Reports that the GOP is "shifting" to a more pro-vaccine message are highly exaggerated. It's just more Republican manipulation of the press, meant to quell criticism while continuing a strategy of sabotaging Biden by making their own voters sick.…
Mitch McConnell knows full well that not a single GOP voter gives a crap about his vaccine endorsement. This is likely more about silencing media criticism than it is actually convincing people to get the shot.
As for that Hannity clip of him offering milquetoast vaccine endorsements? Well, as journalists @MattGertz and @atrupar, who actually watched the whole show pointed out, that clip was part of a larger evening of anti-vaccine programming.
@MattGertz @atrupar The GOP is embracing a two-pronged strategy. The Beltway press gets a "GOP loves vaccines" message through Scalise and McConnell. But the actual GOP voters continue to get the "vaccines are bad, don't do it" message from messengers they like more, like Rand Paul.
@MattGertz @atrupar Here's what I suspect: Republicans want to sabotage the pandemic response, and then blame Biden for failing. But that is harder to do if the press is focused on how Republicans themselves are the problem. So they throw a couple pro-vaccine clips out there to muddy the waters.
@MattGertz @atrupar The strategy hasn't changed. It's still "use the bodies of GOP voters to sabotage Biden's pandemic response". They're just shifting messaging a bit to the press to hide what they're doing better.…
@MattGertz @atrupar To be quite clear, I hope very much I'm wrong! I hope we suddenly see millions of Republicans say, "Well shit, if Mitch McConnell and Steve Scalise say it's cool, I'm getting the shot." I hope red state vaccination rates go through the roof.

But....that isn't going to happen.

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More from @AmandaMarcotte

23 Jul
New revelations underscore how much the "investigation" into Kavanaugh's past was a scam. It's a reminder that it's not that Republicans Christine Blasey Ford is lying. They just don't think it matters if men in power commit sexual assault.…
Republicans wanted to create the illusion that they think sexual assault is bad, so they propped up this sham investigation. But they do not actually think it is bad, which is why they never bothered to find out the facts. Image
The reason conservatives think Kavanaugh was done dirty was not because they think he's innocent. It's just that they think what he was accused of doing is a big deal. It's about believing women should just suck it up and let men get away with it. Image
Read 5 tweets
23 Jul
My suspicion, based on anecdotal evidence, is that those in the "fuck 'em" camp are more likely to have a lot of regular contact with Trump voters than the people who are taking the more condescending stance that anti-vaxxers are just ignorant and require patience.
Generally, I've found, that people who scold me to understand that Trumpers are just "economically anxious" — or some other way of saying that they don't know any better — tend to be the ones who live most in blue bubbles and don't really talk to Trumpers much.
One of the reasons I tend to think they're not dumb, just reactionary, is that, well, I know a bunch of Trumpers. And they're perfectly normal people, intelligence-wise, just incredibly pig-headed about politics. They may not be Nobel prize winners, but who is?
Read 4 tweets
23 Jul
Shame on everyone who bought this fake "pivot" at face value.…
People who actually recognize Republican elites for who they are told you: This "pro-vaccine" stuff was aimed at mainstream journalists and liberal wish fulfillment. The base will continue to get a "hell no, don't vaccinate" message.…
Hannity's little soft shoe about "do your research" is just anti-vaxx bullshit. The whole "school of Google" thing is how people find anti-vaxx nonsense. He's playing a game, saying stuff that sounds reasonable, but sends people straight to anti-vaxxers.
Read 6 tweets
22 Jul
I’m unclear how right wing media talked themselves into believing they could deliberately raise COVID rates and somehow the rest of us wouldn’t notice. I guess they thought they could bully the press with the “that’s just liberal hysteria” line forever.…
And they did get away with it for a long time! I went months writing pieces into the void about how the GOP noise machine was convincing their supporters to get sick to sabotage Biden. But eventually, the partisan split in vaccinations became undeniable to the mainstream press.
Anyway, that's what I wrote about yesterday: The sudden push from Republicans to say pro-vaccine things is about intimidating the media into ignoring the partisan split on vaccination rates, not about getting shots in arms.…
Read 5 tweets
22 Jul
Twitter liberals love mask-wearing, but everyday Democratic voters are getting salty about having to sacrifice to protect people who won't protect themselves or others. Philly was 80% for Biden, and here's how the Redditors feel about mask mandates. ImageImageImageImage
A nationwide vaccine mandate isn't legal, but Biden should be moving immediately to mandate it for military, federal buildings, and airports. You'd be surprised how quickly the "not vaxxing for Trump" sentiment goes up in smoke when someone has a flight to catch.
It's both the only thing that will save lives — because the people who aren't vaxxing are also not going to give much of a shit about mask mandates — and it's about serving people who did the right thing, instead of those who refuse to do it.
Read 5 tweets
22 Jul
It really is unbelievable how the mainstream media, faced with a story about how the GOP is trying to destroy an investigation into a literal fascist insurrection, decides the big angle is "Pelosi is a meanie bear for wanting a real investigation."…
Pelosi setting the baseline for serving on the January 6 commission at "don't be a goddamn clown" was not being unreasonable. It is not her fault that McCarthy is, and this cannot be stated firmly enough, trying to cover up a literal attempt to overthrow an election. Image
Reading the mainstream coverage, you'd think it was Pelosi's fault that McCarthy is more interested in covering up for Trump than defending democracy. McCarthy is (technically) a grown ass man. He is responsible for himself. She can't make him stop being a fascistic clown. Image
Read 4 tweets

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