Republicans = Exponential Hypocrisy

In the wake of the resurgence of COVID in the form of the Delta variant, the majority of Republican governors in the states hardest hit by COVID, with ICUs and hospitals at capacity or beyond capacity, continue to oppose vaccination requirements and mask mandates. Their cry is “personal freedom” or “it’s my right to choose.”

Those Republicans, including the clearly hypocritical governor of Texas, would have people die rather than give in to governmental public health mandates.

While I obviously disagree with their “principle,” they aren’t even consistent in its application. In fact, there’s extreme hypocrisy in this stance, especially in the case of Governor Abbott, because the governor wants personal choice in the case of COVID public health requirements, insisting that individuals have control over their own bodies, yet he and the Texas Taliban, i.e., the Republicans in the Texas State Legislature, have legislated to deny women the choice to control their own bodies, by effectively eliminating the vast majority of abortions in Texas and even creating a potentially nationwide vigilante system for denying that choice.

But then, it’s become increasingly clear that all too many Republicans have little interest in consistent principles, effective public health measures, or equal legal treatment for all Americans, regardless of income.

What’s even sadder is that most rank-and-file Republicans don’t see this, and, if they do, don’t care that they’re well on their way to becoming the American Taliban, in attempting to make one set of self-contradicting and repressive religious beliefs the law of the land.

23 thoughts on “Republicans = Exponential Hypocrisy”

  1. Joe says:

    I disagree with the basis of your argument:

    * You assume that there is a well thought through broad scientific consensus for vaccination by mRNA championed by all the experts without any monetary influence or conflict of interest.

    * You assume that the politicians would do what the scientists advise.

    There is plenty evidence against both assumptions. For example, as an counter-example to the latter point, the UK health minister told the JCVI to go find “non-health benefits” of vaccinating children, after Prof Whitty told him that vaccinating them was unnecessary.

    Our system is completely and utterly broken. The last thing one should be advocating for is more authoritarianism from fast talking ill-considered idiots with English majors, politics/economics degrees or JDs.

    Unfortunately your blog post is just adding to the noise and polarization.

    The Democrats are just as broken as the Republicans, they just are blind enough to think themselves virtuous. If they weren’t, they’d be working on boosting vitamin D levels, they’d be pushing for N95 mask factories in the US and child-sized N95’s, they’d ensure that the top people responsible for vaccinations at the FDA don’t quit in frustration, they’d require manufacturer liability for all vaccines, they’d be pushing research into repurposed drugs to cure breakthrough infections, they’d be boosting the number of hospital beds, hospital profits be damned, and so on.

    We’re not fixing anything. Instead we’re flailing around. If you want to convince people to take a vaccine, show them the evidence it works so they want it. Do not stop testing vaccinated people for COVID to skew the figures, like the CDC instructed. Do not skew the mortality figures to achieve 99% mortality among the unvaccinated by including deaths from COVID that predate vaccine availability as “unvaccinated”. Do not preach one thing (lockdowns) and do another (go see your mistress for some quick action, like Matt Hancock and Neil Fergusson) Do not simply treat people like cattle, but like rational beings. You’re never going to get to herd immunity anyway, so forcing them is arbitrary.

    In the process, the “free and democratic” West is becoming a laughing stock.

    Our problem is simple: the fish rots starting from its head. Those in power only have hubris or senility. We need to reform our institutions and replace those in them with competent people. Hopefully the relevant people will soon step up to the plate.

    1. Daze says:

      The Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines have been examined by literally hundreds of non-aligned experts in medicines regulatory authorities around the world, and found to be extremely effective in reducing the harm of all of the Covid-19 variants of concern. While almost nothing in science gets 100% agreement, there are no competent experts that think that NOT being vaccinated is a better idea.

      As for your final paragraph, espousing the replacement of democracy with the rule of those who think they know better, nice to know you’re on the same side as Lenin (though I doubt that you are in any other of his beliefs).

      1. Joe says:

        > Espousing the replacement of democracy with the rule of those who think they know better, nice to know you’re on the same side as Lenin

        You misread. Try again. Please engage your noggin first.

