All politics is local
True. But all local politics is subject to outside forces. And if ever a race was influenced by outside influences, it was this one. And those influences were both dark as well as insidious.
Joe Biden won the 2020 election in Virginia by 10 points. We all know his platform and agenda, so I won’t bore you, but one of the things that he ran on was finally putting the coronavirus on the rear views mirror. This was a powerful argument for a country exhausted by the rampant spread of the virus under Trump.
And he did. When the vaccines were authorized, and he was sworn in, he did something Trump never did. He instituted a whole government response to deal with it. And it worked. The vaccine started flowing, and shots started going into arms. By spring, Biden was predicting that if the public kept up the flow, we could be celebrating an Independence Day from Covid on July 4th.
Which was anathema to the GOP. They had fucked up the response from start to finish, and now Biden was cleaning their clocks with his Covid response. And it wasn’t like the GOP had any outstanding accomplishments to run on. Covid in the rear view mirror by Labor Day could literally doom them in 2022, especially with the Democrats holding all of the levers of power, and able to get things done without GOP support.
And so the GOP leapt into action. At the state level. GOP Death Eaters like Ron Deathsantis in Florida, Kemp in Georgia, Hopalong Abbott in Texas, Doug Ducey in Arizona and Mt Rushmore Barbie in South Dakota sprung into action.
They either proposed bills, or signed executive orders that barred mask mandated. Not only in public, but in schools as well. They swore legal opposition to federal vaccine mandates in their states, and quashed local counties, cities, and businesses who tried to implement them. Lord Voldemort couldn’t have done better himself.
And tragically, it worked. With the onset of the summer vacation season, the tanking Covid numbers began spiking. But not everywhere. Blue administered states were still on the decline, but southern and western states like Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, and Arizona, along with the Dakotas, went through the roof. Hospitals were overloaded, and returning infected patients from those states, including super spreader events like the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally spread the good cheer.
And as the summer ground into fall, the national numbers, fed by spiking southern state cases spiked again. And it hurt Biden. Americans were tired with the goddamned coronavirus, and Biden promised to put it in the rear view mirror. And heading into the new school year, not only were the schools not safe, but there were very public disputes about mask mandates for both students and teachers, but also vaccine mandated for 12-17 year old’s as well as teachers.
And Biden’s popularity approval ratings tanked. Biden was unrelentingly positive on putting Covid behind us, and now we were backsliding. In Biden’s defense, he never actually thought that the GOP would be willing to sacrifice their own constituents in order to make him look bad. But that’s exactly what they did, and they’ll never stop.
We have spent years talking about the GOP as a terrorist party for being willing to hold things like the debt ceiling hostage. But now they have graphically shown that they will not only hold their own constituents hostage, but that they’re more than willing to pull the trigger. We have been warned, and the kid gloves need to come off.
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