A Republican state senator from Alaska has been officially banned from Alaska Airlines for repeatedly refusing to wear a mask on a flight. The mask mandate is a federal mandate – not just an airline rule – and the repeated offenses are easily punishable. But once again we’re talking about a Party that has politicized the issue of wearing a mask just so that they can play the victim when they get in trouble for breaking the rules. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.

Transcript:

*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

A Republican state Senator is finding travel within her own state a little bit more difficult these days after she was banned from Alaska airlines for refusing to wear a mask that covers both her nose and her mouth, because yes, folks, let’s not forget. The mask has to come all the way up. Can’t, can’t just do one of those little half things where it doesn’t cover your nose. That’s really not effective because the air still gets out. So yes, and not to mention the fact, by the way, this is not just an airline mandate. This is now thanks to the Biden administration, a federal mandate. You have to wear a mask on a plane. It’s really not that big a deal. And yet this state lawmaker state Senator Lora Reinbold refused to wear a mask. There was a video of her arguing with Alaska airline employees at the gate and spokesperson for the airlines said she has now been banned from their planes.

Now, I don’t know how many people have ever traveled to Alaska, but, it’s kinda hard to get around, it’s a big state, tons and tons of area. Also not a lot of airlines doing, you know, just intrastate travel other than Alaska, obviously, airlines. And that’s how they get back and forth to the Capitol. So now, instead of being able to fly, because she refused to wear a mask, she now has to make a 14 hour drive. And in fact, part of it, she has to go through Canada and take a ferry just to be able to get back to the Capitol. All because she wanted to make a big stink about not wanting to wear a mask. This is how ridiculous the Republican party is today though, folks. An issue as simple as, hey, put a little covering over your face, because we’re in the middle of a pandemic. You don’t want to get other people sick. You don’t want to get sick. Let’s help reduce the chances of that happening. But even that, that concept, that idea looking out for other people is lost on the Republican party.

They have politicized this issue and they have been politicizing it for over a year now. They think wearing a mask is some kind of oppression. They think wearing a mask is somehow going to cause breathing problems. That they’re going to suffocate themselves if they have to wear a mask. And I’m glad, you know what, I’m very glad that we’re seeing these punishments come out. I’m glad that we’re seeing them have to pay some kind of consequential price for refusing to basically be a polite, considerate member of society, because that concept has been lost on Republicans and hell even plenty of Democrats for far too long. We’re, we’re, we’re, we’re a one people, right? We may have borders. We may have different skin colors, sexual preferences, whatever it is, religions, but we truly are one species here. And it’s up to us with our ability to reason and think logically to help one another, especially in the middle of a pandemic. But these boneheaded Republicans like this Alaskan state Senator can’t seem to wrap their tiny little brains around that. So good. That gives you plenty to think about now on your 14 hour drive to work.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at DeSmogBlog.com. He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced