In “How the G.O.P. Became Saboteurs, Threatening a Government Shutdown,” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman used the averted federal government shutdown to launch his usual partisan lunacy, untethered to reality.
In Friday's edition, Krugman claimed today’s GOP is even worse now than in the days of (gasp) Newt Gingrich.
This time, Republican obstructionists aren’t even pretending to care about red ink. Instead, they’re threatening to shut everything down unless the Biden administration abandons its efforts to fight the coronavirus with vaccine mandates.
What’s that about? As many observers have pointed out, claims that opposition to vaccine mandates (and similar opposition to mask mandates) is about maintaining personal freedom don’t stand up to any kind of scrutiny….
He set his aim on his favorite target, Florida.
Furthermore, actions by Republican-controlled state governments, for example in Florida and Texas, show a party that isn’t so much pro-freedom as it is pro-Covid. How else can you explain attempts to prevent private businesses -- whose freedom to choose was supposed to be sacrosanct -- from requiring that their workers be vaccinated, or offers of special unemployment benefits for the unvaccinated?
….Voters tend to blame whichever party holds the White House for anything bad that happens on its watch, which creates an incentive for a sufficiently ruthless party to engage in outright sabotage. Sure enough, Republicans who fought all efforts to contain the coronavirus are now attacking the Biden administration for failing to end the pandemic.
It’s no surprise Krugman loathes Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who shunned COVID hysteria and successfully reopened public life in the state. Krugman even called him an “ally of the coronavirus” for his refusal to allow businesses to require patrons show their vaccination status or schools from requiring masks.
For those gestures toward individual freedom, DeSantis was bizarrely termed an authoritarian by Krugman. In an August newsletter, the columnist went so far as to urge DeSantis -- if he had “a sudden attack of conscience” about “the carnage his Covid denial has created” -- to shut down indoor dining, under the hysterical, unironic headline “Lockdown Florida Now!”
But with the summer surge of COVID past, Florida now has the lowest COVID caseload per capita of any state. Coincidentally, DeSantis isn’t mentioned in Krugman’s latest, though he still spewed nasty lies toward the Republican Party in general.
Krugman reversed reality, accusing Republicans of authoritarianism when it was the Democratic Party who locked schoolhouse doors and playgrounds, threw people out of work, and compelled everyone to mask up even with no peer-reviewed studies backing mask mandates.
….As I’ve pointed out in the past, Republican politicians now act like apparatchiks in an authoritarian regime, competing to take ever more extreme positions as a way to demonstrate their loyalty to the cause -- and to The Leader. Catering to anti-vaccine hysteria, doing all they can to keep the pandemic going, has become something Republicans do to remain in good standing within the party.