Patterico's Pontifications

3/16/2021

Trump Voters And Their Hesitancy About The Vaccine

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:39 pm



[guest post by Dana]

As we know Trump voters have been reluctant to get the vaccine for COVID. A significant percentage of them in fact:

At the same time, a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll found that a full 50 percent of unvaccinated 2020 Trump voters now say they will “never” get vaccinated for COVID-19, up 6 percent from last month.

According to the survey of 1,629 U.S. adults, which was conducted March 4-8, no other unvaccinated group is nearly as likely to say they will “never” get inoculated: not Biden supporters (8 percent), not Black Americans (33 percent) and not Hispanic Americans (22 percent), all of whom have moved in the opposite direction and become less hesitant over time.

Having been influenced by Trump, whose history with COVID we don’t need to re-litigate, it makes sense that they are skeptical of the vaccine. But. A recent focus group comprised of Trump voters explained what they needed to see to convince them to take the vaccine:

Be honest that scientists don’t have all the answers. Tout the number of people who got the vaccines in trials. And don’t show pro-vaccine ads with politicians — not even ones with Donald Trump.

That’s what a focus group of vaccine-hesitant Trump voters insisted to politicians and pollsters this weekend, as public health leaders rush to win over the tens of millions of Republicans who say they don’t plan to get a coronavirus shot. If those voters follow through, it would imperil efforts to achieve the high levels of immunity needed to stop the virus’s spread in the United States, experts fear.

“These people represent 30 million Americans. And without these people, you’re not getting herd immunity,” said Frank Luntz, the longtime GOP pollster who convened Saturday’s focus group over Zoom. The group followed what Luntz characterized as a remarkable arc: By the end of the two-hour-plus session, all 19 participants (one dropped out early) said they were more likely to get vaccinated, and Luntz said he had begun nationwide polling to see which messages resonated with a broader population.

Participants were adamant: They all believed the coronavirus threat was real, with many having contracted it themselves or aware of critically ill friends and family, and they didn’t want to be condemned as “anti-vaxxers” who opposed all vaccines. Instead, they blamed their hesitation on factors like the unknown long-term effects of new vaccines, even though scientists have stressed their confidence in the products. They also accused politicians and government scientists of repeatedly misleading them this past year — often echoing Trump’s charges that Democrats used the virus as an election-year weapon and overhyped its dangers. Several said that recent political appeals to get the shot were only hardening their opposition.

A few comments from the focus group:

“We want to be educated, not indoctrinated,” said a man identified as Adam from New York, who praised the vaccines as a “miracle, albeit suspicious.”

A woman identified as Sue from Iowa said she feared political “manipulation” of the vaccines, even though she had been a pharmacist for Merck, one of the drug companies helping to produce a vaccine. “I know their vaccines are good products, I trust them,” Sue added. “What I don’t trust is the government telling me what I need to do when they haven’t led us down the right road.”

Focus group members also said that they were annoyed by a public service announcement with former Presidents Carter, Bush, Clinton, and Obama. They referred to the PSA as “propaganda” made by “bad actors”.

Cue Trump. Today, while it wasn’t an official public service announcement, Trump told Maria Bartiromo in a telephone interview that everyone should get vaccinated:

“I would recommend it, and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don’t want to get it.”

Trump noted “a lot of those people” who don’t want the vaccine “voted for me, frankly. But … again, we have our freedoms, and we have to live by that, and I agree with that also. It’s a great vaccine, it’s a safe vaccine and it’s something that works.”

[I find it a bit curious that Trump, who has been out of office for two months, waited until today to recommend that his supporters get the shot…]

Last night President Biden was asked whether he thought it would help increase vaccinations if Trump encouraged his supporters:

“Should President Trump help promote the vaccine amongst skeptics, sir? Especially those Republicans who say that they’re not willing …” a reporter at the White House asked Biden at the end of an event Monday.

“I’m hearing a lot of reports from serious reporters like you saying that. I discussed it with my team, and they say the thing that has more impact than anything Trump would say to the MAGA folks, is what the local doctors, what the local preachers, what the local people in the community say,” he responded. “So, I urge all local [doctors] and ministers and priests to talk about why it’s important to get that vaccine, and even after that, until everyone is, in fact, vaccinated to wear this mask.”

