top of page

Conservatives Of Both Parties Try Rewriting A Little History

One of the biggest themes of Trump's speech in North Carolina last night was set up by the way he pounded on China and on Dr. Fauci. He may have lost the 2020 election because of his failure to prevent the pandemic to devastate the U.S.-- with over 612,000 deaths, the U.S. is still way ahead of #2 and 3, Brazil (473,000) and India (347,000)-- but his allies have been busy trying to rewrite history with the seemingly absurd goal of turning Trump from the villain of the pandemic, to the hero. No doubt fellow failed fascist oriented leaders Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and Narendra Modi in India will do the same.

Last night, after the speech, Matt Viser and Yasmeen Abutaleb, reported that Team Trumpanzee has "spent the past few weeks trying to rewrite and distort the history of the pandemic, attempting with renewed vigor to villainize Anthony Fauci while lionizing the former president for what they portray as heroic foresight and underappreciated efforts to combat the deadly virus. They have focused on the early moments of the coronavirus response and the origins of the virus, downplaying any role they may have played and casting others in the wrong, at times taking comments out of context and at others drawing conclusions that are unproved... Trump is planning to make it a chief argument in a reputation rehabilitation effort. And Republicans are also making it a centerpiece of their midterm election campaigns, pledging to hold congressional investigations if they win back the House majority."

[T]o believe some of the claims from Trump and Republicans one would have to imagine that President Barack Obama in 2014 helped seed money into bat research, which within several years would result in a global virus that escaped from a lab-- either as a bioweapon or by accident-- and spread around the globe.
One would have to come to the firm conclusion that not only was the virus developed in a lab-- something experts have said is nearly impossible given the virus’s features-- but that Americans helped cover that up, and that President Biden is now aiding in the effort.

But more significantly, the focus on from where the virus came appears to be an attempt to distract from the chief failure of the Trump administration-- its uneven and chaotic response to the outbreak once it began spreading within the United States.
Trump frequently told the public it was not a serious threat and would go away soon, including when the weather changed. He resisted public health policies that medical experts said could save lives and sent conflicting signals to the public about whether to wear masks. He said you should, but he would not. Trump also sought to take little responsibility for the pandemic response, often saying it was the job of state governments, not his administration, to take action.

Of the half dozen states with the most horrific number of COVID cases per million residents, 5 are states with Republican governors who followed Trump's prescriptions for disaster:

  • Doug Burgum (R-ND)- 144,579 cases per million residents

  • Kristi Noem (R-SD)- 140,462 cases per million residents

  • Kim Reynolds (R-IA)- 127,551 cases per million residents

  • Spencer Cox (R-UT)- 127,082 cases per million residents

  • Bill Lee (R-TN)- 126,493 cases per million residents

The non-Trumpist governor who presided over the worst pandemic disaster was neo-liberal corporate shill Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island, rewarded for her failures with a Cabinet position from fellow conservative Democrat Joe Biden. But, write Viser and Abutaleb, "the focus on the virus’s origin story also fits a pattern of Trump and his supporters trying to absolve the former president of blame by obfuscating his past actions or words and blaming others despite his role as the country’s leader. Many Republicans are now playing down the severity of the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, and Trump spent years trying to deny he equated the actions of white supremacists with racial justice demonstrators in the 2017 deadly clashes in Charlottesville. Public health experts warn that the effort to rewrite or distort the history of the pandemic is more than a political issue and could impact the ability of public health officials to prevent or mitigate a future pandemic. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told the reporters that Fox News and the Trumpists are "using Dr. Fauci as a way to direct attention from what actually was a massive government failure from the White House and individuals Donald Trump put in place to handle some of this pandemic."

Trump's most notorious ass-lickers in Congress are echoing Trump and Tucker Carlson: "Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO.) on Friday called for Fauci’s resignation and for a 'full congressional investigation' into the origins of covid. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), a frequent Fauci critic, also renewed calls for his resignation while Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) declared, 'In Florida, we choose freedom over Fauci-ism, and we’re much better off for doing that.' Some Republican lawmakers, including House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Paul, have sought to draw a nefarious connection between Fauci and the Wuhan Institute of Virology because of a $3.7 million grant the National Institutes of Health awarded a New York-based research nonprofit called EcoHealth Alliance. The Wuhan Institute of Virology was awarded a $600,000 subgrant under that contract, which Republican lawmakers and right-wing commentators have suggested means Fauci was involved in some sort of coverup or that NIH funded the creation of the virus, even though the idea that it was bioengineered has been largely disproved."

This morning, the NY Times' Alexander Burns publicized a report by 3 conservative-leaning Democratic establishment organizations, Third Way, the Collective PAC and the Latino Victory Fund, warning that in 2022 the Democrats "risk of losing ground with Black, Hispanic and Asian American voters unless it does a better job presenting an economic agenda and countering Republican efforts to spread misinformation and tie all Democratic candidates to the far left." Each organization, has an agenda which is topped, first and foremost by financial considerations for their own principals. Principles are secondary, particularly for the rabidly anti-progressive Third Way, a mainstay of the Republican wing of the Democratic Party and an author of the problems that plague current American politics. The report was written by political operatives from the establishment Democratic group, 270 Strategies made up of primarily of Clintonites.

Burns wrote that "the report warns, Democrats in 2020 lacked a core argument about the economy and recovering from the coronavirus pandemic-- one that might have helped candidates repel Republican claims that they wanted to 'keep the economy shut down,' or worse. The party 'leaned too heavily on anti-Trump rhetoric,' the report concludes." OK, so far so good... all correct. And then... "'In the absence of strong party branding, the opposition latched on to GOP talking points, suggesting our candidates would burn down your house and take away the police.'"

Much of the report is an attempt by the Democratic establishment to do a little petty rewriting of history itself, claiming that "deficient messaging" cost the Democrats a dozen house seats, claiming that "Democrats had erred by speaking to voters of color as though they are a monolithic, left-leaning group." They turned to sold-out corporate whores like New Dem Tony Cárdenas of California who insists the party should discard the assumption "that voters of color are inherently more progressive. That’s been a ridiculous idea and that’s never been true." Cárdenas claimed that Republicans had succeeded in "trying to confuse Latino voters with the socialism message, things of that nature, 'defund the police.'"

In the Central Valley, where Democrats have told the DCCC they don't want them butting into primaries, grassroots Democrats reject Cárdenas' tired bullshit. Bernie slaughtered Hillary there and Kevin De Leon trounced Dianne Feinstein. Latino voters are a lot savvier than Cárdenas gives them credit for being-- and a lot savvier than Cárdenas.

Burns also noted that another Republican-lite Blue Dog, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, agrees with the anti-progressive perspective. No progressives were contacted to discuss the part this report plays in the on-going attempt of the Republican wing of the Democratic Party to blame progressives for their losses. It should denoted that all the incumbents who lost in 2020 were conservative Democrats. All progressives-- including progressives in red districts-- were re-elected.

bottom of page