Saturday, July 17, 2021

Last Call For I Want A New Trump

When it comes to Republican "Never Trumpers" in Iowa, it's best to remember that there is no such thing as a Never Trumper. They want 100% of Trump's racist policies, they just want a better figurehead, and that's what they are after in 2024.  To paraphrase Huey Lewis and the News:

I want a new Trump, one that won't make me sick
One that won't make me crash my car
Or make me feel three-feet thick
I want a new Trump, one that won't hurt my head
One that won't make my mouth too dry
Or make my eyes too red
One that won't make me nervous
Wonderin' what to do
One that makes me feel like I feel when I'm with you
When I'm alone with you...


If ever there was a political bloc that could be counted on to hold a candle for Donald Trump, it would seem to be white evangelical Christians, who maintained a near-uniform front for the Republican throughout his presidency and beyond.

Yet, as some 1,200 evangelicals gathered here for the Family Leadership Summit, widely seen as the first political event on the long road to the 2024 Republican primary, there was a feeling among some that it was time to move on.

“I agree with pretty much everything Trump did on policy as president, but I don’t think it would be good for him or good for the country if he ran again,” said Ken Hayes, a retired nonprofit worker from rural Fort Dodge, who said he prayed for Trump every day the man was in office.

Held in the Des Moines convention center, the daylong event is considered a key preview of how would-be candidates resonate among social conservatives, who dominate the Republican caucuses here. It featured appearances from former vice president Mike Pence, former secretary of state Mike Pompeo, and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.

To be sure, there was plenty of praise for Trump, and more than a few attendees said they have his back as he continues to make baseless claims about the 2020 election.

But in interviews with 15 people at the conference, all of whom voted for Trump, none said they hoped the former president would run again.

“I am interested in who comes next,” said 58-year-old Cheryl Prall.

Trump himself has remained largely focused on bogus audits in states he lost to President Biden. Denied access to major social media platforms, most days he churns out press releases complaining about the election and those he feels have slighted him. On Friday alone, he released at least four press statements on the topic through his political action committee.

But for Mary Bloom, a 55-year-old homeschooling parent who attended Friday’s event and believes some of Trump’s claims about the 2020 election, “It is what it is and we all need to move on to the next election.”

Indeed, while Iowa traditionally grants winners of the first-in-the-nation contest momentum in the presidential race, in 2024 it could do something else: show that the party is moving on. That subtext was apparent in speeches on Friday.

Pence talked repeatedly about “our administration” with Trump and said being his vice president was “the greatest honor of my life.” Yet he also bashed the Biden administration, setting up a possible 2024 battle cry.

“After 177 days of open borders, higher taxes, runaway spending, defunding the police, abortion on demand, censoring free speech, canceling our most cherished liberties, I’ve had enough,” said Pence to applause.

Pompeo brought up how Trump called him in January after a major news outlet said he was Trump’s most loyal Cabinet member. But he mainly focused on his own story and time as secretary of state. Noem didn’t mention Trump at all, and instead focused on her time as governor and her refusal to lock down her state during the pandemic.

“A lot of the people I’m talking to sort of realize that 2020 happened and we need to focus on 2024 if we’re going to get anything done, because worrying about the past isn’t going to help,” said Ronald Forsell, the Republican Party chair in Dallas County, a fast-growing suburban county.

Despite his popularity with evangelicals, Trump initially did not win over the voting bloc here in 2016. Instead, this network of pastors and homeschooling parents helped give Iowa Caucus victories to Texas Senator Ted Cruz over Trump in 2016, and before that to former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee in 2008 and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum in 2012.

But the adulation for Trump here is not in doubt. A Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll last month found that 84 percent of Iowa Republicans said they would vote for Trump again for president.

And when Iowa Republican Party Chair Jeff Kaufmann was asked in an interview if Trump would win the next Iowa Caucuses, he said, “I believe he would, yes.”

The hate junkies don't get the same rage high off Trump the Loser anymore, but they're still addicted to him. They want Trump 2.0, someone who enables them to be just as hateful and terrible to anyone who isn't a white evangelical, but if they can't chase that dragon, they'll gladly go with the same poison in their veins as last time.
I've seen enough junkie behavior in my life to immediately recognize Trump voters as what they are.  Anyone who remains in the party is a hate addict, period.

And strung-out addicts who make no effort to get better eventually will do anything to get their next fix.


Keep that in mind.

The End Of American History

Of course the "debate over Critical Race Theory" was never about systemic racism, it was about removing Black history (and women's history) from America's schools to make white men feel better.

The Texas Senate on Friday passed legislation that would end requirements that public schools include writings on women’s suffrage and the civil rights movement in social studies classes.

Among the figures whose works would be dropped: Susan B. Anthony, Cesar Chavez, and Martin Luther King Jr., whose “I Have a Dream"speech and “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” would no longer make the curriculum cut.

The bill (S.B. 3), which was passed on a vote of 18 to 4, now is stalled because the House can’t achieve a quorum while a breakaway group of Democrats is out of the state. The special session is set to end on Aug. 6.

