Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post:
What used to be the conservative movement in this country is becoming a death cult. The measure of its power is less in ballots cast than in how many people die needlessly in service of this twisted worldview.
This reality was on view over the weekend in Dallas at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where attendees cheered when Alex Berenson, who has made himself a Fox News folk hero for spreading misinformation about covid-19 vaccines, crowed about the fact that fewer Americans were getting their shots than public health officials had hoped.
“It’s horrifying,” Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. “I mean, they are cheering about someone saying that it’s a good thing for people not to try and save their lives. … Everybody starts screaming and clapping. I just don’t get that. I mean, and I don’t think that anybody who is thinking clearly can get that. What is that all about?”
I’ll tell you, even if the good doctor won’t. The cheers are all about “owning” Fauci, President Biden, liberals in general, scientists in particular, mask-wearers, fancy-pants “elites” and everyone else urging people to get vaccinated. The inevitable result will be that we end up mourning people who didn’t need to die. And the worst-case possibility is that covid-19 roars back — along with the restrictions and isolations Americans thought we’d left behind.
“I’m perplexed by the reluctance of some to get vaccinated, totally perplexed,” the most powerful Republican in Washington, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), said last week in a grotesque display of faux concern. The hesitancy, and the misinformation that drives it, is coming from inside the house — and the House.
McConnell and other GOP leaders need to forcefully explain to their constituents that, by refusing to get vaccinated, they’re owning no one except themselves. The measure of devotion to a belief might be how much a worshiper is willing to sacrifice to it, but offering up one’s loved ones, one’s livelihood and even one’s own health to a god this stupid is deranged.
I know all too well what it feels like to lose someone to Covid-19, as do just about everyone I know. It is a loss, yes, but the hardest part is that it was avoidable were it not for the careless, hapless, and politically-motivated depraved indifference of the prior administration. I am sure the survivors will feel as much pain as we all do, but the ignorance and stupidity that caused it hardens my heart and it takes all of my restraint not to remind them that they are enabling the plague.
In other words, they own this, and as Charles Darwin might say, “I got this.”