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Conservative follies #2

Summary:
1. Breitbart reports that in the past year, 15 border patrol agents have died in the line of duty. They don’t say that 13 of them were killed by illegal viruses.2. The wisdom of the House GOP. 3. Amy Vax on why Asians are bad for America. 4. Vaccines violate the Christian religion, but killing people does not. 5. Ron DeSantis is now so afraid of his fellow conservatives that he refuses to say whether he got the booster. 6. A prominent Utah Republican suggests that vaccines are a Jewish conspiracy: “I believe the Jews are behind this. For 300 years the Jews have been trying to infiltrate the Catholic Church and place a Jew covertly at the top. It happened in 2013 with Pope Francis. I believe the pandemic and systematic extermination of billions of

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1. Breitbart reports that in the past year, 15 border patrol agents have died in the line of duty. They don’t say that 13 of them were killed by illegal viruses.

2. The wisdom of the House GOP.

3. Amy Vax on why Asians are bad for America.

4. Vaccines violate the Christian religion, but killing people does not.

5. Ron DeSantis is now so afraid of his fellow conservatives that he refuses to say whether he got the booster.

6. A prominent Utah Republican suggests that vaccines are a Jewish conspiracy:

“I believe the Jews are behind this. For 300 years the Jews have been trying to infiltrate the Catholic Church and place a Jew covertly at the top. It happened in 2013 with Pope Francis. I believe the pandemic and systematic extermination of billions of people will lead to an effort to consolidate all the countries in the world under a single flag with totalitarian rule. I know, it sounds bonkers. No one is reporting on it, but the Hasidic Jews in the US instituted a law for their people that they are not to be vaccinated for any reason,” he wrote in the email.

I completely agree with the fifth sentence in that quotation.

7. January 6, 2021 is often viewed as one of the darkest days in America history. Here I’d like to suggest that it was also one of our best days. For one brief shining moment in an otherwise endless sea of lies, politicians were willing to speak truth to power. Here was Mitch McConnell:

The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people…They tried to disrupt our democracy, they failed…This failed insurrection.

And here was Kevin McCarthy:

The violence, destruction, and chaos we saw earlier was unacceptable undemocratic and unamerican. It was the saddest day I’ve ever had as serving as a member of this institution…We saw the worst of America this afternoon…

And McCarthy a week later:

last week’s violent attack on the Capitol was undemocratic, un-American and criminal…those who are responsible for Wednesday’s chaos will be brought to justice…The President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters.

And Lindsey Graham:

Trump and I, we’ve had a hell of a journey. I hate it to end this way. Oh my God, I hate it. From my point of view, he’s been a consequential president, but today, first thing you’ll see. All I can say is a count me out. Enough is enough.

Of course soon after they lost their courage and resumed the position of obsequious subservience to the Great Leader. The GOP will nominate Trump in 2024 and he’ll probably win, as I predicted on the day after the election, when most of you thought Trump was finished.

To be a democracy it’s not enough to have elections. The outcome of elections must be trusted by the public. We are half of a democracy.

Trump could drop dead of a heart attack tomorrow and nothing would change. The Republican Party of the 20th century is gone, and it’s not coming back regardless of who leads the party. It’s a personality cult. Please follow Argentinas “Peronists” and relabel it the Trumpian Party.

As Francis Fukuyama recently suggested, we are a banana republic:

Conversely, losing candidates in elections in new democracies have often charged voter fraud in the face of largely free and fair elections. This happened last year in Peru, when Keiko Fujimori contested her loss to Pedro Castillo in the second round of the country’s presidential election. Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has been laying the grounds for contesting this year’s presidential election by attacking the functioning of Brazil’s voting system, just as Mr. Trump spent the lead-up to the 2020 election undermining confidence in mail-in ballots.

Before Jan. 6, these kinds of antics would have been seen as the behavior of young and incompletely consolidated democracies, and the United States would have wagged its finger in condemnation. But it has now happened in the United States itself. America’s credibility in upholding a model of good democratic practice has been shredded.

And this fact fills Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping with “unconstrained glee”:

If momentum had built in the Republican Party to renounce the events of Jan. 6 the way it ultimately abandoned Richard Nixon in 1974, we might have hoped that the country might move on from the Trump era. But this has not happened, and foreign adversaries like Russia and China are watching this situation with unconstrained glee.


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Scott Sumner
Scott B. Sumner is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, the Director of the Program on Monetary Policy at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and an economist who teaches at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. His economics blog, The Money Illusion, popularized the idea of nominal GDP targeting, which says that the Fed should target nominal GDP—i.e., real GDP growth plus the rate of inflation—to better "induce the correct level of business investment".

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