Jim Jordan, cover your nose.
A full-grown individual should know the function of a mask in a pandemic.
There was the Ohio congressman, however, in full 3-year-old mode, his nasal instrument hanging out as he berated Anthony Fauci.
Jordan was reprising a tiresome Republican act: assailing Fauci for being what scientists always are, which is circumspect.
Jordan used big-boy words like “metrics” and “liberties,” but all translated to: “I wanna.”
I wanna go about business like there’s no pandemic.
I wanna ignore the CDC.
I wanna do whatever I wanna.
Fauci refused to give Jordan what he wanna-ed: a date for when this whole pandemic thing will be over. Tuesday? Thursday?
Are we there yet?
Well, sure, every child wants to stop at the next Stuckey’s. But let’s get somewhere, people.
Someone has to be the grownup in this car.
Someone has to be the adult Ted Cruz has chosen not to be. Cruz will no longer wear a mask in the Senate because, well, his pandemic is over.
This and so much more about today’s Republicans tells us we need a new term for the life-force of the party.
It used to be the religious right, and didn’t Donald Trump know it. He knew what rings to kiss and what positions to take to earn its love even if he thought it was garbage.
Now Trumpism is the party’s life force, or its death wish.
What does this mean beyond Trump? Projecting the behavior we see from Jordan, and Cruz, and Josh Hawley and Capitol rioters, and whatever neuroses afflict the body politic far beyond Trump, I’ll offer this term: the infantile right.
The infantile right doesn’t deal in big issues. It deals in big, sopping tears. Did you hear about Mr. Potato Head? What about that Dr. Seuss book you never heard of because we started screaming about “cancel culture”?
Did you hear what “they” did? It’s all horrible what “they” are doing to our culture.
“They” and “them” are the infantile right’s pronouns of choice. Tucker Carlson is becoming the great purveyor of concern about “them” as he promotes the white supremacist code of “replacement theory.”
Translation: The Democrats want to pollute our swimming pool with brown skins and drive out those rightfully there to get a tan.
Nothing is more infantile than the impulse Republicans have nursed to blame a virus (which many believe to be a hoax), on “them” – hence the “China virus,” the “Hong Kong flu,” Trump-stirred hate against our fellow man.
The infantile right doesn’t confine its whine to racist tropes. The infantile right will not countenance anything that scientists say if what science says prevents infantile people from doing what they wanna.
This includes precautions to save the planet from climate disaster.
This includes protecting endangered species, waterways and public lands.
Back to the pandemic. We are not ready to change the rankings that will place Trump atop the list of influencers who have killed the most Americans by virtue of his arrogance and antipathy to science.
However, it might not be too long before we can comfortably pronounce Tucker Carlson No. 1 as he continues to cast doubt about vaccinations.
One of his frequent guests is Alex Berenson, a COVID conspiracy theorist who uses bogus data to convince people that shots actually cause the illness. He’s asserted that the side effects of vaccinations on seniors are worse than the disease.
The No. 1 reason why so many Republican men shun vaccination: Fox Nation.
Tucker Carlson, reckoning awaits.
It used to be that the right was represented by serious voices like William F. Buckley, Irving Kristol and George Will. Now it is represented by Baby Plucky Duck — he of the '90s animated hit "Tiny Toons." His trademark line was, “I wanna flush it again.”
Which must be what Republicans wish for their party.
Longtime newspaper editor John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.