Jen Psaki strained to explain how a Democratic president could reach a reluctant MAGA crowd about the vaccine:

When pressed about what the Biden White House was doing to reach out to Americans across the aisle, Psaki on Monday stressed that his goal is to vaccinate all Americans “not just those who voted for him.”…

“One of the steps we’ve taken, and we can effectively do outside of any partisan politics is ensure that there are locations with trusted, interested locations, community health centers, pharmacies, where anybody of any political persuasion can get the vaccine, and they don’t need to wear a Joe Biden sticker in order to do that,” Psaki said.

And about whether Trump should encourage supporters to get vaccinated, Psaki offered this pointed comment:

“Every other living former president … has participated in public campaigns, they did not need an engraved invitation to do so. So, he may decide he should do that. If so, great,” Psaki said. “But there are a lot of different ways to engage, to reach out, to ensure that people of a range of political support and backing know the vaccine is safe and effective.”

Note: a day earlier and offering a decidedly different opinion than that of President Biden, Dr. Fauci said that it would indeed make a big difference if Trump encouraged Republicans to get the vaccine:

A day earlier, Fauci said he wishes Trump would use his influence over supporters to encourage them to get the vaccine, saying it would “be a game changer” during an appearance on Fox News Sunday.

“It seems like an intrinsic contradiction, the fact that you had a program that was started during his presidency and he’s not out telling people to get vaccinated. I wish he would. He has such an incredible influence over people in the Republican Party,” Fauci said. “It would really be a game changer if he did.”

After Trump’s “PSA” this morning, we’ll see if Fauci is right. (I sure hope he is!)

–Dana

71 Responses to “Trump Voters And Their Hesitancy About The Vaccine”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (fd537d)

  2. Trump did the right thing today. Good for him, I hope his believers…listen and comprehend.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  3. I would also like to thank him for not shooting anybody on Fifth Avenue yet. Fauci said it nicer than I would have. What was all that preening that he deserved the credit for the vaccine about then? If he was not going to tell his cult to get it? Half-smart, half-competent, half-assed New York sewer rat!

    nk (1d9030)

  4. You have to grade Trumpism on a curve.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  5. The uncharitable part of me is tempted to say, “Their choice, let them die.” while the more charitable part says that Biden is probably right, the local people need to talk about it. This particular group wouldn’t believe a Dem if the Dem said water was wet, but maybe they’ll believe their priest or their doctor or their kids.

    The third part of me thinks they are just jerk lying trolls who want a rise out of the non-Trump people and they really plan to get it, even thought they say they don’t.

    Nic (896fdf)

  6. So, was Trump compelled to do his PSA because of what Biden, or Psaki, or Fauci said?? I think one of them pushed his buttons and that’s why he said what he said. It could’ve been because Biden sort of blew him off, Psaki ticked him off, or Fauci flattered him. He’s had months to say something…

    Dana (fd537d)

  7. It could’ve been because Biden sort of blew him off, Psaki ticked him off, or Fauci flattered him.

    My vote is for flattery. With Trump, always go with flattery.

    norcal (01e272)

  8. I think it was Fauci’s flattery. They have a weird back and forth, but Trump is forgiving in a weird way, like dysfunctional families forgive, and Trump recognizes that the vaccine is a relevant accomplishment of his administration. He should want the vaccine to succeed, and he should not want its main challenge to be Trump’s fanbase.

    This will be ineffective. It is inevitable that the democrats push too hard on the vaccine, generating resentment, fear, and defiance from many republicans.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  9. Trump voters are far less likely to trust elites. Why is this so hard to understand? The same people who who are talking down to them on vaccines were doing the same thing about their “deplorable” beliefs, such as their bitter clinging to God, guns and NASCAR.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  10. *who who are who were

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  11. “Every other living former president … has participated in public campaigns, they did not need an engraved invitation to do so. So, he may decide he should do that. If so, great,” Psaki said.

    Psaki seems more and more a mouthpiece, just like everyone else in her job. Pretty sure no one asked him to participate, and would have refused if he’d offered.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  12. Actually, Kevin, it was Tom Frieden, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and an appointee of Obama’s that made the biggest impression on the focus group and was also the most persuasive. The GOP pols, including Trump allies didn’t make the cut.

