“I have constitutional rights!”

But no brains.

Just because you have a right to do something (or think you do*), doesn’t mean you should.

(* Courts, not individual citizens, decide what’s constitutional. There’s a well-established body of case law upholding public health regulations.)

Look, I understand many people are desperate. Tens of millions out of work, many still waiting for unemployment checks from overwhelmed states, and millions still haven’t received their stimulus payments either.

But. People. Common sense. I really think we should follow the advice of medical experts, not follow the lead of political demagogues, on this life-and-death issue.

Note, this photo is from the Michigan state capitol, and some of the legislators who were there told reporters they saw guns, Confederate flags, Nazi swastikas, and nooses. (Read story here.) Obviously these fringe lunatics aren’t representative of the general public, which polls show supports social distancing and shutdowns by a margin of nearly 9-to-1 despite the economic hardships many are enduring.


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  1. Mark Adams #

    When we are in a panic and this pandemic is a panic, and we have had many panics, often the US and State constitutions end up in the back seat, and only after the panic subsides does the issue of rights get addressed. We often find out that our constitution was put in the back seat and government did things it could not do. Even well meaning health officials can be little tyrants and unwilling to admit the horse got out of the barn, and there was no way to diminish the damage. Our medical system has been stress tested and woe we have found out in the face of a really deadly disease like plague best to root for the black death as it will win. Or the health system is not up to the task should the Cascadia fault decide to take us out to the big dance. Not that government will be all that much of a panacea. Yet we probably will not end up in a Mad Max world, at least not right away, and who shall be the lucky ones…the living? or the dead?
    At least one major case on case law upholding the states ability to do quarantines was frankly far more about keeping Italian immigrants out of New Orleans. It was really discrimination then and would be now. Only now it would be fine if done in the name of the pandemic. Yes our borders have been shut off. Yes the bug was in Canada, but not so much in Mexico yet that border was shut down with not as much cooperation from Mexican officials. And the Democrats went right along with this, so no worry about those poor Guatemalans who caravanned up, especially if they haven’t had their temperatures taken. And just when will the borders be fully opened? Has out newly anointed priests of the government put out when we can go against the Gods and open up the Canadian and Mexican borders? At the same time? Differently? According to the disease in the estate or province on the other side? Perhaps for the next ten years we should ban flights to and from China just because, but no constitutional issues would be there would there, as banning to and from Cuba were just fine since that firebrand with a beard and smoking his Cuban cigar took over.
    Politicians need to do their job and that includes balancing different potential disasters. Otherwise you get a kind of Jefferson revolution in the streets and at the gates of Capitals. He thought such was good or perhaps just the reality of a country where the people are the government piss enough of them off you get a mob perhaps with pitch forks. As it is in November there may well be a revolution where a lot of sitting politicians of both parties but mainly Democratic as it is the blue states that are hiding behind the medical experts the most perhaps there are politics behind the shut downs and perhaps not, but some will be removed from office by a pissed off populace. Yes Tim Eyman could actually have a very good chance of becoming our next Governor against Jay Ensley if the Governor sticks to his current recovery plan hell or high water.
    The Bolsheviks were the tiniest of minorities that somehow managed to capture Russia. The polls probably would have shown a 9 to 1 in support against them. There were a lot of guns in the streets, but a lot of Russia still supported the Czar or at least a continuation of the monarchy and were skeptical of democracy.

  2. Roger Rabbit #

    All I’m asking for is responsible behavior. This isn’t it.

  3. David (AKA Davey Jones) #

    Mark Adams,

    If this were 1943, would you advocate for people in coastal U.S. cities to not black out their windows?