Friday, March 27, 2020

A really futile and stupid gesture

In a film full of great lines, National Lampoon's Animal House, one line has always stood out to me.

I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part!




This entire scene, including Bluto asking if it was over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor, is hilarious. When it happens in real life? Not so hilarious.

As the nation suffers through a pandemic with government ordered shut downs of many businesses, it is generally agreed that people who, through no fault of their own, have lost their jobs need some help. Whether it is wise to spend $2 trillion to do that isn't really the point anymore. The American people are expecting to get these checks to keep their lights on and rent paid while we try to ride out the China virus pandemic. After a week of obstruction by Nancy Pelosi, the Senate finally passed a stimulus bill 96-0. The plan then was to have the House vote on the bill today via a "voice vote" to eliminate the need for the Congress of the United States to be packed into a chamber together during a pandemic. But no so fast my friends!

Delta Tau Chi pledge Thomas Massie of Kentucky has apparently decided to force a roll call vote in the House chambers. This means a lot of Congressmen need to hop on planes to fly back to D.C., assemble a quorum in the House and do the vote the regular way. Given that many House members are older and getting a bunch of people together in close proximity is the opposite of what Americans are being urged to do, this seems pretty dumb.

To be clear, I have no problem with Congressman Massie voting against this bill. It is a terrible bill, full of unrelated crap, and we don't have $2 trillion. But forcing a roll call vote which requires people to be present to vote is just a hassle and delays the process. It won't change the outcome, I expect the bill to pass by an enormous margin. In an election year, who is going to want to vote against sending out stimulus payments? This isn't a principled move, it is just grandstanding in prime libertarian goofiness.

If there was ever a time for a government stimulus, and I am not saying there ever is such a time, it is now. If there was ever a time to not be a grandstanding asshat, it is also now. Massie probably thinks he is being noble and brave but he mostly is looking like an idiot and a Justin Amash clone.

Enjoy your really futile and stupid gesture Congressman.

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