Republicans found one area where their scientific stupidity was matched by liberals, but they'll soon put a stop to THAT! (UPDATED)
Two days ago, after seeing that the White House (and President Obama specifically) had come out with an official (if utterly obvious) statement stating that vaccinating children is absolutely recommended in response to the insanity of the past few years, I snarkily tweeted the following:
In response to this post on both Twitter and Facebook, 3 friends of mine (one a Republican, one an otherwise sensible Democrat and one with whom I've never discussed politics one way or the other) posted the following comments:
- From the Republican: "do you honestly think that someone's choice to vote for the GOP candidate in a system that only has two options would relenquish all sense and endanger their child just to do the opposite of a recommendation from the white house?"
- From the (antivaxxer) Democrat: "I resent/dread the implication that I may be in the company of many many Republicans."
- From the Unknown Ideology: "If the anti-vaxxer movement were limited to the GOP that would hardly explain California would it?"
My response was as follows:
You're all missing the obvious snark here. Yes, until now the antivaxxers movement has been oddly bipartisan, with both "pure body" liberals and "don't trust big gubbmint" tea party types. However, as has been proven countless times over the past 6 years, the SECOND that Obama himself supports ANYTHING publicly, the Republican Party opposes it vehemently and in near-lockstep. Immigration reform? Carbon tax? Universal gun registry? Infrastructure development? These were all supported by major GOP figures RIGHT UP until Obama did...at which point they all did a complete turnaround.
For Chrissakes, the ACA was a primarily Republican idea...created by the Heritage Foundation, pushed for by Newt Gingrich, implemented by Mitt friggin' Romney...who then had to flip-flop on his own plan in order to run for President against the very guy who implemented it nationally.
I truly believe that if Obama were to announce that he's turned anti-choice tomorrow, the entire GOP would suddenly turn pro-choice just on principle.
So yeah, instead of, say, 3% of liberals and 2% of conservatives being anti-vax, I wouldn't be surprised to see it turn to 3% of liberals and 10% of conservatives within a month.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Monday that public officials need to strike a "balance" on vaccinations that allows parents "some measure of choice" in immunizing their children.
Christie was asked about a measles outbreak afflicting the western U.S. during a visit to a facility for MedImmune, an American company that manufactures a flu vaccine. The visit was part of the governor's three-day trip to London.
Asked about the outbreak's link to parents who object to the measles vaccine, Christie said that he and his wife chose to vaccinate his four children, according to the New York Times.
“It’s more important what you think as a parent than what you think as a public official," Christie said, as quoted by the Times. "I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well. So that’s the balance that the government has to decide.
Yes, that's right, the same Chris Christie who less than 2 months ago tried to imprison a perfectly healthy nurse because she had worked with Ebola (you know, the disease which, while deadly, is actually fairly difficult to spread) victims. Apparently she wasn't allowed to have a "measure of choice".
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Monday said that most vaccinations ought to be voluntary, a stance that goes beyond his old rival New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) view on parental choice in immunizations.
Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham asked Paul whether vaccines should be mandatory after Christie's office tried to walk back the governor's remarks on allowing parents to have "some measure of choice" in vaccinating their children. Paul went a step further than his potential 2016 presidential opponent in his response.
"I'm not anti-vaccine at all, but particularly, most of them ought to be voluntary," Paul said. "What happens if you have somebody not want to take the smallpox vaccine and it ruins it for everybody else? I think there are times in which there can be some rules, but for the most part it ought to be voluntary."
THERE! THAT'LL teach those sneaky liberals to try and muscle in on our ignorant, anti-science, anti-reality turf!!
Also, as an aside, Rand Paul is not "certified". He's a "self-certified" opthalmologist, whatever the hell that means.
UPDATE: A commentor over at the dKos cross-post noted several additional, more mundane items which the Republican Party has decided to oppose purely because President Obama came out in favor of them:
- properly inflated tires
- eating vegetables
- starting a garden
- cutting back on sugary soft drinks
- wearing a cream colored suit
UPDATED 2/3/15: Two more items showing that yes, my snarky comment is actually being proven to be true:
First up is a disturbing Pew Poll about antivaxxer demographics. The main (and extremely disturbing) point is that young adults (you know, the ones who've never had to live through an actual epidemic of any sort) are more likely to not have a clue about the subject.
However, they also find the following:
There are slight differences in views about vaccines along political lines. A majority of Democrats (76%), Republicans (65%) and independents (65%) say that vaccines should be required. But Republicans and independents are somewhat more inclined than are Democrats to say that parents should be able to decide. In 2009, there was no difference in views on vaccinations along party lines.
While Pew calls the political differences "slight", what's more telling are the trendlines: Since 2009, Democrats who want vaccination to be a "choice" have dropped by 5 points...while Republicans who feel that way have increased by 8 points. Gee, what happened in 2009??
Second is this:
Holy shit Rep. Sean Duffy (R - Diphtheria) just went full anti-vax on MSNBC. This is becoming a GOP position. Smack this shit down, FAST.
— Zeddonymous (@ZeddRebel) February 3, 2015
I haven't seen the clip or read Duffy's transcript, so I don't know exactly what he said, but assuming this is an accurate description of what he said, my "joke" is quickly becoming reality.
UPDATE: OK, here's the actual clip. Yup, it's getting bad...turning into an epidemic, if you will.
UPDATED: Make that 3 more items: