Big Lie-Promoting GOP Rep. Doing Big Lies About Flags In Trash Cans Now
Last week, Republican Rep. Brian Mast tweeted a video of himself outside the office of Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. He claimed Lee had dumped her American flag in the trash, like a communist.
\u201cAs you voted against certifying the 2020 election results *after* January 6th, it is not surprising that you would take to Twitter to parrot yet another big lie. Let\u2019s talk about it:\u201d— Sheila Jackson Lee (@Sheila Jackson Lee) 1670633299
“So this is a WTF moment in the House of Representatives,” he declared. “People are moving offices and this is apparently where Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee keeps her American flag, her POW flag, uh, in the garbage can. In the trash.”
He tweeted, "Today’s rescue mission: saving Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee’s American flag from the garbage can. @JacksonLeeTX18, anytime you’d like a lesson on flag etiquette, let me know. It’s one of the first things we’re taught in basic training.”
The congressman from Florida lost both his legs while serving in Iraq. He made a tremendous sacrifice for this country, but he’s still a big gross liar.
Lee, who was otherwise busy minding her own business, responded, “While I respect your military service and sacrifice to our nation, you do not have a pass to mislead the public. As a re-elected member of Congress, you know that office moves are solely handled by the Architect of the Capitol (AOC). You know I had nothing to do with this.”
The Architect of the Capitol (not that AOC) confirmed that “the flags were placed in a tall vertical moving bin to prevent them from falling over while awaiting transport. Additionally, this moving bin has not and never been a trash receptacle.”
Facts weren’t enough to end Mast’s smear job. Instead of an apology, he clapped back, “Ah, I guess the trash can identifies as a 'Vertical Moving Bin.'” This childish transphobic dig doesn’t make the moving bin a trash can. When we last moved, I didn’t toss my child’s toys in the trash like a monster. They were packed in a moving box. There is a key difference.
Mast went on: “The fact that our flag was in a trash can for ANY reason & no one on your team thought to fix it is all I need to know. My staff & I took it & respectfully stored it until AOC retrieved it for you. You’re welcome.”
You almost pity Mast’s staff for having to waste its time on inter-office pranks, like they work for a 1990s late night talk show host.
Mast is one of 139 House Republicans who voted to reject Joe Biden’s Electoral College win in key swing states. Multiple courts had already found zero evidence to support Donald Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud, so Mast and the rest of the MAGA sedition caucus acted lawlessly and without conscience when they attempted to overturn the results of a free and fair election, so that Trump, an unhinged autocrat, could remain in office, perhaps forever.
On January 7, a day after Trump’s mob attacked the US Capitol, Mast voted to trash the Constitution for either his own craven political ends or his genuine slavish devotion to Donald Trump. Neither motivation is admirable, and Mast has zero moral grounds to challenge Lee’s patriotism or respect for the military.
Mast should’ve been hurled out of Congress like Jazzy Jeff ejected from the Banks home in “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air." but Mast avoided true accountability and now he picks fights with Black congresswomen in service of what Lee calls his “lust for retweets." While you might debate whether a "vertical moving bin" is a trash can (it's not), Mast is undeniably garbage.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."