It would remove more than two dozen teaching requirements from a new law (H.B 3979) that bars the teaching of critical race theory, an academic framework exploring racism’s shaping of the country.

That law included a list of historic figures, events and documents required for inclusion in social studies classes. The Senate-passed bill would remove most mentions of people of color and women from those requirements, along with a requirement that students be taught about the history of white supremacy and “the ways in which it is morally wrong.”

The measure also would bar the teaching of the 1619 Project— a New York Times initiative exploring U.S. history starting at the date enslaved people arrived in the English colonies.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), who presides over the Senate, said in a statement after the vote that “Senate Bill 3 will make certain that critical race philosophies including the debunked 1619 founding myth, are removed from our school curriculums statewide.”

“Parents want their students to learn how to think critically, not be indoctrinated by the ridiculous leftist narrative that America and our Constitution are rooted in racism,” Patrick said


The endpoint of the CRT fight was always going to be the removal of civil rights education from American history in red states. In Texas schools, it just won't happen. A purposefully ignorant population who never sees the rhyming stanzas of America's complicated history is easier to control, you see. They don't ask questions.

All done in the name of "fighting indoctrination" and "critical thinking".

And fascism.

Missouri Goes Viral

The anti-vaccine campaign by Republicans is now openly killing hundreds per week, and that number will soon rise back into the thousands as the delta variant of COVID-19 takes over unvaccinated red states, like Bon's neck of the woods in Springfield, Missouri.

The worst of the pandemic seemed behind Mercy Hospital, those weeks last winter when the coronavirus wards were full of people struggling to breathe.

But after months of reprieve, the virus has come roaring back, sending unvaccinated young adults and middle-aged patients from across southwest Missouri there in droves as the highly transmissible delta variant tears through the region. The hospital has been treating more than 130 covid-19 patients each day since Sunday — more than the winter surge — and had to open a sixth ward. It came close to running out of ventilators earlier this month.

“We’re just very disheartened. This was all pretty avoidable,” said Wanda Brown, a nurse unit manager. “Last year, we were looking forward to the vaccine coming out because we really thought that that was going to be helpful for our community. We feel like we’ve taken giant leaps backward.”

Springfield, a city of 170,000 nestled in the Ozarks, has become a cautionary tale for how the more transmissible delta variant, now estimated to account for half of all new cases nationwide, can ravage poorly vaccinated communities and return them to the darkest days of the pandemic.

Missouri has reported one of the nation’s highest per capita increases in new coronavirus cases in recent weeks. Freeman Health System in Joplin, about 70 miles west of Springfield, announced the full reopening of its covid-19 ward in late June after downsizing in the spring because of a lack of patients. The delta variant has been linked to a broader regional outbreak spilling into Arkansas and Oklahoma, as well as emerging hot spots in Louisiana, Florida, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. Cases and hospitalizations are strongly correlated with low vaccination rates, according to a Washington Post analysis.

Nationally, the coronavirus case rate has more than doubled since late June. The national vaccination rate has settled at close to 500,000 doses per day, one-sixth of the more than 3 million per day in mid-April.

Experts fear that the surge in Springfield, known as the birthplace of Bass Pro Shops and Andy’s Frozen Custard, is a harbinger of tensions to come as people play down the pandemic and refuse to get vaccinated even in the face of overwhelmed hospitals and preventable death. Instead of unifying the community, the surge has hardened divisions, unleashing anger from health-care workers fed up with vaccine misinformation and exposing deep antipathy toward the public health establishment.

New infections are rapidly rising to levels not seen since early January, prompting the school system to reinstate a mask mandate for summer school. Almost every virus sample sequenced in June turned out to be the delta variant, which is significantly more transmissible than the strain that first arrived in the United States. Local health officials are trying to create an alternate care site for stable covid-19 patients as Wednesday’s 231 hospitalizations are on the verge of an all-time peak and are projected to surge beyond available capacity.

Coronavirus deaths in Greene County, where Springfield is located, had plunged this spring, but 23 people have succumbed since June 21. The fire chief described the outbreak as a “mass-casualty event, happening in slow-motion.”

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department has prioritized vaccination in a county where only 35 percent of residents are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rates are even lower for people in their 20s and 30s. But new daily vaccinations have largely stayed flat through June despite the outbreak’s toll, and health officials are battling false theories that the vaccines are somehow responsible for a surge in hospitalizations almost exclusively affecting the unvaccinated.

“It’s a sad reality that we are facing,” said Katie Towns, the acting health director. “I don’t think we are coming out of it anytime soon. We are going to see more people get really sick. We are going to see a lot of people die.”
The risks for getting the vaccine are miniscule compared to the much greater risk of the delta variant killing you, by orders of magnitude. That is the hard truth. If you're putting off the vaccine because you're worried about the effects of the vaccine, understand the effects of the virus are "lifelong chronic heart issues if you survive and death otherwise, plus you infect others around you."
Get the vaccine.
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