After 9/11 the spirit of the country gradually improved. After 1/6 the opposite has occurred.

We think Josh Hawley or Ted Cruz or Donald Trump will resign in disgrace? Wouldn’t they have to comprehend disgrace to do that?


For anyone who thinks Trump and his cohorts will soon be owning up to last Wednesday’s terrorist attack on the Capitol, here’s a little anecdote that will reduce your expectations.


During the assault, when Democrats and Republicans were huddled together in close quarters and thousands of criminals were roaming at will in and around the Capitol, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, a Delaware Democrat, offered masks to those without them. Some accepted, but a little cadre of people refused: Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin, Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry, Texas Rep. Michael Cloud, and California Rep. Doug LaMalfa remained unmasked and gathered closely together.


Later Greene’s office responded to criticism by saying that she was "a healthy adult who tested negative for COVID at the White House just this week. She does not believe healthy Americans should be forced to muzzle themselves with a mask. America needs to reopen and get back to normal."


She may be a healthy adult, but what kind of idiot makes a political speech about reopening the country when her life and others' are in danger from a band of brutal thugs? Apparently good health and idiocy can coexist nicely thank you very much. One wonders if Representative Greene would have turned down a seat on a Titanic lifeboat because she’s a healthy adult who can swim just fine on her own. I hope so.

Rep. Mullin, he of the two first names linked together, can be heard saying, "I'm not trying to get political here." Well, sir, you’re in Congress—it’s a good place to be political. But mask-wearing is only political for the anti-science "savants" who still aren't sure injection of bleach is really that bad. Why couldn't Greene and the others just acquiesce—just admit they understood that these were dire circumstances and required a modest sacrifice. Why not "I hate masks and will never wear one after today, but I'll do it for a colleague." That's all. It would have been compassionate, collegial, even funny—a simple act of humanity that takes them outside their own tiny sphere and registered them as members of the human race—people with a concern for the wellbeing of others. And they couldn't even do that. With people dead around them and others risking their lives to save them, even that simple concession was too much for them...and we think Josh Hawley or Ted Cruz or Donald Trump will resign in disgrace? Wouldn’t they have to comprehend disgrace to do that?


Oh, and in other news New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman announced Monday that she had tested positive for Covid-19 after she and other members of Congress were kept in a secret location during last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The 75-year-old cancer survivor is experiencing mild symptoms. No reflection on Rep. Mullin, et al.: they don't wear masks.


Yesterday I wrote about the anti-democratic philosophy of Josh Hawley and said he was only a symptom. This denial of others' intrinsic value is a more telling one. Among Trump Republicans, Trump apologists, and Trump supporters, democracy and its reliance on man's responsibility to his neighbor are quaint throwbacks to some antiquated era—no longer appropriate for the new wave of individualism and isolation. Thoreau's Oversoul is dead, and Whitman's “I am large, I contain multitudes” has been whittled down to nothing by narcissists like Hawley and Cruz and Mullin for whom anything outside themselves is strange and dangerous territory.


Oh, and in other news, New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman announced Monday that she had tested positive for Covid-19 after she and other members of Congress were kept in a secret location during last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The 75-year-old cancer survivor is experiencing mild symptoms. No reflection on Rep. Mullin, et al.: they don't wear masks. they cannot be counted on to protect themselves.

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