by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
There’s a handy device for determining status in American society — whether someone feels obligated to abide by his or her own COVID rules or not.
The true masters of the universe, the people who imagine themselves the great and good without which society cannot function, are the ones who preach but don’t practice, who mandate but don’t comply.
They are the mayors and the governors who tend to be at the forefront of COVID-19 lockdowns and other impositions, while believing they needn’t pay attention to them themselves, certainly not if it might mean missing a dinner date or a hair appointment.
This phenomenon isn’t the most important thing about our response to the virus, not even close. Yet, it understandably occupies an outsized place in the public mind and is one of the factors that has shredded the credibility of the political and public-health establishment during the pandemic.
Muriel Bowser, the mayor of Washington, D.C., is the latest official to demonstrate the requisite high-handedness and lack of self-awareness to take her place among the most memorable hypocrites of the COVID era.
Within days of handing down an indoor mask mandate, Bowser was photographed sitting maskless at an indoor event. She officiated at a rooftop wedding ceremony — so far, so good — then proceeded to the indoor reception where she and others didn’t mask up. A journalist for the conservative Washington Examiner reported on her lapse.
Bowser says that she was eating and drinking, which are allowed under her edict. … [S]ince people tend to eat and drink throughout wedding parties, Bowser’s explanation is really a justification for being unmasked during the entire event.
Why did she do it? Either because she doesn’t really consider her new mask mandate that important, or she considers herself too important to be significantly inconvenienced by it — and probably both.