Speaker Nancy Pelosi has decided to make a brave political stand and order grown-up members of Congress to wear their masks like good little girls and boys. If they don’t, it’s off to bed without supper. Or the House Sergeant at Arms will frown at them or something.
Mask Theater — once slightly amusing, now worse than a cheesy high school production of Oklahoma! — is back. But the reboot is already running into problems. Apparently, those dastardly evil Snidely Whiplash Republicans are going to make a political issue of all things freedom. Freedom to choose, freedom not to choose, freedom to opt-out, freedom to obey…or not. The 2022 election is going to be a plebiscite on whether or not America is still a free country.
True, Republicans are imperfect hosts to safeguard the spirit of liberty. But considering the alternative, I’d take Marjorie Taylor Greene and any of the GOP crazies over AOC, Ilhan Omar, and other radicals any day of the week.
Regardless, Joe Biden and the CDC have planted a flag on Mask Hill and are prepared to defend it to the last. Even if it means a genuine old-fashioned beatdown of a shellacking in November 2022.
Overall, a majority of voters — 55 percent — agree that “despite good intentions, shutting down businesses and locking down society did more harm than good.” Only 38 percent disagree, with the rest unsure.
But the really interesting part is the racial breakdown: White Democrats reject the idea that lockdowns did more harm than good by a 30-plus-point margin. Nonwhite Democrats, on the other hand, are evenly divided.
The divide widens on the question of whether government officials will hold on to too much power in the future: 62 percent of voters say yes. Nearly two-thirds of white Democrats disagree. But note well: By a whopping 64-27 margin, black Democrats fear that officials will abuse their vast new powers.
The question for Republicans: Are they smart enough to take advantage of the issue and seize the moment?
There is a great deal of pent-up frustration and resentment over the inconvenience, the loss of freedom and the general climate of hectoring that the government’s pandemic response has created. It’s irritating to be lectured by officials who claim to be smarter than you. It’s infuriating to be lectured by government officials who claim to be smarter than you — but clearly aren’t.
The on-again/off-again claims on masks and vaccination are just part of it. Tired of masks? Get vaccinated, they told us. Now they’re saying wear a mask, even if you’ve been vaccinated and even if you’re associating with others who’ve been vaccinated.
And there’s talk of more lockdowns, which a growing body of scientific evidence suggests were perfectly useless and downright harmful.
Joe Biden is not up to the task of shepherding America to the other side of this pandemic and back to prosperity. He’s not the guy. He and his administration have already flubbed it and every time he opens his mouth, he makes it worse.
Reynolds has some simple campaign talking points that anyone should be able to repeat: “Say no to masks, to irrational rules, to the ways Karen and her bureaucratic servants would suffocate ordinary people’s lives, especially working-class Americans who can’t work remotely.”
Democrats can fiddle with the election machinery all they want. It won’t save them in 2022.