    2. Tom says:

      …”The Democrats are just as broken as the Republicans, they just are blind enough to think themselves virtuous. If they weren’t, they’d be working on boosting vitamin D levels, they’d be pushing for N95 mask factories in the US and child-sized N95’s, they’d ensure that the top people responsible for vaccinations at the FDA don’t quit in frustration, they’d require manufacturer liability for all vaccines, they’d be pushing research into repurposed drugs to cure breakthrough infections, they’d be boosting the number of hospital beds, hospital profits be damned, and so on.”…

      I tend to agree with this comment. My reading of the Biden WH and the CDC is that there is less overt interference with the scientific dictates but there certainly is some interference: looking specifically at the Booster shell game.

      During the last 10 years there has been a pleasing increase in the young and the female stepping into the sociopolitical arena (even with the top heavy ageing of the developed countries populations). I am still waiting for this generational and gender change to start producing results; I know governing is a marathon and not a sprint, but…

    3. Postagoras says:

      Your invocation of “both-sides-ism” is a tired excuse.

      “Our system is completely and utterly broken.”

      Wrong. Democracy is not magic, and governing is not easy. Throwing up your hands and saying it’s all broken is easy but wrong.

      “We’re not fixing anything. Instead we’re flailing around. If you want to convince people to take a vaccine, show them the evidence it works so they want it.”

      Wrong again. The vaccines exist, which is a huge benefit, and the result of decades of scientific research. As for “show them the evidence it works”? Gosh, Mr. Science, NO ONE EVER THOUGHT OF THAT. You’re a genius! (That is sarcasm, in case you didn’t get it).

      “Our problem is simple: the fish rots starting from its head.”

      Wrong again. Our problems are not simple. They’re hard. Making decisions about how to deal with them is hard work. Don’t give up.

      1. Joe says:

        If you have to force people to do something, you’ve obviously not managed to convince them.

        Now that the President feels he can mandate vaccinations with an executive order, I look forward to the day the next one that gets elected feels he can mandate that everyone must inject bleach or mercury.

        There is a reason to have checks and balances on individuals’ power. The position of President has acquired far too much power.

        Furthermore, there is a reason that we are a nation that does not value someone’s opinion of the “common good” above individual rights. When Rousseau argued that imposing the “common good” on everyone would avoid wasting time with petty debates, his student Robespierre was listening. It took Robespierre’s execution to put an end to the Terror after the French Revolution.

        And, Mr “You’re wrong”, you clearly misunderstand what Science is. Science is about falsification, not verificationism. Following “the” Science is not Scientific, it’s Scientism. Perhaps it would interest you to know that some of the key people who developed these vaccines are sounding the alarm about their use. One of the main researchers behind the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine has stated that she does not believe we need boosters. Indeed, even the CEO of AstraZeneca has said the same thing. Sajid Javid, the UK health minister says they will be available within the next month regardless.

        Our system IS broken. For instance, it’s nominally democratic, but not actually democratic: 80% of people wanted neither Trump nor Clinton. Money has perverted Scientific inquiry: grant money, or corporate decisions, determine all research. Unsurprisingly most innovative research dates to the 1960s or before. The only exception being Moore’s law. And it’s obvious in many many other ways. It’s amazing to me that Dr Fauci funded virus chimera research at Wuhan, also known as gain of function research, lied to the Senate about it, yet has not lost his job, let alone resigned. The head, our “elites”, is rotten.

        If you can’t see the problems, which are myriad and blatantly obvious, remove the blinders over your eyes. Delete your social media accounts. Read news from multiple perspectives. Try to understand why your fellow countrymen might not see things the same way you do. Don’t just “correct them” with how “right” you are. Yes, that takes work, but it’ll help you relax the hatred your “Wrong, Blah.” responses indicate.

        Pointing out problems is the first step to fixing them. You are the one who assumes that I’m simply throwing up my hands and giving up. Indeed, if you see no problem, as you pointed out, it’s you who is more likely to do nothing.

        1. RRCRrea says:

          Talking to Joe does not work. He is not reasonable. Back away slowly. Do not make eye contact. Disengage and move away for your own mental health and well-being.
          Oh and to keep from wasting your time.
          Do not feed the trolls.

          1. Joe says:

            Why do you think I’m a troll?

            That saddens me.

        2. Tom says:

          “If you have to force people to do something, you’ve obviously not managed to convince them.”

          Not correct. People sometimes choose to do something they know is incorrect or dangerous or even deadly. Usually this is because of their “beliefs”; other times because of their health problems such as depression or an inability to comprehend.

          1. Joe says:

            Fair enough. But wouldn’t that account for 5% of the population? Half the population is not fully vaccinated. I do not find it credible to believe that half the population is unable to comprehend or is depressed.

