Rand Paul is “giraffish.”
Doesn’t make sense to compare a little sprite of a U.S. senator to a giraffe. But hang with me here.
The junior senator from Kentucky is now self-isolating after he learned Sunday that he is infected with the coronavirus.
But he didn’t self-isolate before he saw fit to expose himself to other members of the U.S. Senate by attending a luncheon in the senate, and according to The Washington Post, going to the Senate gym and taking a dip in the Senate pool.
Along the way, one can only suspect that he touched tables and chairs and door knobs and lockers and shower knobs and hands and, well, just about everything you’d expect to touch if you went to a luncheon and a gym and a swimming pool.
Leaving the coronavirus everywhere he went.
All this after he was worried enough that he might have picked up the coronavirus in Louisville at the March 7 Speed Ball fundraiser — an event at which at least three others who attended tested positive for the virus — that he went looking to be tested.
This really shouldn’t surprise any of us.
It falls right in line with the second-rate political philosophy he ripped off from second-rate author Ayn Rand — a philosophy that puts one’s own personal desires and individual wants above all else.
But when he complained about rules limiting the manufacture of incandescent light bulbs because they use too much electricity, or when he ranted about the fact that the low-flow toilets in his house hadn’t worked for 20 years, he became little more than a punchline.
Now he’s a petri dish.
According to the Congressional Research Service, the average U.S. senator is 62.9 years old. It’s the oldest U.S. Senate in history, and it puts the average senator well over the age of 60, at which point the coronavirus becomes much more lethal.
It’s hard to image a U.S. Senate headed by Mitch McConnell being more toxic than it already was, but congratulations Rand. You did it.
Now, you’ve got two other Republican members of the Senate in self-quarantine, one of whom is 73-year-old Sen. Mitt Romney, of Utah. Romney’s wife, Ann, is 70 and has multiple sclerosis, which could put her at even greater risk.
And Paul subjected Romney and the others to this after he was worried enough about himself to get the test, but not worried enough about others to warn them? Who does that?
Obviously, someone who is more worried about their individual right to do whatever the hell they want and doesn’t give a damn about the people they might harm.
It’s the same type of person who would insist on burning incandescent lightbulbs even though they force us to burn more fossil fuels — and then claim that their use of fossil fuels isn’t causing climate change despite the fact that the scientists studying this stuff almost uniformly say it is.
It’s the same type of person who would block funding after national disasters in an attempt to make some lame point about deficit spending, and then would vote for tax cuts for the wealthy that would put the country into even greater deficit spending.
It’s the same type of person who looks up to Ayn Rand’s objectivism philosophy — a philosophy Paul ascribes to — that says a person’s “own happiness” is “the moral purpose of his life.”
In my house, we’d call it “giraffish,” from an episode of the old Andy Griffiith Show when Barney Fife is explaining to Opie why a pack of dogs he’s worried about during a thunderstorm — and one little “trembly” one in particular — will be OK.
Dogs take care of one another, Barney explains. Not giraffes.
“Boy, giraffes are selfish,” Barney says. “Running around, looking out for number one.”
The fact that Paul was, as always, looking out for No. 1 has exposed other members of the Senate, their families and staffs to this dreaded virus. He should be ashamed.
But, giraffes don’t feel shame.