• Mon. Jan 25th, 2021

Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: The relentless pandemic nonetheless now comes with vials of hope


Dec 19, 2020

Ron Brownstein/Atlantic:

Does Joe Biden Understand the Modern GOP?

The president-elect insists he can work with Republicans. Some fellow Democrats have doubts.

The big question his remarks raise is whether the Republican Party that Biden described in the speech’s first half is truly open to the kind of cooperation and partnership he promised in the second.

A sad tale of having it hit home for politicians:

BREAKING: State Sen. Jerry Relph, R-St. Cloud, has died from complications from COVID-19, the first Minnesota state legislator to die from the disease. #mnleg

— Ricardo Lopez (@rljourno) December 19, 2020

Remember, to the modern GOP, it’s all just a game.

“Studies are being done in children to evaluate whether they could also be protected with vaccination & I am pretty optimistic, but that requires going a little bit more slowly,” pediatrician @PeterHotez told my son in an interview about coronavirus for a school podcast project. pic.twitter.com/3kQRf6EncH

— Michael Knigge (@kniggem) December 18, 2020

There is so much more work to be done….

Cathy Young/ARC uses a Noah Rothman piece as a springboard to unload on whataboutism:

The Republican Mutiny and 2016 Whataboutism

No, the Republicans of 2020 are not the Democrats of 2016

Case in point: Noah Rothman’s December 14 Commentary post titled “The Last Time They Tried to Steal an Election.” …..

So, when all is said and done, Rothman’s claim of an attempted “election steal” in 2016 amounts to ten electors pushing for the Electoral College to annul Trump’s victory; one or two high-level Democratic officials expressing cautious sympathy for this effort; Martin Sheen and some other celebrities making videos urging Trump electors to defect; opinion pieces in prominent publications making the same plea; and an unspecified number of people trying to pressure the electors, sometimes in ways that crossed the lines of civilized behavior. At a stretch, you could also include the Clinton campaign signing on to participate in the Wisconsin recount initiated by Stein.

This is stacked up against :

  • the president of the United States repeatedly and consistently claiming that he won the election and that his victory was stolen through fraud
  • over 50 lawsuits trying to get thousands of votes thrown out in several battleground states Joe Biden won
  • the Republican Attorney General of Texas filing a lawsuit before the Supreme Court to overturn the election results in Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania as “unlawful and constitutionally tainted”
  • the attorneys general of 17 other Republican-led states signing on to the Texas lawsuit (which the Supreme Court ultimately refused to hear)
  • over half of the House Republican conference — 126 out of 249 members — signing on to a brief supporting the lawsuit
  • aggressive efforts by Republican legislators in several battleground states to overrule voters from their state and appoint pro-Trump electors by fanning baseless claims of fraud
  • harassment and threats toward Republican state officials whom Trump supporters accused of complicity in covering up supposed fraud, with at least tacit encouragement by the president, some of his attorneys, and campaign officials
  • Republicans in six states where Trump has groundlessly disputed Biden’s victory creating “alternate” slates of electors who met and cast their votes for Trump, with encouragement from senior White House advisor Stephen Miller in a Fox News appearance. (In Michigan, the faux electors actually showed up at the state capitol entrance during the certification with the ostensible intent of submitting their votes.)

In other words, there is simply no comparison between the Democratic mutiny in 2016 and the Republican mutiny in 2020 — whether in terms of scope, intensity, or participation by mainstream political figures.

Two journalists. Same statistic. One informs by providing context. The other misleads by uncritically parroting a line from a public official with an agenda. pic.twitter.com/Fw8cBzJClG

— Radley Balko (@radleybalko) December 18, 2020

Reid Wilson/The Hill:

Legislative survey shows deep GOP divide on election

Republican state legislators are torn between moving past an election that President Trump lost and fighting tooth and nail to get him a second term, even if that means calling for Congress to overturn the certified results of an election.

The Hill asked every Republican legislator in the country for their thoughts on the election, including whether they recognized President-elect Joe Biden as the winner.

About half of the 200 or so Republican legislators who responded to The Hill acknowledged Biden as the winner, while about a quarter said they did not believe Trump had lost his election, or that Biden’s win was legitimate.

That sounds about right. Roughly a quarter of the country supported Nixon at resignation. Maybe another quarter deserted him because he got caught.


‘This is ridiculous’: Congress avoids shutdown but deadlocks on stimulus

Lawmakers will work through the weekend in an attempt to reach a deal before the Sunday spending deadline.

Congress bought itself two more days to negotiate a coronavirus package on Friday evening even as lawmakers stumbled in their efforts to seal the deal on a $900 billion relief agreement.

Still, the day did not turn into the total debacle it once seemed. The House overwhelmingly approved the 48-hour stopgap spending bill to avoid a shutdown, and Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) relented on threats to shut the government down in their bid for larger stimulus checks than the $600 under consideration.

A positive day for the Republican Senate is a day it’s not another debacle.

NEW: @jrpsaki says @JoeBiden and @DrBiden will receive the COVID vaccine next week.@KamalaHarris and @DouglasEmhoff will receive “the following week.”

— Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) December 18, 2020

Stanford prioritized attending radiologists over interns and residents, and no, this should not surprise you (WaPo):

Stanford apologizes for coronavirus vaccine plan that left out many front-line doctors

Stanford Health Care apologized Friday for a plan that left nearly all of its young front-line doctors out of the first round of coronavirus vaccinations. The Palo Alto, Calif., medical center promised an immediate fix that would move the physicians into the first wave of inoculations.

Stanford’s turnaround followed a raucous demonstration by some of those doctors, who demanded to know why other health-care workers — including pathologists and radiologists who do not attend to covid-19 patients — would be vaccinated before they are.

The protest at Stanford could foreshadow similar disputes nationwide as the federal government and states begin the arduous process of distributing limited supplies of the first vaccines.

James Dickerson, a 28-year-old internal medicine resident who has cared for covid-19 patients, predicted the controversy at Stanford will unfold around the country: “The devil is in the details,” he said.

Interns and residents are the bottom of the pecking order for most things and tend not to be at the boardroom meetings. The supervisor is often there on the floor or by phone for support but with exceptions (ER, trauma) make no mistake about who does the work, especially at 1 a.m.  It’s the residents and nurses. Been there, done that, both sides.

The more the GOP leadership moves on, the more Trump’s insanest followers are going to feel betrayed. The more they feel betrayed, the more they are going to act violently. https://t.co/nhAV4zlskc

— Chairman and Chief Editorial Officer John Stoehr (@johnastoehr) December 18, 2020


Turnout in Georgia US Senate runoff approaches presidential levels

Almost as many Georgians have voted in the U.S. Senate runoffs as at the same point before the presidential election, a huge turnout that reflects the high stakes of the race.

Over 1.1 million people had voted through Thursday, most of them at early voting locations that opened across the state this week, according to state election data.

Such high turnout is unusual for a runoff, especially when compared to presidential elections that get the most voter interest. About 5 million people voted in last month’s election…

Of voters who participated in June’s primary election, Democrats outnumber Republicans in the runoff.

About 59% of runoff voters so far who also voted in the primary requested Democratic Party ballots. About 39% pulled Republican Party ballots.

However, one-third of runoff voters didn’t show up for the primary, leaving no record this year of which party they prefer, according to voter history data analyzed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In addition, nearly 76,000 new voters registered since the presidential race. These voters are first-time registrants, many of whom recently either turned 18 years old or became Georgia residents.

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