U.S. Reps. Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene must be seeking vindication. Few Americans appreciate the suffering they endured during the past year or more – perhaps especially a resident of Boulder who works out of Room 136 on 200 E. Colfax Avenue in Denver, the location of the state Capitol building.
Boebert called out Jared Polis for his supposed hypocrisy as far back as last January, when she first entered Congress. A gay Jewish governor should recognize suffering in plain sight, yet Polis has joined the likes of Dr. Anthony Fauci and President Biden in oppressing deniers of Covid-19 like Greene and Boebert. I hope I do not sound snarky. Never would I do that to a member of Congress.
However, Greene and Boebert have been pressured to wear masks. They are told that if they eat out or take in a night at the theater that they could easily catch Covid-19. Now that a vaccine has been developed, Dr. Fauci lectures them to take the vaccine or else.
Does it remind anyone of past horrors? Together, this pair of Republicans have compared the pandemic panic to the Holocaust twice during their first six months in office, and they revived it after July 4 as Biden announced an outreach effort to ask Americans to take their vaccines.
Boebert, who represents much of western and southern Colorado, fired the first Nazi-likening salvo last January when she told a local radio station, “Here in Garfield County where my restaurant is, restaurants are closing once again because Governor Polis has sent his Brown Shirts in to make sure everyone shuts down.”
In June, Greene of northwest Georgia likened coronavirus protections to Holocaust-era restrictions, but she quickly apologized after visiting the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, located a mile from her Washington congressional office.
Yet Greene and Boebert reverted to the Holocaust theme soon after our July 4 celebration by condemning Biden’s outreach program. On July 6, Greene tweeted, “People have a choice, they don’t need your medical brown shirts showing up at their door ordering vaccinations. You can’t force people to be part of the human experiment.”
Boebert followed up with a statement two days later: “Biden has deployed his Needle Nazis to Mesa County. The people of my district are more than smart enough to make their own decisions about the experimental vaccine and don’t need coercion by federal agents. Did I wake up in Communist China?”
According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Brownshirts is a collective term for militias prevalent before Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in Germany and after he assumed power. They used violence to target Jews as well as other minorities and Hitler’s political opponents.
Boebert’s “Needle Nazis” outburst drew a tweeted retort from the Auschwitz Memorial, the museum at the site of the Nazi concentration camp where more than a million Jews were murdered, JTA reported.
They wrote, “Instrumentalization of the tragedy of all people who between 1933-45 suffered, were humiliated, tortured & murdered by the hateful totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany to argue against vaccination that saves human lives is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decline.”
That is one way of putting it. No doubt many people have responded with far more descriptive terms than “moral and intellectual decline.”
What are Boebert and Greene trying to do? Are they deliberately needling (pun not intended, even if apt) the Jewish people? Or are they just clumsy and clueless?
We could ask what they were thinking, except they were not thinking.
Maybe they’ll be satisfied if we establish a museum for Covid-19 deniers modeled after the Holocaust museum. It will tell the story of their pain and suffering for all of us to know. We can feature mock-ups of living rooms where bored inhabitants are watching television. And bus stops where exasperated commuters pull off their masks after a long day at work.
Like railroad cars carrying Jews and other inmates to concentrate camps, the museum can display the Capital Hill’s underground subway carrying cutouts of Boebert and Greene gagging through tight-fitting masks.
We’re stuck with this pair casting votes on critical issues for another 18 months, and it does not look hopeful that they will be dislodged by political efforts in the near future.
If anyone can commit them to a mental-health facility, Greene and Boebert will probably accuse their tormentors of medical experimentation – and portray Boebert’s governor as a mad scientist.