    Dana (fd537d)

  13. Not a word here about the real issues: the filibuster, the Democrats’ desire to confiscate guns (the “gun safety” law defines most guns as unsafe), make elections a joke (no ID, same-day registration? Ballots mailed out like spam? Really?), immigration amnesty, giant tax hikes to pay for giant spending hikes, the union labor law wish-list, and a new moral code, mandated by law.

    Sure, anyone who doesn’t get a vaccine is an idiot, but there are worse things afoot.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  14. The GOP pols, including Trump allies didn’t make the cut.

    Never said that politicians were anyone’s go-tos. What I said was that Trump voters are predisposed not to trust elites. It’s their raison d’etre. They do not want to be talked down to, and most elites (e.g. Fauci) find themselves unable to deal with people not of their class.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  15. My vote is for flattery. With Trump, always go with flattery.

    I don’t think much of Trump, but I do think he can detect bullsh1t.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  16. You have to grade Trumpism on a curve.

    This is exactly the type of elitist bullsh1t that turns off most people.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  17. Trump voters are far less likely to trust elites. Why is this so hard to understand?

    Trump voters trust Trump, a famous and wealthy man who held the highest office in the land, and they trust any elite who is pro-Trump.
    Many of them have chosen to distrust scientists and public health experts on their subjects of expertise, and put more trust in the prominent talking heads who tell everyone that other elites are bad and the experts are wrong.

    The same people who who are talking down to them on vaccines were doing the same thing about their “deplorable” beliefs, …

    The Trumper resistance isn’t a matter of reacting to people “talking down to them on vaccines.” They are rejecting politically neutral messages about Covid and vaccines that are sent out to the general population, even when they come from people who never called them deplorables or bitter clingers.

    My neighbor is suspicious of the vaccines not because she distrusts “elites,” but because she trusts the right-wing media that painted Covid as a plot against Trump.

    Radegunda (f4d5c0)

  18. My vote is for flattery. With Trump, always go with flattery.
    I don’t think much of Trump, but I do think he can detect bullsh1t.

    Do you seriously believe that someone who is always praising himself as the greatest in every way has ever been skeptical of any flattery bestowed upon him? Or that such a prodigious font of BS is really a keen detector of it?

    Radegunda (f4d5c0)

  19. Well, my father always said, never trust first generation software. So I understand the hesitancy.

    I can’t remember the last time I got a flu vaccine, but it was over 45 years ago. I haven’t caught the flu since I was in junior high. I’m at very low risk of catching the flu today. I’m also at very low risk of catching Covid. So there is very little reason for me to get a vaccine, unless I return to teaching or go back to graduate school to complete my PhD.

    I would like to do the latter, just to finish what I started, but it might take a couple of years to dissolve my mother’s estate. I really can’t to anything until then. I’ll turn 60 in May, so I have nothing left but time on my hands. Maybe I should write a book or two in the mean time.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  20. Trump did the right thing today. Good for him, I hope his believers…listen and comprehend.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0) — 3/16/2021 @ 7:51 pm

    I don’t care why he did this, but I’m glad that he did. It’s the right thing to do; it will help save people and open up the economy faster.

    Time123 (af99e9)

  21. Trump voters are far less likely to trust elites. Why is this so hard to understand? The same people who who are talking down to them on vaccines were doing the same thing about their “deplorable” beliefs, such as their bitter clinging to God, guns and NASCAR.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 3/16/2021 @ 10:43 pm

    Yup, they are a tribe motivated by cultural grievance; difficult to persuade in any language that doesn’t first affirm their ego and reinforce their victimhood.

    Time123 (af99e9)

  22. Insert any number of comments about assigning rational thought processes to Trump and his supporters here.

    nk (1d9030)

  23. To be fair, the Vice President apparently said she would not get a vaccine developed under Trump. Right? I am curious if she has walked that back.”

    To me, this is about science and public health. Everyone has been just a jackwagon about this matter, due to awful politics. Me, I have been worried since I took an epidemiology course as an undergrad. Something my professor told me, way back then, about pandemics.

    “No model is correct, but some of them are useful.”

