Saturday, October 03, 2020


The Trump Superspreader Tour has claimed more victims. The latest to announce positive tests are campaign chief Bill Stepien and former adviser Kellyanne Conway, (Conway attended the Rose Garden ceremony celebrating Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination.)

And yet The Atlantic's Peter Nicholas reported yesterday that the White House still doesn't get it.
On the White House grounds this morning, senior West Wing aides walked around without masks. They spoke with the press without masks. They huddled privately with one another and didn’t wear masks.

When I visited the White House in August, no one checked to see if I was running a fever or suppressing a hacking cough as I passed through the security booth. The ritual was the same today: I showed up hours after we’d learned that President Donald Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus, yet no one asked about my health. Instead, I was simply searched for weapons and allowed in....

As far as I could tell, the White House’s lone concession to the catastrophe unfolding before our eyes was that a few junior aides working in the suite of offices accessible to the press corps sat at their desks in masks. During my August trip, none of the aides breathing the same air in this cramped warren of offices had seen fit to wear one.

On this day, of all days, a mask would have seemed indispensable. But a senior White House official told the Associated Press this afternoon that masks amount to a “personal choice.”
And Republicans at the state level aren't changing their approach to the pandemic either:
Republican efforts to roll back virus-fighting measures have been steaming ahead for months, and little could halt their momentum Friday even as President Donald Trump became one of more than 30,000 Americans hospitalized with Covid-19.

In Michigan, the state Supreme Court invalidated dozens of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s pandemic executive orders. In Wisconsin, Republican legislators filed a brief in support of an effort to block a mask requirement amid one of America’s most dire outbreaks. And in Mississippi, Governor Tate Reeves defended his move this week to end his own mandate, the first such move in the U.S.
But we've been here before. We know how Republicans react whenever there's a mass shooting. We saw what Republicans in Texas did last year.
As a community is still in shock over the 7 dead and 22 injured in Saturday's mass shooting in west Texas, new laws go into effect Sunday in the Lone Star State that loosen gun restrictions — drawing the outrage of gun control advocates.

The new laws, signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in June, will make it easier for Texans to have guns in schools, places of worship, foster homes where children live and apartments.

... the new laws go into effect less than 24 hours after at least seven people died in the Odessa and Midland, Texas, shooting on Saturday — and more than 20 people died in the El Paso shooting earlier this month....
And prior to that:
Since Newtown, more than two dozen states have expanded the right to carry into previously unknown places: bars, churches, schools, college campuses, and so on. The most ambitious of these laws was adopted in Georgia in April 2014. Among other provisions, it allowed guns to be carried into airports right up to the federal TSA checkpoint.

In July 2014, Tennessee allowed residents to keep loaded weapons in their vehicles even without a concealed carry permit.

Wisconsin did away with its 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases in June 2015.

Texas allowed students over age 21 to carry guns almost anywhere onto a university campus beginning in August 2016....

Florida, in February 2017, dramatically expanded its “stand your ground” law. Previously, the gun owner was required to prove that he or she had acted reasonably. Now Florida puts the onus on prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the gun owner acted unreasonably.

Effective June 2017, the state of Ohio allowed concealed-carry weapons to be brought into daycare centers and airports.

In July 2017, a local version of Florida’s “stand your ground” law took effect in Iowa, authorizing deadly force by gun owners. It also allowed gun use by children under 14, so long as they were under adult supervision, and extended concealed carry permits’ duration from one year to five.
Republicans are never abashed. They're never crestfallen. They never admit the error of their ways. They're the Double Down Party.

You can argue that this is why Republicans are successful or you can argue that this is a demonstration of their sociopathic tendencies. (Or both.) Just don't expect them to change in response to new facts -- ever.

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