One of the perils of our particular brand of democracy is that it tends to attract and put into office Americans whose loose ethics and delusions of entitlement would get them canned as Burger King night managers. The Matt Gaetz types consider it their right and duty to have cocaine parties in hotel rooms, sex traffic minors, and skate by because Congress still retains memories of times when such acts were considered a generic Tuesday. There are the Marjorie Taylor Greene types whose propensity for conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric would get them booted from working at the local Jiffy Lube.
Then there’s whatever the Dan Crenshaws are. Those are difficult ones to pin down. They seem to travel with their own television crews. They don’t know much policy, but you will hear their opinions about each one, by God. And they seem to settle into the natural pomposity of the place with the belief that the government building in which they now have a desk was constructed just for them, prepared long in advance so that the nation would be ready for their glorious presence.
Or something. In any event, these people take government rules as a personal affront to them and their apparent greatness. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, for his part, is now facing a $5000 fine for dodging metal detectors when entering the House chamber. This wasn’t back in January when Republicans were having loud snits at the audacity of it all. It was last week.
The most obvious question here: Why? Why even bother? How much of a pompous twit do you have to be to evade a security station because you’re just too darn busy or too darn ornery, on that particular day, and think it’s going to work out for you? How does this keep happening?
If it were an airport, where Congress has mandated strict security measures to instill at least a rough sense of safety, Americans who are not Dan Crenshaw would be tackled by security agents, tased if they resisted, and be looking at jail time. Does Dan try the same stunt at airports? Does his little congressional pin work there, too, or no?
The House established new security procedures immediately after the January 6 insurrection and did so among persistent suspicions that some House members had brought weapons to the floor on that day. The chaos that would have ensued if a mob had confronted lawmakers and one of the lawmakers had themselves started waving a weapon around, given that it’s been well established at this point that security officers do not recognize each of the 400+ House members on sight, should be obvious. To be blunt, the security measures were installed because House leadership can’t and shouldn’t trust any of these people farther than they could be thrown; our thoroughly gawdawful current generation of lawmakers is responsible for their own inconvenience here.
Who does this? Why? What value does it have? Who thinks so highly of themselves that they believe going through a security checkpoint before entering a room with hundreds of Unfortunately Important People is an affront?
Sure, maybe it sounds stupid to have security officers stationed in front of the chamber just to make sure nobody accidentally forgot they were carrying a loaded gun on their person. But given that someone was caught “accidentally” carrying a loaded gun WITHIN THE FIRST FEW WEEKS OF THE POLICY BEING IMPLEMENTED it’s apparently something the U.S. Capitol can’t do without.
Is this like speeding tickets, where Crenshaw thinks the 30 seconds saved by bypassing a security station is worth $5000 to him? Was he just in a mischievous mood that day?
These are all very strange people. Very, very strange people.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.