When I went to bed Saturday night (after the last baseball game I was monitoring ended) I had no idea what I would write about on Sunday morning for Monday’s publishing. Sunday’s morning papers solved that mystery with the saga of Republican Alaska State Senator Lora Reinbold, but it goes much deeper than a single misfit.
Last Thursday Reinbold asked to be excused from Senate activities from September 11, 2021 to January 15, 2022. She had a transportation issue. It seems Alaska Airlines is the only air carrier that provides service from her home to the state capital, Juneau, during that time period and they have banned Reinbold for mask violations and accompanying unruliness (though the airlines did not site the second part of her behavior).
Senator Reinbold cited the cumbersome alternative of a 19 hour combined driving and ferry trip which includes passage through Canada. I haven’t crossed the border into Canada in some years now but I have to wonder if that also might provide an additional “challenge” related to COVID for Reinbold. The Republican controlled Alaska Senate granted her excusal without objection. (My working title for this article was Alaskan Cowards Enable a Nutcase.)
This was not an isolated incident for Reinbold. She has a history of “maverick” behavior. (Alaska is the home of Sarah Palin.) In 2015 when a member of the Alaska State House of Representatives, she was kicked out of the GOP caucus over voting against the Republican majority’s state budget. Her reasoning was that it wasn’t conservative enough because the cuts to education were not deep enough. (Remember I have long stated that the promotion of ignorance is one of the three pillars holding up today’s Republican Party.)
As part of her plea for an extended excused absence she stated, “…the political ban is still in place as long as Biden’s illegitimate mask mandate is in place on private and public transportation.” I’d need another article to refute each inaccuracy (I’m feeling polite today) in that partial sentence alone.
I am old school and if you can’t do your job, it is your problem, not the organization’s that you work for. I had several jobs where my ability to legally drive was a necessity. Therefore, I obeyed the laws sufficiently to keep my license.
The bottom line is that her co-workers lacked the courage to call her out for what she is: a trouble maker who simply won’t comply and has no regard for the safety of her fellow Americans. I’ve watched enough of the sausage making of legislative bodies to know what a no objection passage really is. It’s someone bringing something up in a largely empty chamber and conveniently no one has to go on the record if they all either shut up or pretend they didn’t hear anything.
Reinbold is clearly a nutcase but everyone else in the chamber (or conveniently indisposed) is complicit. Despite the cold climate it appears there is no shortage of nuts in Alaska.
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