Friday, July 30, 2021


Do you remember when Sean Hannity was urging his viewers to get vaccinated? When Sarah Huckabee Sanders wrote a pro-vaccine op-ed? When Mitch McConnell announced a plan to use campaign funds for pro-vaccine radio ads? Cast your mind back to those long-ago days!

Oh, wait -- that was all in the past two weeks. But that brief moment of GOP concern for public health is over now. Here are some highlights from the front page of the Fox News website.

It's possible that the pro-vaccine talk was a feint in the direction of public health because Republicans knew calls for more masking were coming (in response to some legitimately disturbing data about the transmissibility of the Delta variant), and they wanted to establish a minimal level of concern before reverting to their usual oppositional defiant disorder. (I think the explanation for the brief flurry of concern was that some rich donors were watching the post-pandemic economic boom slip away and wanted the Republicans they underwrite to do something about it.)

Whatever was happening for that brief moment, it's over now -- as, apparently, is the critical race theory panic, which barely shows up on the Fox front page.

Also lost to the memory hole: the testimony of the Capitol Police officers who survived the January 6 riot. They had a momentary impact, and some appeared on television the day after their testimony, but that's not enough to implant what they said in the public consciousness.

But, of course, American politics always has to revert to its equilibrium point, which is that the world is full of terrible problems, all of which are the liberals' fault. So we have Matt Taibbi writing a New York Post op-ed that blames right-wing vaccine refusal on "smug" liberals.
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....
Never mind the fact that much of the pro-vaccine campaign has consisted of pleading and begging, and never mind the fact that the right was dug in on vaccine refusal long before most liberals were aware of it, because vaccine refusal was the natural extension of mask refusal and rejection of the earliest lockdowns.

And there's Nate Silver:

There was a brief moment when it was kind of okay to agree with liberals on public health. But we're wrong about everything again.

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