    Food for thought. I had my first Moderna vaccination last week. Waiting for the second.

    Please stay safe and healthy, folks.

    Simon Jester (47a7bf)

  24. he may be waiting for mr president vladimir who always knows best to recommend the vaccine

    that seems prudent

    Dave (1bb933)

  25. I don’t think much of Trump, but I do think he can detect bullsh1t.

    Hahahahahahaha

    Dave (1bb933)

  26. Trump voters now say they will “never” get vaccinated for COVID-19

    For perspective, how many tRump voters get a flu vaccine every year?

    BillPasadena (5b0401)

  27. Trump bullsh1t detection algorithm:

    Do I want to believe this?

    Yes: It’s true. Praise myself. Terminate algorithm.
    No: It’s fake. Vituperate source. Terminate algorithm.

    Dave (1bb933)

  28. Not a word here about the real issues: the filibuster, the Democrats’ desire to confiscate guns (the “gun safety” law defines most guns as unsafe), make elections a joke (no ID, same-day registration? Ballots mailed out like spam? Really?), immigration amnesty, giant tax hikes to pay for giant spending hikes, the union labor law wish-list, and a new moral code, mandated by law.

    Sure, anyone who doesn’t get a vaccine is an idiot, but there are worse things afoot.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 3/16/2021 @ 11:05 pm

    Those are many of the issues that really matter, but they don’t give the same satisfaction to people for how they voted and how they behave. So it’s better to pretend they don’t exist. Dopamine hits for the win.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  29. To be fair, the Vice President apparently said she would not get a vaccine developed under Trump. Right? I am curious if she has walked that back.”

    To me, this is about science and public health. Everyone has been just a jackwagon about this matter, due to awful politics. Me, I have been worried since I took an epidemiology course as an undergrad. Something my professor told me, way back then, about pandemics.

    “No model is correct, but some of them are useful.”

    Food for thought. I had my first Moderna vaccination last week. Waiting for the second.

    Please stay safe and healthy, folks.

    Simon Jester (47a7bf) — 3/17/2021 @ 8:17 am

    We use that phrase about models where I work. Glad you got your vaccine.

    Time123 (af99e9)

  30. Radegunda

    The entire “attraction” of Trump was that he wanted to destroy the coastal elites’ control of the country. He said he was the champion of the [white] middle-class working families, particularly those in NASCAR country that the elites disdained. The “deplorables.”

    So, when these same elites start talking down to them as if they don’t have the sense to come in out of the rain, they are NOT going to listen. What they want is straight talk (and yes, why they chose Trump is a mystery there; probably Hobson’s choice) and explanations that don’t start with “You stupid cracker”.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  31. To be fair, the Vice President apparently said she would not get a vaccine developed under Trump. Right? I am curious if she has walked that back.”

    To me, this is about science and public health. Everyone has been just a jackwagon about this matter, due to awful politics.

    There’s another aspect to this poll.

    When a question is strongly linked to a specific group or identity it can be hard to get straight answers. You point about Harris illustrates it. So long as it was a Trump vaccine she didn’t want to admit she trusted it.

    The same mindset can have an impact on surveys. If pro-Trump respondents feel a certain answer is an implied criticism of Trump they might not be willing to give that answer, regardless of what their actual opinion and actions will be. This isn’t a Trump supporter specific phenomena and examples can be found across many groups.

    I don’t have the time or interest to dig into if that happened in this poll, but depending on survey design there might be ways to understand if that’s happening.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  32. Radegunda

    The entire “attraction” of Trump was that he wanted to destroy the coastal elites’ control of the country. He said he was the champion of the [white] middle-class working families, particularly those in NASCAR country that the elites disdained. The “deplorables.”

