Toddlers love to say “no.” It’s a healthy way (I guess) of developing autonomy. They bang on their high chair trays, they yell, call people names, cry and throw things. It’s hard for them to share, and one of their favorite words is “Mine!” If thwarted, they might throw tantrums. Like certain Republicans.

Grown-ups’ tantrums can be tiresome, like a toddler’s tantrums. However, when adults throw tantrums, it’s not only disquieting and embarrassing, it’s a form of bullying and manipulation. Adult tantrums are shocking, particularly if the person is running a country or a member of a governing body, and has power that might be dangerous.

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified under oath that former and would-be Republican President Donald Trump’s tantrums were frequent, that Trump would throw plates and flip tablecloths in his angry outbursts. She testified that Trump’s fury when his attorney general said the election was legitimate was so intense that he threw his lunch at a wall, breaking the dish and splattering ketchup. According to Ms. Hutchinson, that was one of several incidents in which he broke plates in rage. She also famously testified that Trump was once so angry that he lunged at a Secret Service agent in his car and tried to grab the steering wheel.

Republicans have made tantrums part of the legislative process. Consider the spectacle of a group of members of Congress sitting in the back of the chamber — not unlike the “juvenile delinquents” in movies from the ’50s and ’60s — heckling Kevin McCarthy when he was trying to get enough votes to be Speaker of the House.

At that time the primary hecklers were Congressman Matt Gaetz, whose reputation has been tarnished by a preference for the company of teenage girls; Lauren Boebert, who doesn’t see why she can’t carry a gun on the floor of the House of Representatives (does she carry a gun in her office?); and the satanic Paul Gosar, who drew gruesome pictures of assassinating Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (Sadly and ironically, he now holds the seat once held by Gabby Giffords).

Perhaps they’ve been struck by the behavior disease that has brought down actor Bruce Willis: frontotemporal dementia, which damages areas in the brain that control empathy, judgment and conduct.

During the voting for Speaker of the House, blonde moron Marjorie Taylor Green had wormed her way into a seat up front, close to McCarthy. She made her way to the back several times, ostensibly carrying bargaining chips back and forth. Gaetz, Boebert and Gosar were having fun being hold-outs, relishing the TV cameras on them constantly.

At one point, McCarthy, whose ambition makes him impervious to insults and catcalls, also came back and bargained his way to a final vote for the speakership. Despite the lack of high-chair trays to bang on, “les trois petits” congratulated themselves. And McCarthy made his way back — again — to thank them for making all his dreams come true.

Catcalls and abuse continued during President Biden’s State of the Union speech. (Some of us comforted ourselves by thinking about how members of Britain’s Parliament carry on). Blonde moron Marjorie Taylor Greene (in a furry get-up apparently channeling Mae West? Jean Harlow? Marilyn Monroe?) was on her feet frequently heckling the President. He never lost his cool or his smile.

Regarding those hijinks, USA Today’s Rex Huppke must be given the last word on Biden’s reaction: “Republicans ran at him like a pack of lemmings and, with a wink and a grin, he politely directed them to the cliff.”

If only.

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Mary Kay O'Grady

Mary Kay O'Grady is a former high school English teacher and later owned her own public relations business, The O'Grady Group. She has lived in Oak Park for almost fifteen years. She is currently the chairperson...