It seems like the point of most Republican initiatives is to be an asshole. But then again, racists are assholes. Republicans believe stuff like dropping immigrants off without advance notice in sanctuary states is hilarious, and “owning the libs.” But using human refugees as pawns for a political stunt is a dick move. And if you really wanna be an asshole, a surefire way to do that is to blow smoke in someone’s face. Republicans always do that figuratively but now in the House of Representatives, they’ll be doing it literally.
I hate smoking. Yes, I’m a former smoker and I know that if I smoked even one today that it would make me hack and become physically nauseous…and I’d probably finish the cigarette then go to 7/11 and buy a carton of Camel Blues. Although I hate smoking and the smell of it, tasting it would probably feel like discovering the sweet nectar that’s been missing from that one empty spot deep within my soul. Oh, mama. This is why I have not even taken a drag since I quit in November 2019.
But I do think they stink. And since I’m a former smoker, they stink more to me than they do to people who never smoked. Former smokers are the worst. What really grinds my gears is that each time I smell cigarettes on someone, I know that’s how others used to smell me. Ya see, smokers don’t smell the smoke on their bodies and clothing. Oddly enough, even though I hate the smell, I can hang out with friends in a smoking bar (we still have a few here that found loopholes in the smoking-ban law) and it really doesn’t bother me until I get home and smell it on my clothes. I don’t have urges to pick it up again.
I can smell a burning cigarette from 50 feet or so. When I caught Covid-19 in 2020, what made me realize I needed to be tested was when I walked within 50 feet of some smokers and couldn’t smell it.
And now if you walk into the halls of the House side of Congress, you may come out smelling like an old man bar. Those are the worst. Old man bars are worst because old fucks tend to smoke generic cigarettes and trust me, there’s a difference in the funk from a name-brand cigarette. Smokers will back me up on this.
When Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House in 2007, she banned smoking in the Capitol though it was still allowed in representatives’ offices (most of those are in office buildings, not the Capitol building itself). John Boehner was such a heavy smoker, that when Paul Ryan replaced him, the walls of the Speaker’s had to be repainted and the carpet and curtains replaced because of the stink. Nobody wants to smell like John Boehner.
Smoking is banned indoors in Washington, D.C. In fact, when I quit smoking, I planned for it to coincide with a week I was to attend a conference in the district. It can be difficult to smoke in Washington. But the ban doesn’t extend to the Capitol, which makes its own laws.
In the 1990s, President Bill Clinton banned smoking in all federal buildings that fell under the jurisdiction of the Executive Branch, which doesn’t affect the Legislative or Judicial branches. And now half of Congress will be smoke-filled again.
For comparison, the Senate side of the Capitol building banned smoking way back in 1914. House Speaker James Blaine of Maine banned smoking on the House floor and galleries, only while in session, 150 years ago. James Blaine of Maine had to be a pain and told smokers to refrain from exhuming the toxins that remain which they probably also did on trains. Sorry.
Kevin McCarthy’s House of Representatives has now banned the smoking ban. This is a move to “own the libs” because it’s something Pelosi instituted and a lot of Republicans look at smoking bans as an attack on their freedom to give nonsmokers second-hand lung cancer. Also, it’s another way to be an asshole. Fun, fun, fun, whee.
Ursula Perano, a reporter who covers Congress for The Daily Beast tweeted, “There has indeed been some cigar hotboxing happening in a certain Rules Committee chairman’s office, which is nearby the House press gallery. And the smell is…… strong.” She was backed up by Reuters’ Patricia Zengerle.
Ugh, cigars. If you really wanna go the extra mile and prove you’re an inconsiderate asshole, smoke a cigar in public. Even when I was a smoker, I would leave an establishment because of cigar stench. Ew. Just the thought of it now and….hold on. BLEAAAAAAAGH!!!!
Pipes can be different. The smell from a pipe is typically kinda sweet and even some nonsmokers can find it somewhat pleasant. My first editor was a pipe smoker and his office was next to mine, yet the smell never bothered me. I kinda liked it. It didn’t make me want to smoke a pipe (could you see me with a pipe?), but it was OK.
But the one true reason for the House repealing the smoking ban is to show just how regressive they plan to be. This is an indicator. Also, it defies science which Republicans hate. But even with the smoking ban, there was still smoke coming from Republicans. Liar liar, pants on fire… everything they do is based on a lie. I told someone yesterday that I haven’t heard an argument from a Republican since 2015 that didn’t contain a lie.
What’s stinkier in Congress? A Republican cigar or George Santo’s lying pants?
Creative note: Yesterday’s blog was partly about political cartoonists who trace. Before drawing this, I looked at some other cartoons of the Capitol and could tell that a lot of those were traced. There’s one political cartoonist who’s a tracer, but he never “draws” the same subject twice. He’ll trace it once and then recycle it in later cartoons. Obviously, my version here was not traced and I don’t think it actually looks that much like the Capitol, but I liked it so I kept it.
Facebook Suspension Update: My suspension is over and I want to thank everyone who shared my cartoons, blogs, and videos on the platform during my absence. Since I only had about ten days between 30-day suspensions, some of my readers are talking about having a pool on how long until my next suspension.
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