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Words fail me

I picked the wrong week to stop calling people dumb-as-bricks

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19. He was not vaccinated though he had previously said he was "immunized."Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

I’m going to try to get through this whole column without typing the words stupid, idiot, or dumb-as-bricks.

Such terms are beneath me, according to my mother. They are unhelpful to the reader, according to my editor. They reflect poorly on me, according to my critics.

Fair enough. But this is going to be tough! For, today, we’re taking a little tour of folks whose recent words and deeds are almost impossible to describe any other way.

Let’s start in Everett, where mayor Carlo DeMaria was re-elected on Tuesday, with 3,735 of the city’s 22,000 or so registered voters giving him the nod. His 210-vote victory margin was not exactly a resounding mandate, but it is remarkable considering the many unseemly allegations that have piled up against him over the years. Four women have alleged he sexually harassed them. He’s been accused of being too cozy with underworld types; and most recently, his city clerk and former buddy Sergio Cornelio has accused DeMaria of shaking him down for $97,000 from a real estate deal in which the mayor had no stake. The FBI is looking into it, as the Globe’s Andrea Estes reported last week.

DeMaria has denied all of the allegations, none of which have led to charges. Still, one has to wonder what would possess him to publicly threaten Cornelio during his victory speech on Tuesday night, even as the feds are sniffing around.

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“There were [people] who... we considered friends who tried to sandbag us...It hurt us, but in the long run it’s going to hurt them,” DeMaria told supporters. “I’m going to go after a lot of people.”

Nothing like threatening your accuser to make you seem totally innocent! Really, really a-word-we-won’t-use move.

Now, how to describe the doings in Braintree, where a former teacher who was at the Capitol for the January 6th insurrection was just elected to the school committee? Matthew Lynch resigned from Braintree High School after the FBI visited him following his Washington jaunt.

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The day after the election (d’oh!) the school department finally released to the Braintree Patch e-mails showing that parents had complained about Lynch, arguing he had put his students at risk by attending the riot, and that he had threatened a parent who criticized him. They cited a bizarre Facebook post in which Lynch, charged with molding young minds, opined thusly:

“The year is 2320 and a gender blender non conforming spaceship asks a kangaroo identifying man what was freedom and how did America lose it? Well that’s simple the government used 9/11 to create a surveillance state with the patriot act... and then used COVID to create a police state.”

This word-we-won’t-resort-to is now on the committee that oversees the school from which he resigned. Indeed, he got the second-highest tally of votes: 2,319 of his fellow citizens decided he was just the man for the job.

Sometimes, it feels like they’re taking over. Did you hear about the disgruntled, Islamophobic truck driver and QAnon fan who compared vaccine mandates to Nazism and appears to have knocked a powerful state senator out of office in New Jersey on Tuesday? Republican Edward Durr pulled off this massive upset with next to no money. Durr doesn’t seem like the brightest bulb, but what does that make the Democrat who got beaten? I can’t say.

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I am struggling, too, for a way to describe Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers after this last week. Rodgers lied about being vaccinated against COVID, endangering his teammates and others with whom he came into maskless contact. He was found out after contracting the virus last week. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he embarked on a series of bizarre justifications containing all the greatest hits of anti-vax lunacy, starting with the reassurance that he had done his own research and comparing his resistance to the justice work of “the great” Martin Luther King Jr.

What in heaven’s name is this nuttiness? Rodgers seemed smart; he had a sense of humor; he stood up for players who took a knee during the anthem; he hosted “Jeopardy!” for heaven’s sake!

I’d never have bet he’d join this motley, muddle-headed mob.

Guess that makes me an idiot.


Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham can be reached at yvonne.abraham@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeAbraham.