Friday, May 29, 2020


Who knew it had words?

•   From an alternative universe, Megan McArdle:
If you had asked me six months ago to predict which party would display extreme levels of concern about a deadly pandemic and which party would downplay the risk, I’d have thought you were tossing me a softball question. 
A disease that makes China look bad for a hapless initial response that let a new virus get established, followed by a coverup that let it infect the world? 
A disease that exposed the dangers of sourcing essential goods such as medical protective gear from a strategic rival? 
A disease that has restored and hardened borders, halted migration, and demonstrated how toothless and ineffective transnational institutions are at dealing with mortal threats?
A disease that has killed 100,000 Americans — which is approximately 100,000 more than the 2014 Ebola outbreak that Republicans thought President Barack Obama didn’t take seriously enough? 
Republicans, I’d have said, will be the party of total war against the virus. How could it be otherwise? 
Yes, well, I’m still trying to figure that out, too.
You think that's what we're trying to figure out? From my perspective:

A party that's constantly shitting on the findings of scientists to stir up culture war for their anti-intellectual rubes?

A party that demonizes Muslims and Mexicans as a contagion and pushes them out, while welcoming the European whites who brought the virus here in the first place?

A party that habitually turns every government function, not excluding public health efforts such as the distribution of emergency equipment, into a grift to enrich donors?

That's a party that will fuck up anything including a pandemic. I mean if these fuckers got us into a nuclear war with Russia I'd expect Republicans to spend half their time blaming it on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the other half selling weapons to the enemy.

And part of what makes it like this is that their propagandists will grease the skids for them -- as is demonstrated further down McArdle's column:
For years, conservatives have explained that public health efforts are a legitimate exercise of government power. 
Sure, this was usually a prelude to complaining that public health authorities such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were neglecting this vital mission in favor of paternalistic nannying. But given the CDC’s many boneheaded errors over the past six months, conservatives were in a position to score some political points by shouting: “CDC, you had one job!”
McArdle is talking about the CDC that had a robust epidemiology team in China -- the country Trump keeps reminding us COVID-19 comes from -- before Trump pulled them out. He has also been generally trying to destroy the CDC, presumably because he couldn't figure out how to make a buck out of them. And even now when CDC does crawl up out of trash-heap to lend a hand, Trump kicks them in the teeth.

McArdle seems to be trying to say that conservatism is a noble tradition and will be again if Republicans can get rid of this embarrassing goon and put in a slick operator like Josh Hawley. But who at this point is she trying to convince? Conservatives today just want to own the libs by acting like COVID-19 doesn't exist -- and they're certainly not going to take no mark-of-the-beast vaccine for it from Ol' Pedi-Bill Gates! As for the rest of us, I can't imagine anyone will buy this shtick now that our country has been reduced to a shambles by application of McArdle's conservatarian principles in their purest form. Maybe her editor is fooled, though, and I guess that's all that matters.

•  Dan McLaughlin aka Baseball Crank has a nightmarishly bad Minneapolis column at National Review that I don't have time to get into, but this is typical:
It is always hazardous to draw sweeping conclusions about society from individual criminal cases. Every individual case involves individual facts, and those facts often turn out to be quite different from the initial media narrative, as happened in the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown cases. 
Yeah, you remember how we all decided Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown actually had it coming, don't you? Man, fuck this guy.

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