The GOP chooses chaos over everything else (opinion) - CNN
Category: News & PoliticsVia: jbb • 3 weeks ago • 1 comments
By: Jane Greenway Carr (CNN)
(CNN)"What is given may be taken away at any time," writes Irish-born novelist Maggie O'Farrell in her acclaimed novel "Hamnet." Published amid the Covid-19 lockdowns last year, the book is a historical fiction of another era's pestilence, depicting the repercussions of the death of William Shakespeare and his wife's 11-year-old son from bubonic plague in 1596: "The trick is never to let down your guard. Never think you are safe."
Not comforting words, no. But their blunt acknowledgment of vigilance and fear in an unpredictable world resonates as the United States meets the mutability of a post-pandemic landscape -- one in which a rising, highly transmissible Delta variant of Covid traverses a politicized map of the vaccine-hesitant. "Even with this latest incursion" of the variant "the news still shouldn't be that bad," wrote Dr. Kent Sepkowitz. The catch, he noted, is that its "contagiousness means that everyone -- including teens, and, as soon as it is proven safe, younger children -- must get vaccinated. That includes the vaccine-hesitant." His message (with an apology to the state of New Hampshire): "America! Live free (of vaccine) and (maybe) die." This week, an analysis by Georgetown University researchers showed a handful of under-vaccinated states -- mainly stretching across the South and Midwest, including Texas -- were endangering the nation's Covid recovery. And on Thursday, Republican US Sen. Rand Paul vowed to fight the public transportation mask mandate, requiring passengers to mask on planes, as soon as the Senate is back in session next week. Ayelet Haimson Lushkov addressed an open letter to Greg Abbott, the governor of her home state of Texas, who in May moved to bar government entities -- including school districts -- from imposing mask mandates or requiring vaccinations. Lushkov implored: "Adults and even teenagers can at least choose their fate. But until a pediatric vaccine is approved for emergency use, young children and their caretakers cannot ... Governor Abbott, I didn't vote for you, and I don't agree with your politics. But as a mother of two, I ask you to help parents as we try to keep our children safe. Surely, we can all come together to agree on that." Read More In the absence of political consensus about how to extend America's tenuous new normal, wrote Julian Zelizer, it's time to accept truth ... and require vaccines. "Both political parties have made the mistake of framing vaccines within the tradition of individualism," he observed, while US history is full of examples, from polio vaccines to driver's licenses to the draft, of requiring citizens to place civic well-being first. "Collective obligations have always been part of what actually makes America great and we need to start talking about vaccines through this vital lens." More smart takes: Jill Filipovic: What was glaringly absent from NY's parade for its Covid heroesDavid M. Perry:The latest Pfizer statement has me on the edge
America still has a chance to save itself
The deadly, record-breaking heat wave afflicting wide swaths of the American West continued, and in some places, intensified -- bringing deaths and the threat of wildfires. That news, along with other recent developments in the US and globally, shows the depth of America's predicament on climate disaster, contended Jeffrey Sachs. The way forward must include "oil companies paying restitution for damage that they have done to the climate and humanity for decades," he argued. Government has a role to play in America saving itself from climate-change destruction, wrote North Dakota farmer Vanessa Kummer. Sustainable farming is good for farmers' bottom lines and ensuring the land's viability for future generations. Many farmers have been adopting conservation practices that help mitigate climate change, she wrote, but need help to stay afloat. Kummer urged policymakers to consider that if farmers were given resources to, for instance, expand efficient fertilizer application, pay for feed additives to help livestock reduce methane and buy big steel tanks that capture natural gas from livestock manure, "we could turn the industry into a net-carbon sink."
Republicans choose chaos
This week marked six months since the Capitol insurrection, and in the latest episode of "Unfiltered," SE Cupp assessed that congressional Republicans turning a blind eye to the reality and meaning of that day, even now, appear to have only one objective -- complete chaos. It "isn't good governance," Cupp maintained, "It's annihilation. They are attempting to thwart the investigation of the January 6 insurrection. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy admitted as much. They're pushing for more pointless audits of the 2020 election. They're still chasing Trump around as he maniacally tries to cling to relevance, most recently launching a frivolous lawsuit against social media companies that banned him." Former President Donald Trump doesn't have a strong case as he seeks legal redress against companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter for deplatforming him, wrote Kara Alaimo: "Trump is clearly trying to recapture some of the attention he's lost and rally conservatives by mobilizing them against a common foe ... But the facts aren't on his side." Fred Hiatt concurred in The Washington Post, calling the suits bogus but warning that underneath his "lies and self-pity, (Trump) may have a point." Most people understand that these platforms "are private companies but also that, in today's America, if those three are silencing you, you are being excluded in a serious way from the public square. And many understandably wonder: Why should they get to make that call?" Another smart take: Michael D'Antonio: Trump and Greene invite a horrific history to repeat itself
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