Stupid in the morning, stupid in the evening
Georgia Republicans are stupid to talk takeover of Fulton County elections, but the CDC is more stupid to go back to mask mandates.
Stupid at suppertime, borrowing from the old McGuire Sisters song. Here’s two stupids that need to grow some self-awareness and a brain.
One is Georgia Republicans who are publicly ruminating about flexing the legislature’s new power to take over a county election board—Fulton County, only the largest, most populous in the state. This is merely the stepsister of all stupid. The mother of all stupid is reserved for the CDC, now going back to mask mandates, even for vaccinated people.
The reason these decisions are stupid aren’t related to concepts like right and wrong. We moved far past such quaint niceties a decade or so ago when Donald Trump the billionaire host of “The Apprentice” went after President Barack Obama to obtain his birth certificate, claiming that Obama was not eligible to serve in the office he was elected to. “Birthers” were so toxic that RedState’s erstwhile editor-in-chief Erick Erickson had banned them when he was running that site.
Our divisive culture is getting more stupid and malicious with each moment. The problem is that there are lots of actually malignant-minded people in the world, opportunists who would steal their mother’s pearls and hawk them for a night with a B-list porn actress. You typically find them on Twitter, but you also find a few nuggets of truth.
Paul Graham @paulgOne of the most dangerous trends I've noticed in the last decade is the increasing tendency to believe that if someone disagrees with your political opinions, they're not merely mistaken, but evil.
Georgia Republicans passed a reasonable election reform bill. I’ve read the whole thing, and while it was good law, it was bad politics. Medicine like this should be taken with a spoonful of sugar and allowed to digest, but that’s not what stupid, malicious politics is about in the current era.
Stupid in the morning
Republicans in the Georgia legislature are calling for a GBI investigation, legislative hearings, and use of the new law to conduct a performance review of the Fulton County Election Board, which could lead to the state taking that body over, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Both my local representative and state senator are quoted in the article. My eyes rolled back into my head. There’s no shortage of evidence that the Fulton election apparatus is broken, incompetent, fully loaded for bear for Democrats, and probably even mildly corrupt. This has been so for a long time.
In February, the board voted to fire its election director, but in a middle finger-raising rebuke, the Fulton County Commission overruled the body, keeping Richard Barron in his job, working for a group that clearly has no confidence in him. Last week, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, himself a pariah in “stolen election” circles, tweeted that Barron and registration chief Ralph Jones should both be fired.
Barron deserves to be fired. He botched the 2020 primaries and has a history of botching elections, slow reporting, long lines, and other inconsistencies. Fulton County is typically one of the last counties to get its results in to the state reporting system.
Earlier in July, 200 ballots from the 2020 general election were found to have been scanned twice, leading many to renew calls for a complete forensic review of all Fulton County ballots. VoterGa has filed an amended lawsuit which will likely be tossed because the results of the election are not going to change. The amount of fraud is negligible, but the intent to commit fraud is tangible.
In other words, given a long enough leash, regulatory failure, and capture of the legal system, Democrats in Fulton County will cheat like hell.
They’ll bus in voters, recruit out of state mail-in ballots from people who have no legal right to vote in Georgia, they’ll harvest ballots, even from dead people who remain on the rolls because lawsuits prevent scrubbing (I’m speaking of their own lawsuits, which so far have not stopped the rolls from being scrubbed). They’d provide food and “walking around money” to get voters to polls, purposely bring them to precincts where long lines form so they can get a judge to order polls to stay open longer, and leverage provisional ballots for people with no identification whatsoever.
That’s what Democrats consider to be a “GOTV” effort. Not that Republicans don’t cheat either, but in Fulton County, it’s a blue-tinted institution. The new Georgia law aimed to give the state power to stop those shenanigans.
But for Republicans to shove the law down Fulton’s throat now, when some of the same people calling for it were just a few months ago saying Trump won and the election was stolen, is stupid, stupid, stupid. Why don’t they just hand the governorship to Stacey Abrams?
It’s a Democratic Party messaging dream for Republicans to take over the Fulton County Board of Elections, or even to discuss the possibility of doing it. But again, our malicious politics requires constant feeding of red meat to its constituents.
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Stupid in the evening
I think if you ask any healthcare professional, you’d get universal agreement that the best way out of this pandemic is for everyone who can possibly be vaccinated to get vaccinated.
