The death toll of the coronavirus pandemic continues to rise but Republicans are now determined to prematurely reopen the economy. Forced to choose between the lives of American workers and the economic interests of the donors who helped elect them, GOP officials are overwhelmingly choosing the latter. To that end, they are working to downplay the importance of saving lives, arguing that other (less important) things should take precedence.
Today, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)—by far one of the more execrable members of Congress—pushed this seeming death wish to an absurd new low. Speaking on the floor of the House, he ranted and raved against the incredibly reasonable proposal from Democrats that Congress be permitted to vote via proxy on new legislation as a precaution against COVID-19.
“You can’t pass a bill on this floor with proxies and have it upheld unless you change the Constitution, and this doesn’t do it. Now some here say, ‘But if it saves one life, it’s worth it,'” Gohmert said mockingly.
“How about the million Americans who laid down their lives not for a wishy-washy ‘Oh maybe we should be afraid we might get something and die?’ They didn’t do that in the Spanish flu days, they didn’t do it in the Civil War, but now we’re going to do it? Come on,” Gohmert added, as if the high fatality rates of the Spanish Flue and American Civil War are something for modern society to aspire to.
Putting aside the incredible callousness it takes to refer to the understandable fear of coronavirus-related death as “wishy-washy,” Gohmert’s comments are absurd. American servicemen and women laid down their lives for the safety of the civilian population. Their sacrifice doesn’t demand needless, disease-related sacrifice.
Since Gohmert’s rationale is so clearly rubbish, one must presume he has ulterior motives. If the Democratically-controlled House is prohibited from voting by proxy it becomes harder for them to pass legislation and gives Republicans the excuse they want to avoid passing more coronavirus relief packages.
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) was less than impressed with Gohmert’s performance.
“Oh my goodness,” said McGovern, the Chairman of the House Rules Committee. “The gentleman refers to the Spanish flu. Let me just say: That is not an example of something we want to aspire to. The Congress was basically paralyzed. So please, let’s get real here,” he added.
McGovern is, of course, correct and it’s good to see someone in the chamber had the common sense to take Gohmert to task for his stupidity. Watch Gohmert’s embarrassing remarks below.
“We’ve got to preserve the Constitution; not abuse it with a House Rule.” pic.twitter.com/sb6Cp8Nb8n
— Louie Gohmert (@replouiegohmert) May 15, 2020
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