Signs of the Apocalypse

Dana Milbank, the quintessential Washington, DC insider know nothing, just got something right when he noted that the Covid-19 response was a direct result of the movement Republican belief that the government should be drowned in a bathtub.

Well a stopped clock, is right once a day, and Dana Milbank is right (maybe) once a year:

I had been expecting this for 21 years.

“It’s not a matter of ‘if,’ but ‘when,’” the legendary epidemiologist D.A. Henderson told me in 1999 when we discussed the likelihood of a biological event causing mass destruction.

In 2001, I wrote about experts urging a “medical Manhattan Project” for new vaccines, antibiotics and antivirals.


I repeat these things not to pretend I was prescient but to show that the nation’s top scientists and public health experts were shouting these warnings from the rooftops — deafeningly, unanimously and consistently. In the years after the 2001 terrorist attacks, the Bush and Obama administrations seemed to be listening.

But then came the tea party, the anti-government conservatism that infected the Republican Party in 2010 and triumphed with President Trump’s election. Perhaps the best articulation of its ideology came from the anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, who once said: “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”

They got their wish. What you see today is your government, drowning — a government that couldn’t produce a rudimentary test for coronavirus, that couldn’t contain the pandemic as other countries have done, that couldn’t produce enough ventilators for the sick or even enough face masks and gowns for health-care workers.

The fact that this font of conventional wisdom (the conventional wisdom is always wrong) recognizes that this is a direct result of an ideology is significant.

The pundit class, disdains the discussion of ideology, so the fact that one of their most prominent avatars is assigning the blame to a right-wing ideology constituents a statement against interest, which increases the credibility of the assewrtion.

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