A new poll by YouGov released yesterday by CBS News shows that most Americans do not approve of GOP attempts to curtail voting rights. Across party lines, only 27% would like to see voting made more difficult, while 38% want it easier and 35% want it felt as it is. "Republicans," reported CBS, "think Democrats will do better in elections if voting becomes easier... Eight in 10 of those who cast ballots in 2020 said the process was "very easy," and most of them, as well as the public at large, want the voting process to be left as is or made easier, not harder. And most would not make their own state's process easier or harder-- 6 in 10 say it's about right. These views extend to support for keeping some of the measures put in place in 2020 that made it more convenient to cast a ballot amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Six in 10 Americans want these changes to remain in place for future elections. This is particularly the case for those who made the switch from in person to mail voting in 2020, even though most said they chose mail voting due to concern about the coronavirus. Republicans stand apart from the public in their views. More than half think the voting process in general should be made harder, especially Trump voters and those who falsely believe the 2020 election was marred by fraud and irregularities. Most Republicans would also roll back the rules changes put in place during the pandemic."
Why are Republicans such freaks and so out of step with normal people? It isn't only innate stupidity, although for many voters, like these and these, it doesn't go any further than that. It is also because of the media they consume.
Fox, of course is the best example-- a network literally killing its own moron viewers with disinformation about the pandemic and vaccines, while every one of their hosts is already double-vaccinated and Fox employees can't even get into the building without a company version of a "voluntary" vaccine passport! Axios used confidence/lack of confidence in Dr. Fauci to illustrate the problem. Keep in mind, yesterday at a Senate hearing Rand Paul, echoing Fox talking points accused Fauci of lying to Congress over NIH funding a Wuhan lab that may have been ground zero for the pandemic. "Sen. Paul, you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly, and I want to say that officially. You do not know what you are talking about." Paul then went insane and started screaming nonsense. After they finally got him to shut his face and let Fauci speak, Fauci responded, "You are implying that what we did was responsible for the deaths of individuals. I totally resent that, and if anyone is lying here senator, it is you." Tina Smith (D-MN) asked Fauci if he had any other comments on Paul's spurious claims, Fauci said, "This is a pattern that Senator Paul has been doing now at multiple hearings based on no reality."
Sara Fisher wrote that "People who rely on conservative media have much less confidence in key public health institutions and experts, and are much more likely to believe misinformation about the vaccine, according to a new study from the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. The survey finds a widening gap between Americans who trust key health institutions and those who don't.
Despite the GOP's and it's media allies' efforts to undermine them, "trust in key institutions, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and, Food and Drug Administration are still high overall. So is overall trust in Anthony Fauci, and overall confidence in the vaccines."
The survey found that in June, 78% of the U.S. public said the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, up from 74% in April. But the more ideologically conservative that people described themselves as, "the less likely they are to believe that it is true that it is safer to get the Covid-19 vaccine" the study found.
"When you begin to reduce trust in experts and agencies telling you that vaccines are safe, you're creating all kinds of susceptibilities that can be exploited for partisan gain," said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center.
The survey also found that a growing number of Americans are becoming susceptible to conspiracy theories about the vaccine.
More than a third of Americans (35%) in June said they definitely believe that coronavirus was created by the Chinese government as a biological weapon, up from 31% in April. There is no evidence to support that theory.
"In the presence of statistical controls, those who say they rely on conservative media such as Fox News or very conservative media such as OAN are more likely to believe this conspiracy theory. Those who say they rely on mainstream media are more likely to reject this theory," the report found.
Experts say misinformation is one of many factors that can lead to vaccine hesitancy, along with a person's political affiliation, assessment of their own risk, access to vaccines and socioeconomic status.
The new study finds that some of these factors, like a person's political affiliation and their exposure to misinformation, may be linked.
"We know that ongoing exposure to a message that is consistent can harden existing dispositions," Jamieson said.
UPDATE: McCarthy Pulled Republicans Out Of All Select Committees
This morning after Pelosi rejected McCarthy's nomination of two serial obstructionists-- Gym Jordan (OH) and Jim Banks (IN)-- to the select committee investigating the attempted Trump coup and insurrection, McCarthy dropped out and said he is withdrawing all Republicans from all select committees unless Pelosi changes her mind. By the sound of her statement today, it doesn't sound like she'll changing her mind any time soon:
It had been our hope to establish a bipartisan, independent National Commission, but there is no prospect for that Commission at this time because of insufficient support from Republican Senators. Therefore, the House established the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol. The Select Committee on the January 6th Insurrection will investigate and report upon the facts and causes of the terrorist mob attack on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. It will also be charged with reporting its findings, conclusions and recommendations for preventing future attacks.
“Monday evening, the Minority Leader recommended 5 Members to serve on the Select Committee. I have spoken with him this morning about the objections raised about Representatives Jim Banks and Jim Jordan and the impact their appointments may have on the integrity of the investigation. I also informed him that I was prepared to appoint Representatives Rodney Davis, Kelly Armstrong and Troy Nehls, and requested that he recommend two other Members.
“With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these Members, I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the Select Committee.
“The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision.”
The decision is right in line with Trump's desire to preemptively discredit the select committee and its findings, at least in the eyes of his followers, something McCarthy is always all to happy to support. It will also be McCarthy's own desperate excuse for not accepting an invitation-- or event subpoena-- to testify about his now notorious phone conversation with Trump while the Capitol was being broken into and overrun by violent Trumpist insurrectionists. Please consider helping Bruno Amato replace McCarthy in Congress by clicking here and contributing what you can to Amato's grassroots campaign in a Kern County/Central Valley district centered on Bakersfield.