his face. That's extremely dangerous, to remove someone's mask and then to have them sneezing and coughing, and so on. So it's the use of those chemical irritants I think which is the real danger.

Finally, he ended talking about the Vanity Fair article that exposed the fact that the White House actually DID have a national strategy for fighting this pandemic, but abandoned it because they believed it would only sicken people in the blue states. And who needs Democrats, anyhow? They viewed as a bonus that when things went badly in those states, the Democratic governors would get the blame.

Rep. Raskin used his time masterfully. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go get my ring sized.

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