            Also, as comment about my previous statement “That saddens me”. I believe we need both sides of an argument to argue respectfully. They reached their view seeing different aspects of the same problem. Through the dialectic one learns to see what the other side sees, and what we ourselves do not. A society which expects conformity of opinion cannot learn. With the challenges facing us, we very much need to learn.

            Physical limits preclude further growth without devastating our ecosystem and thereby ourselves. Our species has always wanted growth. Our monetary systems rely on growth (loans with interest). We need to figure out a way to survive, nay thrive, without growth. That is a one in a billion year level challenge. It’s far from certain we will succeed.

            The prerequisite for that journey is to use all our intelligence. And that requires basic decency: respecting each other’s point of view, and curiosity why the other would say something. Not simply dismissing each other as wrong. I do not see our “leaders” doing this. I only see them dividing us further.

            Denmark did very well. No vaccine mandates. Trust in the government. Trust that was well deserved: the government is now getting rid of vaccination passes. Compare that to the never ending security theater called the TSA. I’ll be long dead and buried and they’ll be confiscating empty tubes of toothpaste that have too much “capacity”.

          2. Like it or not, right now, roughly 30-35% of the U.S. population has demonstrated that they either lack the ability or the desire to accept verified facts that conflict with their beliefs, and that goes far beyond vaccination.

          3. Joe says:

            @LEM

            Please specify: which verified facts do you believe 1/3 of the population is unable to accept?

            Thanks!

          4. Depending on which poll you look at, between 25 and 32 percent of Americans still believe Trump won the election. Almost 40% believe that there was a “deep state” working to undermine President Trump. While it’s not 30%, 22% of Americans believe that wearing a mask increases the chance of getting COVID. 25% believe that voting machines were rigged to switch votes from Trump to Biden. 17% believe that Satan-worshipping elites who run a child sex ring control American politics. Thirty-eight percent of Americans believe the COVID death rate has been exaggerated, even though a number of studies indicate that it’s been under-reported. That’s more than enough for starters.

          5. Joe says:

            @LEM. Thanks! It’s interesting. I don’t see some of your examples as quite as black and white as you seem to.

            * Wrt Trump winning: There are reasons to have low trust in the US electoral system: gerrymandering, the DNC claiming in court that it’s within their rights to eliminate primary candidates, the hanging chad debacle, voting machines containing bugs when adding one to a counter is a trivial program, the way Kamala Harris was unpopular yet became the choice for VP, the fact the NY Post’s correct article about Hunter Biden was censored by social media from which 55% of Americans often get their news, etc. These facts make it easy for people to reach such a conclusion if they are so inclined. The solution would be to clean up the electoral system, so that such claims would fall on deaf ears. However politicians have no incentive to do so.

            * Wrt the deep state: whether one calls it the deep state, the blob, the resistance or any other name, it is a phenomenon that affects most presidents and most countries: civil servants have their own interests. In the UK, “Yes Minister!” and “Yes Prime Minister!” were amusing comedies about this very phenomenon: for instance see https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5v4rhe Sometimes civil servants’ obstruction is good, like when Danish civil servants ensured all police and military boats were being painted while the Jews fled to Sweden. Sometimes it isn’t. I’m sure every president encounters this, but if the president’s policies are aligned with the interests of the civil service (who happen to mostly lean left), things will be easier for the president. An example of obstructionism that Trump had to deal with was the nothing-burger Mueller investigation. It was obviously not going to lead anywhere since if one read the Steele report one would have noticed it was clearly nonsense.

            * Wrt wearing a mask increase COVID transmission: that’s insane. I can understand that masks might cause development issues for kids learning to recognize faces, or that dirty masks could cause other problems, and that breathing through a resistive surface could be difficult for people with weak lungs. Unfortunately, my criticism of such views has to be tempered by the fact our health authorities have not boosted their credibility by inane moves such as telling people that they no longer need masks if they are vaccinated. Epidemiologists knew that these vaccines were leaky (transmission is only reduced by 40%). Similarly, the CDC stopped monitoring Covid-19 infections among the vaccinated on May 1st for no good reason. OSHA also no longer collects data on employer mandated vaccination side-effects. Knowing how many vaccinated people catch COVID matters. For instance, in the UK, fully vaccinated people over 40 are more likely to catch COVID and go to hospital than their unvaccinated peers because the vaccinated behave as if they were immune, even though they aren’t. The unvaccinated are more cautious. The PM of Israel mentioned the same phenomenon. The contrast Denmark, where government worked hard to ensure the population felt it was trust-worthy, couldn’t be higher.

