Politics & Other Mistakes: Frustration, sexual and otherwise

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Democratic Gov. Janet Mills took drastic steps last year to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic by requiring everyone in Maine to wear chastity belts.

For males, that requirement not only caused serious interference with conjugal opportunities but was also unbelievably uncomfortable. They don’t make those things in the proper configuration for men.

On further review, it’s possible I misinterpreted this particular government mandate. The cause of my confusion (and some painful abrasions in my nether regions) can be attributed to a flood of misinformation over the past 12 months.

After sifting through the lies, I realized I could safely visit the grocery store with only a mask (and pants), rather than the below-the-belt apparatus I had been conned into believing was legally required.

Freed of the requirement to lock up my privates each time I needed to buy beer, I remained curious why so many politicians – most of them Republicans – seemed so intent on spreading falsehoods about the virus.

A prime example is GOP state Rep. Tracy Quint of Hodgdon, who introduced a bill calling for a five-year ban on mandatory coronavirus vaccines. The reason for that is – hmm, smells like crazy.

First, Maine doesn’t have a mandatory vaccine requirement, nor has one been proposed in the Legislature. Second, Quint’s ban is in response to a problem that doesn’t seem to exist. In a TV interview, she said she wants to prevent “reproductive harm.”

Wait, maybe that chastity-belt thing wasn’t a scam.

Actually, it was. And the more Quint talked, the more obvious that became.

“This is something that hasn’t been studied,” she said. Actually, it has and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has said there’s “no evidence” getting jabbed affects fertility, virility, or even desirability.

Quint also said the vaccines are “considered a gene therapy so it’s a new technology going forward.” The CDC says it’s not and it isn’t.

“Everybody receiving the vaccine is part of the clinical trial.” No, they aren’t. Clinical trials using volunteers were held months ago. That process determined the shots are safe and effective.

The Quint bill stands less chance of passage than one requiring chastity belts. But she wasn’t the only GOP legislator suffering from a bout of wackiness.

Rep. Shelley Rudnicki of Fairfield was banned from bringing guests into the Statehouse after failing to get permission before escorting an anti-vax activist into the building on April 28. Rudnicki wanted to have Naomi Wolf and her cameraperson meet with the governor to convey assorted misinformation. But she didn’t have an appointment, and outsiders aren’t allowed without prior approval.

Also, Wolf is a kook.

Republicans seem intent on making it appear as if the Mills administration lied about the extent of infections and the effectiveness of preventive efforts. In a newspaper op-ed in May, state Sen. Brad Farrin of Norridgewock wrote, “the leaders of our government have not earned our trust because the things they tell us are not trustworthy.”

Farrin cherry-picks some shifts in state policy as the crisis developed to allege inconsistency, while also claiming the mask mandate had no impact on containing the virus.

Any objective review of the numbers shows that isn’t so.

On May 24, six GOP legislators refused to wear masks after entering the Statehouse. “We were simply following the science,” Rep. Laurel Libby of Auburn told a reporter.

That would be a first for her party.

The Maine Policy Institute (which claims to be nonpartisan, but somehow always backs the GOP) blasted Mills in a press release for “14 months of oppressive, unchecked and dictatorial executive power.”

A lot of built-up sexual tension there.

The state Republican Party took a different approach, stirring up a conspiracy theory. In a May 17 press release, it hinted that the Democratic-controlled Legislature’s refusal to appoint a special commission to investigate Mills’ handling of the crisis, “would essentially leave valuable information regarding public health, the state’s financial health and decisions and much more deep in the shadows, out of public sight.”

For example, there’s that chastity-belt thing.

Let your private thoughts (but not your private parts) hang free by emailing aldiamon@herniahill.net.