Friday, April 23, 2021

Last Call For No Good Republicans Left

I'm in complete agreement with Steve M. here. There are no good Republicans left, and it's years past the time that we need to accept that, but nobody cares, least of all our broken Village press.

Bush, Boehner, Kinzinger, and Liz Cheney still consider themselves Republicans in good standing. Donors who said they'd withhold money from pro-insurrection GOP officeholders are giving to those officeholders again, as Glasser notes.

No one ever asks Republican critics of the party how they can remain members in good conscience. We know the answer: It's because what's happening now is an evolution, not a break with the past. Boehner, Bush, and others engaged in or enabled right-wing radicalism until it went too far for them.

But if it really has gone too far and some of them think we're in a crisis, they have to make a clean break, or they're still enablers.
The press has to ask every Republican who claims to be appalled by Trumpism and January 6: So shouldn't you quit the party? Do you see any evidence that the party will abandon the Big Lie of Democratic election theft, that it will abandon the extremism Trump embodied (but didn't create), that it will abandon nativism and white nationalism? And if you think you this is a temporary crisis, what are you doing to bring it to an end, and why isn't it working? Why does it seem to be getting worse?

But that won't happen. These people will still win praise from the mainstream media and from moderates (and some liberals) for, in effect, doing nothing. They'll never be questioned this way.
And the best part is if anyone in our press does ask the question, the answer will be "You should be asking after (Insert Democratic bogeyman of the moment here, which currently is Maxine Waters) why anyone can remain a Democrat in good conscience."  
The level of false equivalence to Trump inciting a seditionist white supremacist terrorist attack on the US Capitol with the intent of a coup is staggering, but will 100% play out as "both sides!" because that's how the game works. Village reporters get cut off otherwise, or worse, targeted as "FAKE NEWS" by the Trump cultists.

This gulf of false equivalencies has grown exponentially since the days of the Clintons. It's a no-win situation, and we're all losing as a result.

Vaccination Nation, Con't

Red states are starting to turn down more vaccine doses from the Biden administration, because they have no takers left. Nearly the half the country plans to remain unvaccinated, and that will make herd immunity impossible without hundreds of thousands more deaths.

Louisiana has stopped asking the federal government for its full allotment of COVID-19 vaccine. About three-quarters of Kansas counties have turned down new shipments of the vaccine at least once over the past month. And in Mississippi, officials asked the federal government to ship vials in smaller packages so they don’t go to waste.

As the supply of coronavirus vaccine doses in the U.S. outpaces demand, some places around the country are finding there’s such little interest in the shots, they need to turn down shipments.

“It is kind of stalling. Some people just don’t want it,” said Stacey Hileman, a nurse with the health department in rural Kansas’ Decatur County, where less than a third of the county’s 2,900 residents have received at least one vaccine dose.

The dwindling demand for vaccines illustrates the challenge that the U.S. faces in trying to conquer the pandemic while at the same time dealing with the optics of tens of thousands of doses sitting on shelves when countries like India and Brazil are in the midst of full-blown medical emergencies.

More than half of American adults have received at least one vaccine dose, and President Joe Biden this week celebrated eclipsing 200 million doses administered in his first 100 days in office. He also acknowledged entering a new phase to bolster outreach and overcome hesitancy.

Across the country, pharmacists and public health officials seeing the demand wane and supplies build up. About half of Iowa’s counties have stopped asking for new doses from the state, and Louisiana didn’t seek shipment of some vaccine doses over the past week.

In Mississippi, small-town pharmacist Robin Jackson has been practically begging anyone in the community to show up and get shots after she received her first shipment of vaccine earlier this month and demand was weak, despite placing yard signs outside her storefront celebrating the shipment’s arrival. She was wasting more vaccine than she was giving out and started coaxing family members into the pharmacy for shots.

“Nobody was coming,” she said. “And I mean no one.”

In Barber County, Kansas, which has turned down vaccine doses from the state for two of the past four weeks, Danielle Farr said she has no plans to be vaccinated. The 32-year-old said she got COVID-19 last year, along with her 5- and 12-year-old sons and her husband.

Blood tests detected antibodies for the virus in all four of them, so she figures they’re already protected.