            * Wrt the Satan accusation. Well that does truly blow my mind. Touché.

          6. R. Hamilton says:

            Better free people sometimes endangering each other than people all nice and safe and getting accustomed to being ordered around.

            Freedom has many prices. Dead soldiers. Enough people have to use it responsibly based on free choice and understanding (NOT because they were ordered to!) or they’ll lose it. You can’t protect everyone from everyone else. Some people will be stupid at more than just their own risk. And doubtless more.

            Liberty is worth the cost even in avoidable death. If you don’t agree, you won’t stay free for much longer. There are places where you’ll be commanded to get shots, told what to say and not say, what thoughts are undesirable, etc (oops, that’s all starting to happen here!). Maybe you’d be happier there.

            That said, unless you want to prove you’re not afraid to die, or have specific professional medical advise to the contrary, it’d be better to get the shots than not to. But you should be free to be stupid, even if it doesn’t improve my odds (although IMO my odds are my responsibility, not yours).

            Anyone at the federal level who wants to boss people around for their “own good” (even if it really truly would be for their own good) should resign or be removed. At the state level…I have mixed feelings about it depending on the issue, but even at worst, one could always move to another state; and the Constitution at least nominally puts a lot more limits on the federal government than on the states.

  2. Hanna says:

    “Those in power only have hubris or senility..”

    Saw what you did there, donald.

    1. Joe says:

      Oh, Donald has his place on this list. It’s just that he has a lot of company from our current gereontocracy.

  3. Rechra says:

    There is a lot of blatant Hypocrisy going around. I think some of it is targeted counter arguments. Republicans and Democrats aren’t looking at the world they are trying to think about how the other side would feel about the situation and make their point hit on what the other side cares about. Republicans are more blatant because they don’t see it as Hypocrisy or when they do see it they would rather win their argument then not be Hypocritical.

    Republicans in Texas think they came up with a clever work around the law. The Supreme Court thinks it did the same thing with the Constitution to get around Roe vs Wade. The fact that it doesn’t actually work and is unconstitutional for multiple other reasons only matters when it matters. Which is bound to happen when the Law is after results instead of improving.

  4. John Prigent says:

    I won’t waste your time by commenting on US politics – I’m a Brit living in England. But can I recommend my own approach to politicians? I simply disbelieve anything they say that isn’t backed up by verifiable facts. This saves a lot of time.

    1. The problem, especially here in the U.S., is that too many people are either unwilling or too unintelligent to know what a verifiable fact really is.

      1. Joe says:

        Schooling in this country is pretty abysmal. How many Americans can identify Afghanistan on a map? But I think social media is making things even worse.

        Netflix just made its movie “the Social Dilemna” available to everyone to watch for free here:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mqR_e2seeM

        It’s worth a look.

      2. R. Hamilton says:

        A verifiable fact has formal mathematical proof, or at least 5 sigma probability if it is to be presumed true and other possible truths built on it. Anything else is, if unfiltered and unabbreviated, a probability that might be useful but not conclusive.

        Part of the problem is that everything has to be simplified to the point where it’s barely true anymore. Some of these folks say one thing, then another. Sometimes it’s because of new understanding, but sometimes, in their own admission, it’s to manipulate people for a desirable outcome, even if they know it’s not hewing close to the truth. Trust is undermined both by sound bites and by manipulation. At some point, it comes down as much to who you want to believe as to what evidence, at least unless you review the real research without the filters. I do; so I VOLUNTARILY do most of what’s recommended (shots, more masking than required, N95 or better for air travel, etc). But I don’t like being required to, and I don’t like that anyone thinks it’s ok that they should be required to, whether for their own safety or for the common good really just doesn’t matter. Let fools die, and if they take some others with them, that’s one of the prices of liberty – even if it’s me or (worse) someone I wouldn’t want to lose that dies because of fools.

  5. M Kilian says:

    It’s a bad law that deals with a symptom of a culture that has been fostered which encourages poor education regarding contraception and even the feasibility of such.

    Such is an ugly reality, and it is compounded by the loudest denunciators whom have revealed an equally ugly facet of modern society that also ignore the importance of contraception, and goes on to idolize the ability to terminate life on whim.

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