Scorn and Consequences: What Refusers Deserve

Following up from the last post — I’ll tell you what else that ticks me off. I am tired of the assumption that civil dialogue and “coming together” generally is entirely the responsibility of lefties. We have to be the adults in the room while the Right acts like spoiled brats. We’re perpetually supposed to play Wendy to Peter Pan and the Lost Boys.

For a jaw-dropping example, see Gary Abernathy at WaPo, Stop insulting Trump voters and their concerns. Talk to them. Avernathy wants us to know that Trump supporters truly believe the 2020 election was stolen from Trump and are insulted when their belief is called a “big lie.” And he thinks it was wrong to call out Trump when he, um, misspoke.

In 2016, the New York Times decided to start applying the word “lie” to many of Trump’s claims. “We owed it to our readers,” executive editor Dean Baquet said at the time. Others followed suit. But using words such as “lie” and “falsely claimed” in news stories arrogantly supposes an absolute knowledge of truth and makes it appear the news outlet has chosen sides.

No, Gary Abernathy, sometimes lies are clearly lies, and the facts are easily checked. “I have never seen a president in American history who has lied so continuously and so outrageously as Donald Trump, period,” presidential historian Michael Beschloss said in an interview. Click here for a rundown of Trump’s biggest and most consequential lies. The damage caused by those lies, especially in the areas of elections and public health, are ongoing and staggering.

And I will die happy if I ever see an editorial addressed at Righties telling them they need to listen to and speak more civilly to the Left. No; this is advice given only to Lefties about the Right. Only we are ever called upon to be the responsible adults in this country.

Greg Sargent:

To hear some pundits and Republicans tell it, millions of people across the country who voted for Donald Trump are suffering from an affliction that you might call “Snowflake Syndrome.”

On numerous fronts in our politics — from voting rights to covid-19 to the legacy of Jan. 6 — we’re being told these voters are afflicted with a deeply fragile belief system that must be carefully ministered to and humored to an extraordinary degree.

We must pass voting restrictions everywhere to assuage these voters’ “belief” that the 2020 election was highly dubious or fraudulent. We must not argue too aggressively for coronavirus vaccines, lest they feel shamed and retreat into their anti-vax epistemological shells.

And we must allow Republicans to appoint some of the most deranged promoters of the stolen election myth to a committee examining the insurrection so they’ll feel like its findings are credible.

No; we need them to grow the bleep up.

So the snowflakes are traumatized about having to wear some cloth on their faces during a bleeping deadly public health emergency. They don’t want to get vaccines because it upsets them that Dr. Anthony Fauci tells them to get vaccines. Or that President Biden said something about people going door to door about the vaccines. Or that they might have to face consequences like being refused admission to theaters, never mind death, if they fail to get vaccinated. They’re spoiled little children screaming that they don’t wanna be told what to do. But they also insist on being protected from the consequences of their own irresponsibility.

The sections of the country with low vaccination rates, mostly but not exclusively the very red South, are now holding us all hostage.

A recent study by researchers at Georgetown University, led by Shweta Bansal, an associate professor and an infectious-disease expert, identified locations where vaccination rates are lower than the national average, and crucially, that are also surrounded by other areas with low vaccination rates. They homed in on five specific regions, which they say are the most vulnerable to future outbreaks; four are in the Southeast, and one lies just adjacent. …

… The outbreak that America is now seeing is exactly what Bansal and her team would expect based on their research. As Bansal puts it, “Unvaccinated individuals are efficient fuel like dry wood for the fire of future outbreaks. Vaccinated individuals are like soaked wood—while it can’t easily catch fire, if it’s surrounded by dry wood, the chances are much higher.” In other words, low vaccination rates in the South make this moment less safe for everyone there, and over time could jeopardize the country’s hope of ever getting the novel coronavirus more under control.

And, of course, if next winter is as bad or worse as last winter, these juveniles will blame Dr. Fauci and President Biden. It’s never their faults.

As David Frum put it so well, Vaccinated America Has Had Enough.

But there’s no getting around the truth that some considerable number of the unvaccinated are also behaving willfully and spitefully. Yes, they have been deceived and manipulated by garbage TV, toxic Facebook content, and craven or crazy politicians. But these are the same people who keep talking about “personal responsibility.” In the end, the unvaccinated person himself or herself has decided to inflict a preventable and unjustifiable harm upon family, friends, neighbors, community, country, and planet.