    So, when these same elites start talking down to them as if they don’t have the sense to come in out of the rain, they are NOT going to listen. What they want is straight talk (and yes, why they chose Trump is a mystery there; probably Hobson’s choice) and explanations that don’t start with “You stupid cracker”.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 3/17/2021 @ 8:51 am

    If you look at Hillary’s quote in context it’s pretty clear she was talking about a subset of Trump supporters. In 2016 saying that Trump supporters like Milo and Richard Spencer were deplorable doesn’t seem inaccurate.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  33. Hahahahahahaha

    And this is why he beat you the first time, and almost pulled it off a second time. Sure, he likes people who agree with his “ideas” but he does know when people are just trying to lift his wallet. He’s an accurate judge of character, he just seeks a different sort than you would.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  34. whew, was getting worried we’d stop blaming trump supporters

    in my democrap state, transients and those that have killed or robbed someone (prisoners) are prioritized over those 55 and older which we’re told is the prime trump demo so it’s not like it’s them saying no

    JF (3efb60)

  35. If you look at Hillary’s quote in context it’s pretty clear she was talking about a subset of Trump supporters.

    Are you saying that the coastal elites don’t have disdain for the NASCAR crowd in fly-over country? If so, you don’t know many of them.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  36. are prioritized over those 55 and older

    Details aside, I wonder if the way vaccine prioritization has been set up alienates people by itself. Sour grapes and all that. The whole “old people are too white” argument is particularly off-putting and while most states haven’t followed that line, some have.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  37. If you look at Hillary’s quote in context it’s pretty clear she was talking about a subset of Trump supporters.

    Are you saying that the coastal elites don’t have disdain for the NASCAR crowd in fly-over country? If so, you don’t know many of them.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 3/17/2021 @ 9:00 am

    If i can throw in qualifies like ‘some’ then I’ll completely agree with you.

    Time123 (af99e9)

  38. “Elites” is a term for a gestalt. Some doesn’t work well for me there. Some members of those elites are more respectful of the hoi palloi than others, of course.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  39. Are you saying that the coastal elites don’t have disdain for the NASCAR crowd in fly-over country?

    Anyone who seriously entertained the idea that Donald Trump was fit to be president is worthy of disdain.

    That applies to coastal elites and NASCAR types without distinction. But they are not distributed evenly.

    Dave (1bb933)

  40. “Elites” is a term for a gestalt. Some doesn’t work well for me there. Some members of those elites are more respectful of the hoi palloi than others, of course.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 3/17/2021 @ 9:33 am

    The elites look down on fly over country is to broad for me to agree with. But if i had to bet based on your commenting history, once the language is made more precise I’ll agree with yuo.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  41. I note that it’s been a day or so and as yet neither Red state nor National Review have mentioned a guy massacring women in Atlanta. I guess that kind of thing isn’t considered newsworthy by the right anymore.

    Victor (4959fb)

  42. White incels killing asian-american sex workers isn’t the sort of thing that right wing media cares about particularly.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  43. nro and red state aren’t self anointed news sites

    looks like you’re anointing them

    fox news was all over it

    lefties decry media bias lol

    JF (3efb60)

  44. My apologies. NR just put up an article describing the killings:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/news/atlanta-spa-shooting-suspect-told-cops-attack-motivated-by-sex-addiction-not-anti-asian-hate/

    The main point made is to stress that killing mostly Korean women was not an attack on Koreans or Asians but instead targeted women. Thus, per the police spokesperson, not a hate crime.

    Victor (4959fb)

  45. Sex workers? I thought it was massage therapists.

    I hate to say this, but Asians have had to wait far too long — behind blacks, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Native Americans, “migrants”, gays, lesbians, transgenders, and even white people who fear white genocide* — for their admittance to Victimhood. It is past time that their oppression in this godawful society we have created was recognized and something done about it.

    *My apologies to those groups I missed and I’m sure I missed several.

    nk (1d9030)

  46. Tout the number of people who got the vaccines in trials.

    A lot of people probably don’t know about the trials. The FDA probably doesn’t want people to know about them, because a lot of the testing was unnecessary. Nobody wants people to know that clinical trials involve giving half the people a placebo. And you can only prove they work by waiting for the epidemic to spread and seen that the truly vaccinated got less sick and didn’t get hospitalize or die, as compared with the people who got the placebo. You could also instead look for antibodies, but no, that’s not scientifically perfect. Or once you had a treatment – and there always was convalescent fluid, not to mention monoclonal antibodies – you give people challenge tests (only, of course to people who got the vaccine which they think works.) But, no, that’s not ethical and maybe not scientifically flawless. Waiting for 100,000 (unvaccinated) people to die, that is ethical.

    don’t show pro-vaccine ads with politicians — not even ones with Donald Trump

    Well, maybe an ad with Donald Trump cold help if he didn;t just endorse it, but said it worked because the companies are good, and the medical research workers are good, and he knew it wold work back in the middle of the summer, but the Democrats put pressure on the FDA and the companies not to approve it sooner, and obstacles were created, (look at these newspaper headlines – show on screen) because they didn’t want an “October Surprise” but he is not going to say he would have won the election if the vaccine had been approved sooner, and by the way, he won it anyway.

