Konztitooshunal skolar Mike Lee, Senator from Utah, has been a kind of peculiar nuisance ever since the Republican voters of that state decided that Bob Bennett was not conservative enough to deserve renomination for a fourth term back in 2010. Lee ran on term limits and the flat tax, two of three dumbest ideas in American politics. Bennett, a reliable conservative vote for practically everything over his 18 years in the Senate, and a guy who also supported the flat tax, got the boot because he’d supported the bailout of the banks during the 2008 financial meltdown. Of all the Tea Party upsets in that benighted year, that was one of the most stunning.
Lee has spent his time in the Senate banging the drum for the Tenther interpretation of the Bill of Rights. In 2016, he opposed the nomination of El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago right onto the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. And then, like so many others, that opposition melted into the foul miasma of the last presidency*. In their book, Bob Woodward and Robert Costa report that Lee (along with the inevitable Lindsey Graham) was ultimately one of two senators called upon by the administration* to vet its voter-fraud fantasies.
Now, though, Lee has found an opponent he will oppose with every last breath of his legislative being: vaccines, and the mandates thereof. From the Salt Lake Tribune:
• S.2840 - A bill to permit civil actions against the United States for COVID-19 vaccination mandates.
• S.2841 - A bill to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to publicly disclose information regarding adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines.
• S.2842 - A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to prohibit the Secretary of Defense from requiring that members of the armed forces receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
• S.2843 - A bill to prohibit the imposition of a fine, fee, or taxation on any person for violation of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or any other executive agency.
• S.2846 - A bill to require Federal agencies to acknowledge, accept, and agree to truthfully present, natural immunity pertaining to COVID-19 pursuant to promulgating certain regulations.
• S.2847 - A bill to prohibit the Federal Government from mandating vaccination against COVID-19 for interstate travel.
• S.2848 - A bill to exempt individuals with a personal health concern from complying with a Federal COVID-19 mandate.
• S.2849 - A bill to stipulate that nothing in federal law provides a Federal agency with the authority to mandate that an individual be inoculated by a COVID-19 vaccine.
• S.2850 - A bill to exempt individuals from complying with a Federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate on the basis of a personal belief, and for other purposes.
Nine separate bills he’s filed, all of them designed in one way or another to hamstring the national response to a pandemic, all of them fully in the spirit of the worst of conservative media disinformation and fully in sympathy with the noisy vandals who are currently making school-board meetings into professional wrestling cards. And all of them utterly moronic. I mean, by all indications, Lee doesn’t even believe OSHA should exist, so it’s no surprise that he’s running the ball for employers who believe they have a right to run a petri dish of a shop floor.
But also consider S. 2842, the bill that would forbid the Secretary of Defense from mandating the COVID vaccination of military personnel, all of whom at the present moment get vaccinated against every disease known to man and god. Lee’s bill gives no indication that he is aware of this, or that he even cares to find out.
The fight against the cure is now a litmus test for Republican politicians at every level. I’m not entirely sure this has ever happened in American history. For me, I’m just happy I never got polio. Or smallpox.
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