The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Elliot: Struck by lightning

Last week was Lightning Safety Awareness Week, which, of course, we celebrated by staging a thunderstorm or two or three each day. Our motto seems to be “Hard to know safety unless you feel unsafe.”

It’s not much of a motto, but it’ll do until a real motto comes along. (To steal, sort of, a line from No Country for Old Men, whose title is taken from a line in a W.B. Yeats poem. Fair is fair, as the Supreme Court might say.)

Most people, probably, were not aware that last week was Lightning Safety Awareness Week. But that’s the great thing about awareness weeks, isn’t it? They catch us unaware.

Particularly, Republicans didn’t seem to be quite so aware. Talk about a week of getting hit by lightning. Well, of one sort or another.

First, there was the Supreme Court decision to support, or at least not gut, Obamacare. The court case was only about the 517,297th time Republicans have tried to kill, squash, repeal, put on life support, lock in the Silence of the Lambs basement, or otherwise nuke the health-reform law. The GOP’s record? Zero-for-517,297.

That’s not going to get you to the big leagues. Or even the adults’ dinner table.

It’s hard to see, exactly, what the Republicans intend to accomplish by fighting Obamacare. A return to the good old days, in which rich people could afford good health care, 45 million Americans couldn’t afford health insurance and thus, health care, U.S. health-care costs rose at an inflation rate that would impress even Weimar Republic Germans, and the United States ranked near the bottom of industrialized nations in health-care service.

Since Obamacare, the inflation of health-care costs has dropped dramatically and 17 million or so more Americans have health insurance. It’s not great, but it’s better. (Which is probably the motto of the Obama administration.)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch (oops, wrong narrative). Meanwhile, I see that in the aftermath of a white supremacist allegedly killing nine African Americans in a South Carolina church, the fine, upstanding white citizens of Dalton, Georgia, held a big parade of pickup trucks and SUVs sporting (if that’s the word) Confederate flags. Just to show how fine and upstanding they are, you understand.

I’m not going to say anything about their IQs, because the IQ test is probably flawed and doesn’t truly demonstrate anyone’s intelligence, given that intelligence is probably impossible to measure with something as crude as a test. I do wonder if they were measuring IQs in Fahrenheit or Celsius. (There’s a big difference in room-temperature numbers, for instance.)

We will note, however, that in the big Confederate-flag parade of pickup trucks and SUVs, one big pickup truck rear-ended another. Of course.

As the guy videotaping the event said, “God doesn’t like ugly.”

Enough said.

And then there was the lightning bolt the Supreme Court shot through conservative circles (if they are circles and not squares) by upholding same-sex marriage. About time, I say. It’s only a few hundred years late, but what’s a few hundred years in geological time?

Next week, the high court (using the words lightly) will mandate that people observe Lightning Safety Awareness Week.

And Republicans will whine in opposition that Americans have the right to be struck by lightning.

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