I, for one, am gratified that Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., voted against a congressional investigation into the events of Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol. As Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-GA, proclaimed, the whole thing was nothing more than “a normal tourist visit,” albeit one during which he was pictured screaming in terror, because, let's face it, those people are awful … treasonists, terrorists, white supremacists … and some of them, I assume, are good tourists.
After Jan. 6, Armstrong promised constituents some “hard truths” about tourism, but so far hasn't produced any because, one imagines, coming up with hard truths is, well, hard, especially when you keep sliding out of your chair because of your gelatinous spine. When Armstrong eventually reveals these top-secret hard truths, one trusts that he'll rightfully deny that this innocent gathering was a coup attempt led by tour guide Donald Trump to overturn the election.
We all know tourism when we see it, and that's what this was. Just like a visit to a national park or Wall Drug — if Mike Pence were a tourist attraction there. “Stop in! Bring the kids! See a real live Old West hanging! Free ice water, too!”
Sure, some tourists got rowdy in the scramble for souvenirs like laptops and lecterns, and sure, some park rangers died during the tour, but park rangering is a dangerous business, and when you don that uniform and kiss your spouse goodbye in the morning you do so knowing full well you may be mauled by bears. That's why tourists carry bear spray, tasers, guns and handcuffs.
It behooves me to point out, however, that in the history of the world no one has ever successfully handcuffed a bear unless, perhaps, Gentle Ben, on a particularly gentle day. I'd also like to point out that the incident at the U.S. Capitol was surely instigated by the Bear Lives Matter (BLM) movement to make patriotic tourists look bad. Who needs a government inquiry to tell us that?
Republicans are right to oppose this anti-tourist investigation. Let sleeping bears hibernate. Anyway, this is old news! Jan. 6 was months ago, there's an election coming up, and we don't want this to get political even if it involves an attempted overthrow of our democracy. Snowflakes always want to make a big deal about nothing. Didn't we waste two years and $7 million to compile an 800-page report on Benghazi, and where'd that get us? Benghazi tourism is still well short of expectations, and Hillary Clinton is still on the lam.
Thank Republican Jesus that North Dakota ranks 46th in tourism, just behind Benghazi. Even so, it's a concern. That's why it would've been wise if the state legislature had helped fund a theme park in Jamestown, if nothing else than to distract tourists so they'd storm the Stutsman County Courthouse instead of the state capitol in Bismarck.
Another growing concern with tourists is that they're buying up all the ammunition. Probably for bear hunting. Therein lies the difference between tourists and Democrats. Democrats think there are too many guns; tourists think there aren't enough bullets. In response to this crisis, the state legislature has launched a study to see about bringing ammunition manufacturing to North Dakota.
Problem solved, I guess.
Tony Bender writes an exclusive weekly column for Forum News Service. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of this publication, nor Forum Communications ownership.