Dysfunction as a Political Philosophy

This post is not about the catastrophe in Texas (or COVID-19, or…), though, given the title, I could understand how one might think that it was. Instead, it’s referring to two Republican congressmen who have been behaving badly (boldface mine):

The U.S. Capitol Police are investigating two incidents related to the new metal detectors set up outside the House chamber: one involving a member of Congress potentially assaulting a police officer and the other involving a lawmaker trying to bring a gun onto the House floor.

HuffPost personally observed and publicly reported on both incidents over the last month, and Capitol Police called this reporter in on Wednesday for an interview about both altercations.

On Jan. 12, the night of the first votes after the U.S. Capitol insurrection and the decision to put magnetometers outside the House chamber, HuffPost observed Rep. Russ Fulcher (R-Idaho) roughly push his way past an officer who was operating the metal detectors. The best way to describe what Fulcher did was he “manhandled” the officer, a Black woman who was significantly smaller than the congressman…

Capitol Police were also investigating an incident that occurred on Jan. 21, when Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) tried to bring a gun onto the House floor. HuffPost also observed and publicly reported on that incident and was a material witness to Harris trying to get another member who had just left the floor to hold his gun for him while Harris voted.

Harris went through the magnetometer that day, set off the machine and then complied with a search with a metal detector wand. The police officer conducting the search located a gun on Harris’s side and had a hushed conversation with the congressman. Harris quickly turned back to the elevators, stood around for a moment in a small vestibule outside of the elevator banks and had another quiet conversation with a member. Harris’s comments were not audible, but HuffPost heard Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) reply, “I don’t have a license for that.”

A Capitol official later confirmed that Harris was carrying a gun.

HuffPost never saw the gun. On Wednesday, the police seemed to be interested in the fact that Harris’s gun was concealed, based on the line of their questioning. Members are allowed to carry firearms on the Capitol campus but are not allowed to carry them onto the House floor, and the District of Columbia requires a special permit for the concealed carrying of firearms.

Fulcher, the shover, is just a(nother) self-important asshole, and they’re found on both sides of the aisle. Rep. Harris, on the other hand, is a piece of work.

We’ll leave aside his belief that he should have veto power over the District’s laws*. Instead, let’s focus on the possible concealed carry violation. I could see him openly carrying a gun to make some kind of asinine point–ammosexuals do that a lot. But you carry a concealed weapon either to protect yourself or to attack someone. A concealed weapon isn’t much of a deterrent or statement (the statement of an openly worn weapon being ‘I am an insecure jackass with a very small penis’).

Who did Harris think was coming after him? Did he think Ocasio-Cortez was going to cut him? Did he think 82-year old Maxine Waters was going to give him a beatdown? Did he worry that Sharice Davids would hit him with a right hook… ok, in all fairness, if Davids, for some inexplicable reason did decide to hit you, she probably could kill you.

It’s clearly not for protection or a political statement, but a psychological need of some sort (and by that point, he had to know that he would be screened; this can’t be a case of not being able to return to his office).

Also, it does raise the question of whether if Harris ever had a gun on the floor previously (in the halcyon days of… 2020, representatives wouldn’t have been checked).

Weirdos, most of them anyway.

*Akshually, we won’t: he’s a fucking douchebag.

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1 Response to Dysfunction as a Political Philosophy

  1. Bern says:

    Well, to be fair, I’d certainly think about carrying if I was forced to be in the same workplace as Marjorie Taylor Greene. And if I was Kevin McCarthy I’d never enter the same room as her without one. Imagine meeting her in your office to formally toss her off committees, clarify how low on the pole her place is…

    I don’t carry. Instead, I’m trying to imprint her face on my memory so that whenever I happen to be anywhere around the Capitol I can recognize here well before I get in range…she could go off at any moment…

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