Will Blue America ever decide it’s had enough of being put medically at risk by people and places whose bills it pays? Check yourself: Have you?

If they aren’t getting vaccinated, we are told, it’s because lefties are mean to them and call them names, and we are supposed to be nice and not shame them and use gentle persuasion and then maybe by 2028 or so they will be more inclined to consent to getting vaccinated. If any of us survive.

But then this happened:

A breast cancer patient says she was sprayed with bear mace, physically assaulted, and verbally abused outside a cancer treatment center in West Hollywood, Los Angeles by far-right activists who were angry over the clinic’s mandatory mask policy.

It’s a bleeping cancer treatment center, you idiots. The patients are on chemo. They are immunocompromised. Yes, there are videos.


I don’t care how deluded/stupid/brainwashed they have been by propaganda, this is just disgusting. They are adults. They have agency. And as far as I’m concerned they deserve nothing but scorn.

See also ‘Patience has worn thin’: Frustration mounts over vaccine holdouts.

Years ago I tried many times to communicate civilly to righties, and nearly always my efforts were thrown back in my face. Most of them cannot be communicated with, adult to adult. There is no point trying, and I rarely do any more. But given that so many of the holdouts are being protected from consequences by their state governments, I don’t know what to do. If you still believe there can be respectful and useful dialogue with obstinate, hostile, and potentially dangerous children in adult bodies, you are welcome to try, but I do not believe it.  What will we do with the unvaccinated? What will we do with Trump cultists who believe the Big Lie? What will we do with people who can’t be responsible citizens? There are too many of them to ignore.

Update: It never stops. Covid cases are rising again in St. Louis, so yesterday St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, both Democrats, announced that a new indoor mask mandate would go into effect on Monday. No closings or other restrictions, yet, just masks.

Then Eric “Mr. Accordion” Schmitt, the state attorney general and Republican Senate candidate, tweeted,

Schmitt is competing with Mark McCloskey and Eric Greitens for Donald Trump’s endorsement, so to impress Trump he has to step up and be as big an asshole as possible. County Executive Page responded, “Does Mr. Schmitt prioritize the health and safety of those he is supposed to serve or making bombastic remarks to try to elevate his run for higher office?”

Yep. That’s what he does.

13 thoughts on “Scorn and Consequences: What Refusers Deserve

  1. I’m in my 60’s and have lost half of my old friends over Trump enabling.

    I’m just not doing it anyone.

    And that I will take to my grave.

      • What is unclear to you? I am a native American English speaker, and there is nothing confusing to me? What is your first language?

  2. I have the same reaction to the corporately owned media insisting that democrats must be bipartisan in their legislative efforts.  Compromise is NOT a one-way street, in spite of what you see and hear from the MSM.

  3. " Our Republic is based on compromise and it guarantees an unhappy truth for everyone—you’ll have to live with people and policies not entirely to your liking. The philosophy of “complete victory at all costs” leads to the dark side because once you reject the will of the majority as a sacred principle, all forms of deceit and violence become legitimate forms of political expression. I’m unyielding on the non-partisan precept of rule by the majority…"  From “Flight Plan”

    Conservatives of the lunatic clan are demanding a metric of rule other than rule by the majority. This isn't being explored in discussion – not enough. We know we'll need huge turnout to overcome voter suppression and gerrymandering in 2022. But not enough pundits are calling out the principle behind GOP tactics – the complete and official denial of rule by the majority.

    If rule by the majority HAS been rejected, by what metric are we selecting leaders and by what metric do we decide the validity of their decisions (if the majority isn't the rule.)  This needs to be dragged out into the open for all to see and decide. If the Republican Party has abandoned majority rule, WTF is the new rule?

    • The new rule is the old rule — money rules.  "Minority rule" is ultimately rule by wealthy interests, which really has, for some time, been the case, de facto, but the latest moves by republican legislatures on voting rights are to make minority rule de jure.  Getting rid of the filibuster, voting rights, the cost of infrastructure are all ideas/policies that benefit the majority, and all of them have the support of the majority. At the same time all are  anathema to moneyed interests because they would lead to policies and ultimately legislation that would cut into their profits and weaken their hold on power through government.