    That might resonate. It wouldn’t sound like something written for him.

    Frank Luntz had some famous Republicans or conservatives talk to the focus group. One was Chris Christie. He said it wasn’t only older people like Donald Trump and himself who got sick, but Hope Hicks, aged 32, did, and while she ddn’t go to the hospital she told him that was the sickest she had ever been in her life.

    Sammy Finkelman (ff268d)

  47. My apologies. NR just put up an article describing the killings:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/news/atlanta-spa-shooting-suspect-told-cops-attack-motivated-by-sex-addiction-not-anti-asian-hate/

    The main point made is to stress that killing mostly Korean women was not an attack on Koreans or Asians but instead targeted women. Thus, per the police spokesperson, not a hate crime.

    Victor (4959fb) — 3/17/2021 @ 10:31 am

    I think GA includes gender for hate crime. This could still count I suppose.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  48. nro and red state aren’t self anointed news sites

    looks like you’re anointing them

    fox news was all over it

    lefties decry media bias lol

    JF (3efb60) — 3/17/2021 @ 10:19 am

    I agree. They’re not news sites. Unless there’s a political implication i wouldn’t expect them to cover it.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  49. They may not be news sites but they are perfectly willing to note stories about news they are interested in. The current Redstate front page includes articles on Cardi B and a new gay Captain America, along with the usual bilge about Biden.

    Victor (4959fb)

  50. Victor, So stories about culture war items and the president. All political stuff. They’ll cover the shooting once there’s a political implication

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  51. I guess the issue is whether or not you think there is a cultural/political implication of a young man with a gun deciding that the solution to his sex addiction is to kill eight people, mostly Asian women in massage parlors and then start driving to Florida in search of more. I agree that a reasonable person could believe that’s just an incidental aspect of human life and has nothing to do with our cultural conflicts or politics. I would disagree though.

    Victor (4959fb)

  52. @35. I hate to say this, but Asians have had to wait far too long — behind blacks, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Native Americans, “migrants”, gays, lesbians, transgenders, and even white people who fear white genocide* — for their admittance to Victimhood.

    Wait?? Only until the checks clear:

    Civil Liberties Act of 1988

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Liberties_Act_of_1988

    ‘The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 is a United States federal law that granted reparations to Japanese Americans who had been interned by the United States government during World War II. The act was sponsored by California’s Democratic Congressman Norman Mineta, an internee as a child, and Wyoming’s Republican Senator Alan K. Simpson, who had met Mineta while visiting an internment camp. The third co-sponsor was California Senator Pete Wilson.’

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  53. I guess the issue is whether or not you think there is a cultural/political implication of a young man with a gun deciding that the solution to his sex addiction is to kill eight people, mostly Asian women in massage parlors and then start driving to Florida in search of more. I agree that a reasonable person could believe that’s just an incidental aspect of human life and has nothing to do with our cultural conflicts or politics. I would disagree though.

    Victor (4959fb) — 3/17/2021 @ 11:40 am

    I agree with you. But until there’s a right wing or partisan GOP impact to the event it’s not part of their ‘beat’. Until facts are know that makes this a ‘piece’ in the culture war it’s not central to those publications. Just like an interesting development in GameStop is news, but not for these publications.

    Time123 (af99e9)

  54. Republicans on Biden’s Covid bill: We bungled this one
    ……
    “The lack of response to this bill in an organized messaging and aggressive media push back is shown by the fact that Democrats have now gone from $2 trillion to a $4 trillion infrastructure package. If Covid relief was that easy, why not just run the table?” said former Trump White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.

