Rep. Jim Jordan, the go-to House Republican for accusatory ranting, went to town on Dr. Anthony Fauci during a congressional hearing Thursday—or he tried to. Jordan was unceremoniously disposed of by Rep. Maxine Waters when he tried to keep going after his speaking time expired.
Jordan’s goal was to personally blame Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, for policy decisions made on the basis of public health guidelines, and to suggest that Fauci should be able, right now, to say exactly when public health restrictions will be lifted—as if that doesn’t depend on how many people are willing to get vaccinated, and how carefully people observe those public health guidelines before they’re vaccinated. Jordan was asking something without an answer, intentionally, and becoming strategically enraged about “liberties” when he didn’t get the answer he wanted and couldn’t get.
“You’re making this a personal thing, and it isn’t,” Fauci said at one point, accurately. Jordan wanted to make this personal because he really didn’t want it to be about the facts.
When will life return to “normal,” Jordan claimed to want to know—and he made clear that he thought Fauci is to blame for the lack of normalcy. Never mind the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, never mind the governors, never mind the still-raging pandemic that’s killing around 700 people per day. Fauci was attempting to emphasize the importance of widespread vaccination to drive down COVID-19 rates and get to the state of normalcy Jordan kept talking about, but Jordan was more interested in interrupting.
”What determines when? What? What measure? I mean, are we just going to continue this forever? Or when does, when do we get to the point, what measure, what standard, what objective outcome do we have to reach before, before Americans get their liberty and freedom back?
“You know, you’re indicating liberty and freedom,” Fauci responded. “I look at it as a public health measure to prevent people from dying and going to the hospital.”
”You don’t think Americans’ liberties have been threatened the last year, Dr. Fauci? They’ve been assaulted! Their liberties have!” After a long round of Jordan screaming about alleged assaults on the Constitution, his time expired as he again asked Fauci when, refusing to accept an answer that it depends on CDC guidelines.
“Right now we have about 60,000 infections a day, which is a very large risk for a surge,” Fauci said. “We’re not talking about liberties. We’re talking about a pandemic that has killed 560,000 Americans. That’s what we’re talking about.”
“I get that,” Jordan said. “I understand how serious that is,” but … he doesn’t actually care about it, as he repeatedly made clear. “I understand how serious that is” was just a pivot to Jordan.
At this point, Jordan’s time expired, and he kept talking.
”Give us some objective standards vs. when certain things get reached we might be able to get back to having our liberties. When? What are the numbers?”
“Right now we’re at an unacceptably high level,” Fauci responded. “On a daily basis, it’s unacceptably high, regardless of who you are. What you’re going to see, as more and more people get vaccinated, and we get over three million people a day, you’re going to see the level of infection come down and down, and gradually there will be more flexibility for doing the things you’re talking about.”
“Tell me the number,” Jordan again demanded repeatedly, as House Coronavirus Crisis Subcommittee Chair Jim Clyburn recognized Rep. Maxine Waters.
Well. We all know how well it goes when someone tries to take Waters’ time. She started with “Reclaiming my time.” When Jordan kept shouting, she moved to “Regular order!” Jordan kept going.
”Your time expired, sir,” Waters finally snapped. “You need to respect the chair and shut your mouth.”
Those last three words are the definition of an evergreen statement.
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.