Thursday, July 29, 2021

Political Management Of The Oligarchic Gerontocracy Is Fed Up With Disobediant/Non-Compliant Pissants...,

taibbi  |  On This Week With George Stephanopoulos this past Sunday, a gathering of Washington poo-bahs including Chris Christie, Rahm Emmanuel, Margaret Hoover, and Donna Brazile — Stephanopoulos calls the segment his “Powerhouse Roundtable,” which to my ear sounds like a Denny’s breakfast sampler, but I guess he couldn’t name it Four Hated Windbags — discussed vaccine holdouts. The former George W. Bush and Giuliani aide Hoover said it was time to stop playing nice:

If you’re going to get government-provided health care, if you’re getting VA treatment, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, anything — and Social Security obviously isn’t health care — you should be getting the vaccine. Okay? Because we are going to have to take care of you on the back end.

Brazile nodded sagely, but Emmanuel all but gushed cartoon hearts.

“You know, I’m having an out of body experience, because I agree with you,” said Obama’s former hatchet man, before adding, over the chyron, FRUSTRATION MOUNTS WITH UNVACCINATED AMERICANS:

I would close the space in. Meaning if you want to participate in X or Y activity, you gotta show you’re vaccinated. So it becomes a reward-punishment type system, and you make your own calculation.

This bipartisan love-in took place a few days after David Frum, famed Bush speechwriter and creator of the “Axis of Evil” slogan, wrote a column in The Atlantic entitled “Vaccinated America Has Had Enough.” In it, Frum wondered:

Does Biden’s America have a breaking point? Biden’s America produces 70 percent of the country’s wealth — and then sees that wealth transferred to support Trump’s America. Which is fine; that’s what citizens of one nation do for one another… [But] the reciprocal part of the bargain is not being upheld…

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?

I’m vaccinated. I think people should be vaccinated. But this latest moral mania — and make no mistake about it, the “pandemic of the unvaccinated” PR campaign is the latest in a ceaseless series of such manias, dating back to late 2016 — lays bare everything that’s abhorrent and nonsensical in modern American politics, beginning with the no-longer-disguised aristocratic mien of the Washington consensus. If you want to convince people to get a vaccine, pretty much the worst way to go about it is a massive blame campaign, delivered by sneering bluenoses who have a richly deserved credibility problem with large chunks of the population, and now insist they’re owed financially besides.

There’s always been a contingent in American society that believes people who pay more taxes should get more say, or “more votes,” as Joseph Heller’s hilarious Texan put it. It’s a conceit that cut across party. You hear it from the bank CEO who thinks America should thank him for the pleasure of kissing his ass with a bailout, but just as quickly from the suburban wine Mom who can’t believe the ingratitude of the nanny who asks for a day off. Doesn’t she know who’s paying the bills? The delusion can run so deep that people like Margaret Hoover can talk themselves into the idea that Social Security — money taxpayers lend the government, not the other way around — is actually a gift from the check-writing class.

In the last decade or so I had the misfortune of watching this phenomenon rise within both parties. After 2008, the “We’re pulling the oars, so we should steer the boat” argument dominated the GOP. Offshoots of Ayn Rand-ian thinking about ubermenschen producers and their dubious obligation to society’s masses of parasitic looters provided talking points both for TARP recipients (who insisted America needed to be invested not just in their survival but their prosperity) and the Tea Party. Remember Rick Santelli on CNBC, calling for a referendum on whether or not we should “subsidize the losers’ mortgages” or whether we should “reward the people who carry the water, instead of drink the water”?

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