Wednesday, March 25, 2020


I'm unlocking today's Roy Edroso Breaks It Down newsletter item, "The Phantom of the GOPera," so non-subscribers can read it. In part it's about how the death-cult craziness of conservatism and its GOP agents has accelerated in the COVID-19 crisis -- not only in their defense of Trump's incredible malfeasance in ignoring and underpreparing for the clear and present danger, but also in their shift to a "kill the weak to save the market" approach.

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick's ravings are just the best-known example; Fox News waxwork Brit Hume has gotten in on the act, comparing states and cities that are flattening the disease curve by shutting down services to "shut[ting] down the economy to save every single life that's threatened by a wide-spread disease," as if it were a foolish overreaction rather than the considered opinion of every reputable epidemiologist and public health official.

Patrick and Hume are in turn seconded by a bunch of other nuts and Red State Republican officials looking to get in good with the Boss by putting their constituents at risk. The more mainstream conservatives like Yuval Levin are also on board but try to put it more daintily:
Telling the public that face masks don’t work, for instance, makes sense when you’re trying to avoid false confidence and to save masks for health-care workers. But simple masks actually can reduce transmission dramatically, and the language of public-health experts around such measures will need to start changing. 
That's right, "public-health experts," stop being such a drag -- we've got to get back to Dow 30,000!

But we may have reached a real watershed at (where else) the Federalist, where an Oregon dermatologist seen elsewhere blasting Obamacare is now proposing you give your kids the plague to toughen them up:
This type of controlled infection program would be unprecedented, but so is a disease with the unique clinical characteristics of COVID-19. Unfortunately, the status quo itself is hardly a safe, certain, or risk-free course of action. If the Wuhan virus pandemic is the moral and medical equivalent of war, this is exactly the sort of crash project that could save the day for millions of Americans, jobs, and future generations who will bear much of the cost of this disease.
Maybe newly-reopened Liberty University will give us a taste of how well this works. And if that fails, maybe we try nuclear weapons. After all, this is war!

This is the kind of thing one reads about with amazement in history books, but these days I'm not sure we're going to continue to have history books, or history.

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