    “It’s a fairly popular bill that polled well because it’s been sold as a Covid relief bill with direct cash payments to Americans — what’s not to like?” he added. “However, that’s not what the bill is. That’s a huge problem because 2022 has already started and you don’t see the fight here.”
    ……
    ……[I]n interviews with top GOP operatives, Trump confidantes, and congressional aides, there was a common refrain that the party could have done more to frame it for the public. Instead, periodic claims that the bill was bloated with progressive add-ons and bailout money for blue states were overshadowed by a more relentless focus on the culture wars du jour.

    “Whenever there is something that goes into pop culture and now all this cancel culture stuff, it is catnip for the base and the media and Republicans are going to talk about that,” said GOP strategist Doug Heye.

    Before the passage of the stimulus bill, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel criticized the legislation as a “boondoggle” and Democratic “grab bag.” The committee circulated rapid response emails and put together research documents on the legislation that they blasted out to reporters. But, all told, the RNC issued just two statements on the bill, both after it had already passed. For some conservatives, Republican efforts weren’t enough and they felt left to try and figure out how to attack a law with a 75-percent approval rating.
    ……
    None of the attack lines seemed to resonate with voters, who began receiving stimulus checks as early as last weekend and appear overwhelmingly supportive of the law. A CBS-YouGov survey released on Sunday showed 71 percent of adults believe the American Rescue Plan will benefit the middle class more than wealthy Americans. The bill’s passage coincides with an uptick in vaccinations and recognition from Democrats and allied teachers unions that schools need to reopen soon — which together have the potential for improving the electoral landscape for Democrats as they try to keep both chambers of the Congress.
    ……..
    As Republicans complained about the partisan nature of the law’s construction, the White House settled on a new talking point: While the bill may not have the support of the GOP in Washington, they contended, it was still “bipartisan” because it was backed by a growing list of Republican governors and state and local officials who urged its passage.

    On that front, they benefited from the polls, which showed healthy GOP support for the measure, and by local Republicans who, in many cases, embraced the cash that would end up flowing to their cities and states. Casey said he was on a call Friday with a bipartisan group of county commissioners. “I didn’t hear any of them say ‘Hey, we don’t need the money,’” (Sen. Bob) Casey said. “I didn’t hear any of the (national) Republican arguments.”

    Asked about Republican critiques that the local government money was effectively a bailout of liberal cities like San Francisco, Jeff Williams, the mayor of Arlington, Texas, said the bill relies on an established and agreed-upon formula the federal government has used for decades.

    Williams, a registered Republican, also likened the pandemic to a natural disaster, but instead of leveling homes and hollowing out businesses physically, it took a toll on the localities in an economic sense.

    “We didn’t say it was a bailout for Houston when they suffered the flood here,” Williams continued. “Same thing for New Orleans when they were flooded in Hurricane Katrina. We didn’t say we were bailing New Orleans out. Basically, what we’re doing is taking care of a natural disaster and helping our cities, counties and states get back.”
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  55. time123
    I think we are in agreement. What strikes me is the extent to which some on the right wing claim that the main stream media is all biased and thus they are forced to rely only on right wing sites for news and opinions when right wing sites tend to focus so exclusively on only the culture war and politics they find most enraging. I realize this is not a new take, but still it’s such a vicious circle.

    Victor (4959fb)

  56. I hate to say this, but Asians have had to wait far too long — behind blacks, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Native Americans, “migrants”, gays, lesbians, transgenders, and even white people who fear white genocide* — for their admittance to Victimhood. It is past time that their oppression in this godawful society we have created was recognized and something done about it

    Um, see Internment of American’s of Japanese descent during WWII, see Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  57. nk, it was massage therapists. but if you look at the guy’s confession, he killed them so they’d stop tempting him to give in to his sexual addiction.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  58. Kevin M – I hear you on the coastal liberal disdain for middle-American middle-class white folk.

    That said, the way a lot of people reacted to covid has *created* that disdain in people who didn’t have it before.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  59. But, all told, the RNC issued just two statements on the bill, both after it had already passed

    President Biden is doing the same thing. Selling the bill after it has passed and been signed into law. I guess he’s worried that it could become an attack point.

    One interesting point: Ant state that accepts money from this bill is prohibited from cutting taxes – at least that’s the short version.

