Friday, March 3, 2017

Senator Lankford vs. the American Burying Beetle

In an email to his Oklahoma constituents, Oklahoma Senator James Lankford (Republican; are you surprised?) boasted of how honored he was to work with such a morally dignified president as Donald Trump. Then he trotted out a litany of horror stories about Obamacare, which he said Republicans would repeal and replace. The criticisms he made were valid, but at the present time the Republican Health Care Plan is for poor people to go under the bridge and die. Now maybe later they will come up with a plan, and it might even be better than Obamacare, but if you trust them to do this, you will be waiting (perhaps under the bridge) for a long long long time.

And then he railed against all the federal money being spent to save the American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus), an endangered species in Oklahoma. (I prefer the French term, menaced species, l’espèce menacé over endangered species.) Burying beetles bury animals and lay their eggs in them.

Lankford seems to think that, if we would just quit trying to save the American burying beetle, our economy would blossom into prosperity for all—at least, for all of the people who are important to Republican Senators. He wants to launch an investigation against all those evil scientists who do not simply adore every word that comes from Trump’s mouth. Of course, the investigation would cost more than the entire American burying beetle program. But he thinks it is worth doing, in order to put those scientists, the very ones who refuse to worship Donald Trump, in our places.

But maybe the beetles will win in the long run. I can just imagine Senator Lankford laying out in a pasture, looking up into Republican heaven, and then falling into a deep sleep, only to awake and find himself, too late, buried in mud (it would take a thousand beetles to do this, but this is all in my imagination anyway) and with beetle grubs devouring him.

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