This was the whole reason behind Operation Warp Speed. It was the whole reason we got vaccines by the hundreds of millions of doses from multiple companies. This was the Normandy Landing of fighting COVID-19. But from the beginning, the entire response to the novel coronavirus has been politicized, and therefore it’s been baptized—emersion style—in stupid.
Back before the 2020 election, both candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would not commit to taking “Trump’s” vaccine without full trials, complete data, and the whole rigamarole associated with approving drugs.
Operation Warp Speed compressed many of those steps to get shots into arms, shots that both President Biden and Vice President Harris have gladly taken. We’re they stupid or ingenuous?
Then there’s masks. Many of Trump’s supporters share a highly refined sense of “muh liberty” and are triggered when it’s remotely threatened. A mask has become, to them, a symbol of oppression. Now the CDC, which should want to give people a reason to get vaccinated, because getting shots into arms is the best way to stop all variants of COVID-19 from spreading and making people sick, is doing the exact wrong thing in bringing back masks.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Matt Taibbi calls the folks who squat and defecate on the unvaccinated and vaccine-reluctant as “vaccine aristocrats.” Here’s the salient bit:
I’m vaccinated. I think people should be vaccinated. But this latest moral mania — and make no mistake about it, the “pandemic of the unvaccinated” PR campaign is the latest in a ceaseless series of such manias, dating back to late 2016 — lays bare everything that’s abhorrent and nonsensical in modern American politics, beginning with the no-longer-disguised aristocratic mien of the Washington consensus. If you want to convince people to get a vaccine, pretty much the worst way to go about it is a massive blame campaign, delivered by sneering bluenoses who have a richly deserved credibility problem with large chunks of the population, and now insist they’re owed financially besides.
Yes, yes, yes. But even worse than that is when the official organ of the state, the CDC, goes back to recommending masks for vaccinated people indoors. Are they daft? Are they mad?
I understand that masks are the next best thing to vaccination in stopping the spread when herd immunity can’t be achieved. I understand that unvaccinated people will get very sick from the Delta variant, and that Delta seems to spread more easily than the original virus. All true. But we’re talking messaging and politics here, not right and wrong.
The goal is to get everyone vaccinated, not kill off the unvaccinated. It seems like sometimes the malicious, mendacious people who talk down their noses at everyone who doesn’t think like they do are happy to dance on the graves of unvaccinated people who get sick and die from COVID-19. What kind of ghouls do that?
Nevertheless, the data speaks for itself.
The vaccination scolds are more concerned with being right than being compassionate, or empathetic to people who’ve been kicked around over their politics and their skepticism for four years. Clearly, the scold approach isn’t working and won’t work. Sympathy should be the response but we get blame instead.
President Biden, in remarks to the intelligence community delivered Tuesday at the National Counterterrorism Center, said that “if you’re not vaccinated, you’re not nearly as smart as I thought you were.” Asked if the CDC’s mask guidance could sow confusion, he answered:
We have a pandemic because of the unvaccinated, and they’re sowing enormous confusion. And the more we learn — the more we learn about this virus and the Delta variation, the more we have to be worried and concerned. And only one thing we know for sure: If those other hundred million people got vaccinated, we’d be in a very different world.
So, yes, Mr. President, masking the vaccinated while insulting the reluctant sows confusion. Telling people they’re “not as smart”—stupid—if they don’t get the shot, and if they do, they have to wear a mask anyway, is the mother of all stupid mixed messaging.
The problem with our COVID-19 response has always been making it political. From the very first action President Trump took, closing the border with China, his opponents merely took the opposite position from him, disregarding reasoning, rational thought, scientific advice or objective truth. Trump himself was a loose cannon, but his haters made things much, much worse by flip-flopping on the severity of the virus, the need for masks, the effectiveness of a vaccine, and shutting down the economy based mostly on opposing Trump’s positions instead of reasoning out their own.
Now those same people are gaslighting everyone saying that they were only following the science. It’s absolute bulls**t and everyone who doesn’t have a stake in the narrative doesn’t buy it.
The CDC’s mask mandate, along with Biden and the “vaccine aristocrats” nonsensical messaging is really bringing stupid to a new level, and will cost more lives.
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