it’s not incompetence

There’s an opinion piece in this morning’s Washington Post about Tate Reeves, the Republican governor of Mississippi and that state’s appalling response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Here’s the headline:

Tate Reeves and the high cost of covid incompetence

Similar opinion pieces have been written about almost every Republican governor in the United States, and they all make the same stupid ass claim of incompetence. The first covid death in the US was in February of 2020; this is September 2021. We’ve been dealing with covid for nineteen (19) months now. We’re closing in on 700,000 deaths from covid.

This is NOT a result of incompetence. We’ve developed a vaccine–three vaccines, in fact, all of which are pretty damned effective in reducing the transmission of the virus AND mitigating the symptoms of the disease AND drastically reducing the potential of dying from the disease. We know wearing a mask reduces transmission of the disease. We know social distancing helps. WE KNOW HOW TO FIGHT THE FUCKING COVID VIRUS.

That we still have ICUs full of covid patients is NOT a result of incompetence. It’s an intentional political strategy.

I’m not saying Republican governors and Republican strategists cobbled together a conspiracy to murder their own supporters. I’m not saying the GOP gathered together in a room and worked out a plan designed to spread covid. What I’m saying is the GOP wants President Uncle Joe to fail–to fail in every aspect of his administration. The economy, public health, national infrastructure, international diplomacy, the military, agriculture, the justice system –pick an issue, and the GOP wants Uncle Joe to fail at it. They want him to fail, and work to make him fail, so they can then accuse him of the failure. And they’re willing to quietly sacrifice lives to see that happen.

Gov. Tate Reeves (R) at the top of the stairs.

Remember, all of these GOP governors and senators and congress-folks and political operatives are fully vaxxed. They’re not stupid (okay, some are stupid; some are really stupid, and then you’ve got the Gohmert Scholars who are ohmyfuckinggod stupid). They’ll say, in the quietest voice possible, they believe the vaccines are effective and will save lives. They’ll say they think people should get vaxxed. But they also say–and say it much louder and more often–that patriotic citizens should be free NOT to get vaxxed, NOT to wear masks, NOT to trust the CDC.

That’s not incompetence. Failure to implement and enforce a covid vaccine mandate isn’t incompetence; it’s deliberate. Failure to implement and enforce mask mandates isn’t incompetence; it’s intentional. Promoting and encouraging resistance to basic public health regimens isn’t incompetence; it’s purposeful. At best, it’s willful indifference–a casual disregard for the safety and welfare of others. More likely, it’s a reckless lack of concern about the risk incurred by others.

You know what? If you (and yes, I’m talking about you) were standing at the top of some steep stairs debating with a buddy whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie, and you tapped your buddy in the chest with a finger to make a point, and your buddy fell down the stairs and died, you’d be guilty of a crime. You didn’t mean to kill your buddy; you were aware of the stairs, but weren’t really thinking about them; you were indifferent about the safety of your buddy. If you were standing by those stairs and gave your buddy a shove to scare them, and your buddy fell and was killed, you’d be guilty of a more serious crime. You didn’t mean for your buddy to get hurt or die, but you knew you were at the top of some stairs and you acted recklessly.

If you’re the Governor of Mississippi and you and all 3,000,000 of your constituents are standing at the top of the stairs debating Die Hard and you poke them in the chest to make a point and 473,000 of them fell down the stairs and 9,000 of them died…well.

No, that’s not incompetence. You know you’re at the top of those stairs, and you know folks could get seriously hurt and maybe die if they fell, and you fucking poked them in the chest to make a point anyway.

6 thoughts on “it’s not incompetence

    • Yes, it’s a form of passive murder — manslaughter, depending on the jurisdiction. No governor will ever be charged with it, of course, but it’s important that we keep labeling them as criminals.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The one thing I can’t get my head around is that they are basically killing their base supporters with all this misinformation and gaslighting. That isn’t what I would expect. I’d expect them to want Democrats to die not Republicans.

    As to them wanting Biden to fail, of course they do. They were the same with Obama. He was such a well respected president around the world but so many of his hopes and plans came to nothing because of the GOP. A truly hateful party of the worst kind of men, and some women. And sadly they have taught our criminal cabal under Johnson how to get away with it.


    • They ARE killing their own base, it’s true. I suspect the GOP is a wee bit surprised at how rabid their base has become.

      The weirdest thing is their base has begun to realize they’re dying because they’re not vaxxed–but they blame Democrats for using reverse psychology to prevent them from getting vaxxed. They’re actually saying Democrats are deliberately encouraging Trumpists to get vaxxed KNOWING they’ll react by NOT getting vaxxed, and so Democrats are murdering them. This came from a Breitbart post:

      “The organized left is deliberately putting unvaccinated Trump supporters in an impossible position where they can either NOT get a life-saving vaccine or CAN feel like cucks caving to the ugliest, smuggest bullies in the world.”

      It’s manifestly paranoid.


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