Republican Governors Explain, Poorly, Why They Are Being Coronavirus Idiots
In a perfect world, there would be no partisan divide on a thing like coronavirus. We would all just listen to the experts, do what we were supposed to do, everyone would stay the fuck at home, and we would get over this together. Also, in a perfect world, or in any other country, we'd all have health care, paid sick leave and "just cause' terminations instead of at-will employment, which would make doing those things a whole lot easier for all of us.
But we do not live in a perfect world, we live in the United States. As such, not only do we have slews of private citizens insisting on being stupid, we also have elected officials who — either due to needing to appeal to their stupid constituents in order to keep their jobs, or being not too swift themselves — insist upon being stupid as well. Many of these are governors of entire states, willing to put those states at risk, on the off chance that being stupid will not work out as poorly as it very likely will.
Right now, there are 8 governors still holding out on issuing stay-at-home orders. They are all, unsurprisingly, Republicans who are more than willing to share their very bad "reasons' for not doing that.
Like how people, as special and unique individuals, should be the ones responsible for their own safety.
In explaining her rationale against issuing a stay-at-home order, [South Dakota] Gov. Kristi Noem told reporters, "The people themselves are primarily responsible for their safety." She also pointed to the state and national constitutions that "prevent us from taking draconian measures much like the Chinese government has done."
This would be fine if we were in a situation wherein "people themselves" the only ones affected by them not being safe. The problem with an extremely contagious virus is that this is not the case.
Other governors, like Kim Reynolds of Iowa, suggested that maybe the experts criticizing states not issuing stay-at-home orders don't really have "all the information."
She acknowledged Friday that refusing to impose a shelter-in-place order had become a "divisive issue." She pushed back on Fauci's remark that questioned why all states have not issued stay-at-home orders."
"I would say that maybe he doesn't have all the information," Reynolds told reporters. "You can't just look at a map and assume no action has been taken."
Sure, that's a possibility. It's also a possibility that he does and that this really is the best way to keep people from dying.
Governor Pete Ricketts of Nebraska also repeated the "let's not be DRACONIAN about this" line.
"What I think we should really focus on is improving compliance and adherence," Lawler told reporters. "This depends on people taking this seriously and doing the right thing."
He added that if Nebraskans do "what we've already implemented and we do it well, I think we'll get much more bang for our buck than we would from going to a much more draconian posture."
Probably not! Like, really, probably not.
We all know what this shit is about. At the end of the day, Republicans need to believe that their selfish actions don't actually affect anyone else, that the government can't actually do anything to improve peoples lives, and that experts are not as wise as regular people with "common sense." They also fear that this will lead to their guns being taken away, because that is the well they always go to. They think if people agree that it's bad that people are dying of coronavirus and that the solution is to do something about it, they think it will follow that it is bad that people are dying in mass shootings and that we should do something about that as well. Which, duh, we should.
Oh, and they think the Rapture is coming, so it doesn't really matter if tons of people die.
I am currently in Florida, a state that was late on issuing stay at home orders, because Ron DeSantis wanted to be an idiot. The number of cases here have skyrocketed, and that didn't have to be the case.
If these Republican governors ignore the advice from experts and things turn out okay for them anyway, they will have a huge amount of hand going into the next election. They will, and they know it. They're also willing to bet that even if it doesn't turn out okay, there will be a way to blame this on Democrats and experts. It's a gamble and they're willing to take it because of that. They really shouldn't.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse