LQCs: Grievances, Envy, Government & Technology, Sleeping at Night

What I discussed yesterday is in today’s NYT.

NYT, Charles Homans, 19 March 2022: Trucker Protest Moved by More Than Opposition to Covid Mandates, “The demonstrators camped outside Washington are rallying against Covid restrictions, but are fueled by a far broader set of right-wing grievances.”

Although organizers insist that their demonstration is nonpartisan and narrowly focused on Covid restrictions, in practice, it is animated by a broad, familiar array of conservative and right-wing issues and grievances. Complaints about schools mix with far-right conspiracy theories and refusal to accept the 2020 election results.
This worldview is increasingly incorporating ideas from the anti-vaccine movement, some of them preceding the Covid outbreak, even as the virus has receded and Covid restrictions have eased.


Salon, Chauncey DeVega, 18 March 2022: Don’t be fooled: The GOP love affair with Putin is worse than it looks, subtitled, “Never mind the opinion polls and the Republican posturing. When the right sees Putin, they want what he’s got.”

Trump, as we’ve seen, wishes he could ban the media except for his Fox News, and wishes he could invade Mexico. He envies Putin.

What does it say about American society that Donald Trump and his cabal of coup plotters and other enemies of democracy and freedom have not been punished? That they are plotting in public how overthrow American democracy and return Trump to power without fear of punishment or other negative consequences? And that Trump still has many tens of millions of followers — many of whom are potentially willing to engage in acts of violence, and perhaps even die, at his command? What does that say about a country and a people?


Washington Post, Greg Sargent, 15 March 2022: Manchin’s ludicrous attack on electric vehicles bodes badly for our future

Manchin’s deeper argument is also off-kilter. It posits the existence of some kind of immaculately government-free market in which the traditional auto and its infrastructure developed, in contrast with electric vehicles, which need government help to get off the ground.

But government investment has been the foundation of the development of technologies throughout U.S. history. … “Road planners, both state and federal, mapped out major roadways, purchased or seized land, and, in many cases, set up the well-spaced fueling franchises necessary to ensure that people could get where they wanted to go speedily,” [Yale political scientist Jacob] Hacker continued. “Much of this was funded by gas taxes.”


Washington Post, Dana Milbank, 14 March 2022: How does Ron DeSantis sleep at night?

Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, consultant Doug Haddix reported Sunday that since July 1 (when the lifesaving vaccine was widely available), the 14 states with the highest death rates were all run by Republican governors. This included Florida (at about 153 deaths per 100,000 residents), Ohio (142 deaths per 100,000), Arizona (138) and Georgia (134). Contrast that with the deep-blue District of Columbia (only 27 deaths per 100,000) and California (58 per 100,000).

This raises a question: How does Ron DeSantis sleep at night? Florida’s Republican governor has been among the most outspoken in raising fears of the coronavirus vaccine (most recently suggesting, falsely, that it could harm women’s fertility), suing to stop vaccine mandates, promoting ineffective cures, blocking rules requiring face masks, scolding mask-wearing kids for “covid theater” and touting misleading statistics.

Every week, it seems, brings fresh confirmation of the basic truths about the pandemic that have long been obvious to all except those consuming the disinformation of the Trumpy right: Vaccines work. Masks work. Conspiracy theories don’t.


Salon, Chauncey DeVega, 15 March 2022: Is America the “world’s greatest democracy”? In 2022, we don’t even crack the top 50

Slate, Nitish Pahwa, 15 March 2022: Joe Biden Didn’t Do This, subtitled, “Republicans say the White House is responsible for high gas prices. That’s ridiculous.”

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