GOP bafflegab cannot outweigh actual numbers, but they will continue to inhabit the GOP’s disinformation campaign through November. Swing states remain the key.
- At one level this shouldn't be surprising. It's the same script the party has followed on climate change, and the virus truthers are a lot like the inflation truthers who insisted that we had runaway inflation under Obama 2/
- But what's going on now seems to involve a new level of *political* recklessness. Climate change takes place over decades; inflation truthers paid no political or personal price for being wrong again and again. But if the virus erupts, it will happen quickly 3/
- In other words, the GOP has in effect decided to ignore the science at the clear risk of being held accountable in the near future both for killing thousands and for wrecking the economy, because that's what a premature opening would do 4/
- Why take that risk? Partly they may be high on their own supply, no longer able to conceive that there is an objective reality that might be politically inconvenient. Partly I think it's because they know in their hearts that they can't actually do the job of governing 5/
- But anyway, we're witnessing a lethal abdication of responsibility whose consequences will be quickly apparent. It's truly awesome to watch 6/
And as a political matter, the spread of the coronavirus in battleground states — particularly in red-leaning counties in them — could work against Trump, in part because of the national battle we’re seeing over reopening.
As McClatchy’s Dave Catanese reports, some Republicans believe the coronavirus crisis is turning the 2020 presidential election into a referendum on Trump’s handling of it, which Joe Biden has eagerly embraced with a steady stream of criticism of the incumbent:
- Trump and Biden begin a general election in an unprecedented environment of dual anxiety over the nation’s health and economy.
- “If a majority believe that we got through this, they’re not afraid anymore about their health, the health of their family and they feel like the health of the economy is heading in the right direction, then I think he’s in good shape,” said former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. “If they have doubts on either or both of those, then I think it becomes really, really tough.”
Making this potentially worse for Trump, he is urging states to reopen quickly. He has aligned himself with the anti-lockdown protests, which seem motivated by a kind of neo-Social Darwinist ideology that almost certainly won’t wear well in swing states if cases continue to mount in them.