Thu 2024-May-16

A New Low for Republicans & Masks

Tagged: COVID / PharmaAndBiotech / Politics / Sadness

Remember how much US Republicans during the pandemic thought wearing masks was a horror beyond imagination? They’ve gone beyond that, now.

OK, Where Can They Actually Go, Though?

WaPo: malicious compliance fishnet mask at CPAC
Perhaps a few loyal, persistent, and deeply disturbed readers of this Crummy Little Blog That Nobody Reads will remember back in the early days of the pandemic when we ranted about vaccine resistance and mask defiance in the red states of the US. [1] There was quite a bit of data analysis in that post, relating vaccine resistance to Trump voting, and so on. I was particularly struck by the gentleman shown here, wearing a fishnet mask at CPAC as the very embodiment of the term for the particular variety of stupidity of “malicious compliance” with public health.

Never mind that the data of the time showed mask requirements worked at reducing COVID-19; the conservative mind is apparently unburdened by reason.

Doran @ WRAL: NC Senate votes to ban masks in public, even for health Did you think things had gotten better?

Me neither.

Several North Carolina news outlets are reporting today on this subject, and I had the misfortune to learn about it. [2] (No offense intended to Mr. Doran or his employers; it’s the news that’s problematic, not the reporting.)

Apparently their Senate voted along party lines to ban the wearing of masks in public, even for health reasons, e.g., during the pandemic! The excuse proffered is that they think protesters are wearing masks to prevent facial recognition from police surveillance cameras. To that, I say more power to the masked protesters! We abuse facial recognition to abominable levels now, and protesting that along with whatever else is perfectly reasonable. However, their proposed law bans everyone from masking, not just protesters. Immunocompromised cancer survivors, anybody at all conscious about COVID-19 or H5N1… everyone.

Republican supporters of the ban said it would help police crack down on protesters who wear masks — which some lawmakers called a growing concern, saying demonstrators are abusing Covid-19 pandemic-era norms to wear masks that hide their identities.

“It’s about time that the craziness is at least slowed down, if not literally stopped,” said bill sponsor Buck Newton, R-Wilson.

There’s some tense history here, about mask laws and the Ku Klux Klan (who were traditionally masked). There was a Democratic attempt to amend the bill so it specifically applied to hate groups like the KKK and Proud Boys. However, it failed; the KKK apparently have specific permission to apply for the right to wear masks in public! The Republican response was more or less, “Just trust the police.”

So… stupid about public health, contemptuous of public protest, and now specifically racist.

It’s a trifecta.

The Weekend Conclusion

Just to sweeten the pot, they also wanted to increase toll road late fees by 50%, allow billboard companies to cut down more roadside trees, and automatically charge 16 & 17 year old kids as adults in criminal cases (but not lower the age of majority).

It appears that the modern Republican party is not satisfied with a kowtow to big corporations and the economic aristocrats who own them. Now they must go further with overt hostility to the rest of us, whom they ostensibly represent.

Never vote Republican. Not ever. Not for any conceivable office. Not under any circumstance.

(Ceterum censeo, Trump incarcerandam esse.)

Notes & References

1: Weekend Editor, “Politics vs mask use & vaccine uptake in the US”, Some Weekend Reading blog, 2021-Apr-19.

2: W Doran, “NC Senate votes to ban people from wearing masks in public for health reasons”, WRAL News, 2024-May-16.

Published Thu 2024-May-16

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