“I believe in vaccines that have eradicated terrible diseases for the past 60, 70 years. I totally and fully believe in that,” said Farr, who works at an accounting firm. “Now a vaccine that was rushed in six, seven months, I’m just going to be a little bit more cautious about what I choose to put into my body.”

Barbara Gennaro, a stay-at-home mother of two small children in Yazoo City, Mississippi, said everybody in her homeschooling community is against getting the vaccine. Gennaro said she generally avoids vaccinations for her family in general, and the coronavirus vaccine is no different.

“All of the strong Christians that I associate with are against it,” she said. “Fear is what drives people to get the vaccine — plain and simple. The stronger someone’s trust is in the Lord, the least likely they are to want the vaccine or feel that it’s necessary.”

Another challenge for vaccinations in a rural state like Mississippi is that in many cases, doses are being shipped in large packages with one vial containing at least 10 doses.

During a news conference in early April, Republican Gov. Tate Reeves said Mississippi officials have requested that the federal government send the vaccines in smaller packaging so it’s not going to waste.

“If you’re in New York City, and you’re sending a package to one of the large pharmacies in downtown Manhattan, there are literally millions and millions of people within walking distance most likely of that particular pharmacy,” Reeves said. “Well, if you’re in rural Itta Bena, Mississippi, that’s just not the case
Until we have the political will to make this mandatory, we've basically reached the end of the vaccine rollout phase here in the US. May will be cleanup and second shots for people getting the vaccine in April, but after that, by June 1, I expect we're going to be reaching a hard limit. Some 40%-50% of American adults will never take the vaccine unless forced, and frankly, that may be too many to force.
The rest of 2021 is not going to be a fun time.

Retribution Execution, Con't

In order for Donald Trump to continue his rule of the GOP, he has to not just stop the opposition to him among Republicans, has has to burn it to the ground and salt the ashes. The top targets are the handful of House Republicans who voted for his impeachment, apparently starting with Ohio GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez.

The crowd crammed into an indoor-outdoor bar at a sprawling mall in this teeming suburb south of Cleveland. The head of the local Republican club took to the mic on a small stage—and pledged vengeance.

“Sign the petition to ask Congressman Anthony Gonzalez to resign,” Shannon Burns said to a burst of cheers. “If you’re looking at your neighbor right now and saying, ‘What’s he talking about?’ … get with it!”

The second-term representative “betrayed his constituents,” in Burns’ assessment, when he voted in January with nine other House Republicans and every Democrat to impeach Donald Trump.

“He thinks a year from now when it’s election time for the primary you’re all going to forget and he’s going to get reelected,” Burns went on, eliciting snickers and jeers. “And I’m telling you right now: We’re going to make sure you don’t forget.”

In a normal political world and in a normal political time, a second-generation Cuban-American former NFL player from the Rust Belt with an MBA from Stanford would be considered practically by definition a rising GOP star. But Gonzalez’s impeachment decision made him a traitor in the eyes of the man who is manifestly the unofficial leader of the party. It’s the reason Trump wasted no time endorsing Max Miller—a former aide with next to no name ID plus an arrest record—to try to take out Gonzalez. And it’s why the 16th District of Ohio is now a singular early battlefield in the former president’s intensifying intraparty war.

“Anthony Gonzalez should not be representing the people of the 16th District because he does not represent their interest or their heart,” Trump said in a statement barely more than a month after he left office. “Max Miller has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

A 32-year-old Cleveland native, Miller has been endorsed, too, by the Club for Growth, which commissioned a poll that suggests he has a wide lead at this early stage. “If the election was today, Anthony Gonzalez would lose,” Jim Renacci, the pre-Gonzalez Republican congressman here, told me last month. “He’s done,” said Harlan Hill, a Trump-aligned consultant who’s done work in the district. “Max is going to beat the hell out of Anthony.”
I'm actually looking forward to this fight on one level, but at this point it's clear that Gonzales is going to be obliterated. There's not going to be a lot of soul-searching either for Ohio Republicans, who are most likely going to eliminate three of the four remaining Democratic House members in the state through gerrymandering and the loss of a House seat through the Census.

By the time 2023 rolls around, Ohio will be as red as Indiana or Kentucky, and it will be as Trumpy. No dissent will be tolerated in red states.

It's not going to be a fun time around here.
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