      Ultimately what we're dealing with is the resurgence of oligarchy, pressing its advantage in a climate where right wing extremism that abhors compromise is being mainstreamed.

  4. Not only are we always called upon to be the responsible adults, we're also screwed because we have to be the older siblings to greedy, ADD/ADHD/ASSHOLE, immature monsters!

    Now, it's having to put off universal health care and pre-K, addressing the climate, infratructure, and 2-year community college/internship/training, free.

    Earlier, it was, "No, sorry, we can't address infrastructure, climate change or health care. (Notice a theme here?).  Your brothers and sisters want to give themselves tac cuts, and a few wars and occupations, ok!?!  So be good, and next time, we promise we'll do climate and health care and infrastructure.  Just for you.  Because you're the good ones."


  5. It really is difficult when people you know, love, and respect get caught up in believing all this conservative political nonsense. It boggles my mind that they can overlook or just not see the corruption, deceits, and lies being put out by Trump and his supporters.   It has affected/ infected my family to the point where communication and a reasonable exchange of ideas pertaining to certain subjects are no longer possible. East is east, and west is west, and never the twain shall meet?

    I just hoping for the day that Trump gets brought down in complete disgrace and exposed for the fraud and criminal that he is. I know that won't end the divisions that ail us but, it will lower the temperature and cause a lot of people to reevaluate their thinking. I want Trump's image and name as welcomed and embraced in America as Adolf Hitler's image and name were welcomed and embraced in post war Germany.

    I'm seeing all the insurrectionists are finally getting their heads right. At least according to their pleadings in court. Just like Cool Hand Luke…I got my head right, boss!

  6. Just because their lights are dimmed, does not require us to see in the dark.


  7. This is why I wish judges would throw the book  at the 1/6ers. They want personal responsibility? Then accept some.

  8. So spot on.  I'm sick of it, tired of the rest of society doing workarounds for rightwing temper tantrums.  It's demeaning to everyone who tries to behave responsibly. 

  9. I know a guy who is a democratic "centrist." For years whenever anyone would criticize the diner set for their delusions and absurdity, and/or point out the fact that ultimately they vote against their own interests, he'd say, see, that's the "arrogance" of the "left" talking down to them, and that's why they won't support us.  Neither should we ridicule them, because that makes them feel bad, and then they won't support us.  Its also why "we" lose elections, because "the far left" ridicules and demeans the right wing base, extremist and downright lunatic in their views though they may be.  And in their arrogance and quest for "woke" power advocate for popular policies — expansion of social security and Medicare for all, addressing climate change, $15 minimum wage, popularly supported by a majority of voters, a majority that includes a substantial number of republicans — that are considered by the centrists to be "far left".  And if they hadn't done that, "we" would have won because some of the diner set would have supported us.  Never mind the fact that their positions don't change, and the fact we don't campaign on asking them to change — just stay as you are and vote for us because now we are "nice" to you.  To do otherwise might hurt their feelings.

    To "listen" to the diner set means to not support any of the policies popular with a majority of voters, which politically makes no sense.  Unless of course, you're against them yourself, and the mainstream of the political class, defined as republicans plus democratic "moderates," representing to varying degrees the monied interests, are against them.  The republicans can be and are raw and open in their opposition.  OTOH the democratic centrists have to be nuanced, and the Kabuki that works for them is being "nice" to far right voters, and the pursuit of them, when they know the reality is there is little chance of getting their votes.

    In his Ohio town hall, Biden said something that didn't get a lot of attention, but Sinema has been deservedly ridiculed for.  From the transcript, regarding what will happen if the filibuster is done away with:

    There's no reason to protect it other than you're going to throw the entire Congress into chaos and nothing will get done. Nothing at all will get done.

    I'm sorry, I like Joe but this is BS.  Nothing is getting done now, and blowing smoke at the level of stupidity befitting the most deluded qanon is insulting to democratic voters.

    Bottom line: "listening" to these people means to mitigate their stupidity by not serving the will of a majority of the voters.  And this is why we lose.

    • "Nothing will get done" after the Dems are kicked out in 2022 or 24 (and beyond), due in large part to Republican voter suppression. Biden simply doesn't realize how big this is.


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