    Sammy Finkelman (ff268d)

  60. I don’t think much of Trump, but I do think he can detect bullsh1t.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 3/16/2021 @ 11:10 pm

    I am far removed from the international stage, but even I could tell that Kim Jong-un was full of sh1t. Trump couldn’t.

    norcal (01e272)

  61. aphrael at 57,

    I was kidding. I know “Asian” massage parlors are brothels. There’s one on the street where I live.

    As for “Asians”, way back in the dim past, Michelle Malkin was called a “self-hating Asian” by some woke because she defended the Japanese internments during WWII. Michelle Malkin is the daughter of Filipino immigrants, and the atrocities the Japanese committed in the Philippines were exceeded only by Nanking. Asians may all look alike to some people but they are not one people.

    nk (1d9030)

  62. A dozen Republicans voted against Congressional Gold Medals for police who protected them on Jan. 6

    A dozen House Republicans voted against a resolution to award three Congressional Gold Medals, one of the nation’s highest civilian honors, to the Capitol Police, the D.C. police and the Smithsonian Institution in recognition of those who protected the U.S. Capitol when it was attacked Jan. 6.

    The GOP lawmakers, who said they objected to the use of the term “insurrectionists” in the resolution, are: Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Andy Harris (Md.), Lance Gooden (Tex.), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Louie Gohmert (Tex.), Michael Cloud (Tex.), Andrew S. Clyde (Ga.), Greg Steube (Fla.), Bob Good (Va.) and John Rose (Tenn.).

    Dave (1bb933)

  63. Only Texas Ert is there I see. Not Colorado Ert. Superstitious, you think? A lot of those gunslingers are. Didn’t want to make it thirteen?

    nk (1d9030)

  64. I am far removed from the international stage, but even I could tell that Kim Jong-un was full of sh1t. Trump couldn’t.

    Perhaps. Don’t know what was said. I do know that Rocket Man stopped testing nukes.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  65. @62: And this means what?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  66. Asians may all look alike to some people but they are not one people.

    Hollywood still thinks they are, and that’s what seems to matter.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  67. That said, the way a lot of people reacted to covid has *created* that disdain in people who didn’t have it before.

    Well, the disdain is returned in full and was no doubt part of Trump’s support, this time and last. Lots of reason for that. I think we can agree which party has the lock on arrogance though.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  68. Masks. I see Rand Paul was attacking Fauci for wearing a mask after he was vaccinated. He said Fauci was engaged in “theater”.

    Well, I had another idiot sit next to me on a plane two days ago that “accidentally” let his mask slip down to his chin over and over again. I saw the same thing on public transportation and in other places where masks are required. They are showing their independence everywhere lately even after being reminded to keep their mask properly fitted.

    My question is: When you don’t wear a mask or refuse to wear it properly, how am I supposed to know that you have had the virus already or have had the vaccine?

    Rand Paul is a doctor? Someone is grandstanding but it isn’t Fauci.

    noel (9fead1)

  69. Rand Paul is always grandstanding.

    He thinks he has an irrefutable point.

    Sammy Finkelman (daebd1)

  70. Rand Paul moved to Kentucky from Texas because either he, his father, the horses, or the cattle had to leave. Texas could not hold the “organic fertilizer” from all four.

    nk (1d9030)

  71. “Tout the number of people who got the vaccines in trials. ”

    Why shouldn’t a statement like that bother people, when accompanied by pressure to be vaccinated even if you were in a group specifically excluded in the trials. People think hesitancy is stupidity, without even comprehending the limits of the testing that has taken place, or how reporting of adverse events within that kind of trial is managed. Third parties will not have access to the full data for YEARS. There has been serious consideration of adjusting dosing and scheduling of doses, with a single novel vaccine sufficing for the young or previously infected. The authorization was based on prevention of illness symptoms, not its impact on viral transmissibility. When the FDA approves claims that it very effectively stops transmission of the virus, you will see people who resisted opting to get it for the benefit of others.

    I fault no one for hanging back, after serious appraisal of risk and benefit. at least until the emergency authorization is replaced by a full review of safety data over a period of years, or in those with someresidual protection from a previous infection. There are effective treatments that function as a temporary vaccine that should be made more widely available, e.g. Regeneron antibodies.

    Full disclosure – I opted for J&J

    SarahW (08f5d7)


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