Last week, President Biden ordered businesses with 100 or more workers to get them vaccinated or face weekly COVID testing. Naturally, Republicans reacted the way my cat does when he gets his tail under the rocking chair.
Gov. Doug Burgum immediately suspended his primary mission of lowering flags to honor anyone who's even farted patriotically to rail against this “dangerous path away from states' rights and the freedom of private businesses ....”
Puh-leaze. Please tell me you secretly get it, Gov, that your threatened lawsuit over “business rights” is just an act; after all, that's what politics is, right, acting? And haven't you cast yourself as the rustic, cerebral one? C'mon, you know how it works ... you wear flannel and boots while the director films at angles to make you look noble and taller, and in the background, it'd be swell if Springsteen's playing, or John Cougar Mellencamp, at least. Or if you're super desperate for attention, maybe you could ride a horse through Sturgis while onlookers debate who's smarter, the rider or the horse.
You must get this, Gov, after all, you're a bidness owner, and we know that if you could've, you’d have masked every yahoo in North Dakota and run 'em through the chute for vaccinations. However, for the vast, clueless audience — certainly not for you, Doug — allow me to expand upon my point.
Question: What do businesses need to business? ("Jeopardy" theme plays ...) The answer is healthy workers! Businesses owners don't want employees clogging ICUs, they want them businessing. But they’re also obligated to feign concern about their “team members” (gag) and their quaint Lee Greenwood notions about freedom.
Don't you get it? It's perfect! Commie Marxist Socialist Green Deal Joe Biden's providing cover for business owners. They can play good cop while running at full capacity, and that's as American as beer for your horses. “Gosh, fellas, we totally respect your right to pandemic and adore those buffalo headdresses we let you wear on Casual Fridays, but what can we do (throw hands dramatically into the air), you can't beat the U.S. gummit ... unless you're the Taliban or something.”
Cue Uno Amigo Burgum trotting out on a bedazzled white Shetland pony. “The White House needs to be reminded that the states created the federal government, not the other way around, and we will always vigorously defend states’ rights.”
Uh-huh. Cool. Now solve the chicken and the egg riddle for us.
And we haven't even gotten to the good part, yet. Burgum's “reached out” to absentee Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, who's held office so long, several North Dakotans can correctly spell his name. (Most voters think his last name is “R.”) Presumably, if the perennially vacationing Stenehjem can be located in Bimini or wherever he is this week, he'll file a lawsuit. Or, if he's too busy ordering Mai Tais, he'll farm it out to Texas. Just as well. Stenehjem's been beat so often he could suit up for the Rockies, and he would if Denver had good beaches.
Please allow me to help, Republicans. You folks worry me. Do the flannel thing. Wave the Constitution, or your last parking ticket — your constituents won't know the difference. Posture. Pontificate. Then quietly let Biden move forward to save the lives of your voters and hasten the economic recovery.
Sheesh. Do I have to do everything around here?
Tony Bender writes an exclusive weekly column for Forum News Service. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of this publication, nor Forum Communications ownership.