Republicans are a party that thrives on always being in crisis mode. And when no crisis is apparent, they will create one. Even when a crisis is resolved, they find a way to start a new one. It appears they don’t understand that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.
Despite losing the White House, they followed the same playbook for the midterms. It cost them control of the Senate and now they have a slim majority in the House which requires them to cater to the lunatic fringe of the party. And what a collection of crazies it is. You have Lauren GED Boebert trying to challenge a law professor, George Santos releasing a video in ethics over the proposed censure of Adam Schiff for investigating Donald Trump and Marjorie Taylor Greene banging the gavel and demanding members show some decorum as the committee she was temporarily chairing ran amok.
In so many instances, Republicans have either caused or manufactured crisis after crisis in order to appeal to their base. Despite most having very little factual evidence to support them, they continue, rolling out the next fabrication after the previous one fizzles out, or the public moves on.
No matter the issue, they will create controversies where none existed before. Often, the result is getting egg on their faces, but this doesn’t stop them from making up a new set of baseless accusations.
They never seem to learn.
Is There a Doctor in the House?
The pandemic unleashed a plethora of medical “professionals” who made repeatedly false claims about the coronavirus. Egged on by their Republican lawmakers, they pushed fake cures, spread unfounded rumors and demanded unsafe conditions as the death toll rose to astronomic levels.
Meanwhile, they were encouraged to ignore the medical professionals, do their own research and accept the word of medical charlatans who promised relief with fake, often fatal, treatments even after vaccines were made available. Injecting disinfectant, taking medication meant for animals and trying a variety of unproven cures were among the multiple methods being pushed on the internet as the disease ravaged the nation.
For many people, the question was this: Is there a doctor in the house?
But, Republicans mocked lifesaving vaccines as a hoax. They claimed it was a government conspiracy to inject microchips into our bodies to track our every movement. They published fake data that stated people were dying from the vaccine, and not the virus. They gave the treatment immature nicknames like "the jab" or the even more childish “Fauci Ouchie”, in reference to Dr. Anthony Fauci, who was the foremost medical expert on infectious diseases in America.
And they held hearings. These hearings were supposed to update the nation as to the progress of vaccines and give a timetable for when the country could get back to a sense of normality. Instead, Republicans turned them into personal attacks on the very people who were working tirelessly to do exactly that.
Rand Paul’s infamous rants verbally assaulting Dr. Fauci and others were not a means to get information. He used his time to express his personal views and left the respondents little if any time to reply as he allowed his time to expire because he used it as a platform to spread lies and misinformation.
To combat this misinformation, Dr. Fauci and his team began holding regular daily briefings to update death tolls, hot spots and updates on the progress of potential vaccines. These briefings were quickly hijacked by Trump due to the fact lockdowns had also stopped people from attending his ego-stroking rallies. He used his time to push fake cures like hydroxychloroquine, mock mask mandates and lockdowns along with calling the virus a hoax that he claimed would magically disappear once Election Day was over.
Rather than accept the advice of the medical professionals, Trump relied on the view of his economic adviser, Peter Navarro, because Navarro’s view of the pandemic was more closely aligned with his own. It was these views that he presented during the daily briefings.
The briefings came to an abrupt halt when he was widely mocked for suggesting people inject themselves with household cleaning products. This led to unprecedented warnings to be issued by companies that made these products that people not inject themselves.
When Trump contracted the virus himself, there was a carefully choreographed trip to Walter Reed Hospital along with staged images of him “working” as people tried to surmise just how sick he truly was. Wanting to appear healthy, Trump had his Secret Service agents take him on a limo ride around the hospital grounds so that he could greet his supporters. They of course delighted to see he was showing, outwardly at least, that he wasn’t as ill as was being reported. It was an unmasked Trump that vainly put the lives of his own Secret Service agents at risk by exposing them to the deadly disease.
While they refused to release numbers, it has been surmised that several members of his detachment missed time due to contracting Covid due to the lack of protocol adherence in the White House.
Trump's release from the hospital was another Hollywood-style event with him boarding Marine One then vigorously mounting the White House steps to the portico and standing and waving before re-entering the residence.
Despite reportedly being seriously ill, Trump returned to calling the virus a hoax. He cited the relative ease of his own recovery even though it was suspected that he was given special access to medication, like Paxlovid, which was not yet available to the general public, to speed his recovery.
Many Republican lawmakers joined Trump in labeling the virus a hoax. They flaunted their refusal to follow House instituted mask mandates despite being assessed fines that amounted to thousands of dollars. Because Trump’s COVID response policy was to leave the matter up to the individual states, many red states quickly reopened despite rising case numbers.
When Ron DeSantis declared all of Florida’s beaches and restaurants would be open for Spring Break without restrictions, he was warned of a potential superspreader event. After the predicted spike failed to materialize, he boasted about how he was smarter than any of the so-called experts. He neglected to mention that many who attended Spring Break in his state were actually from other states. So, instead of a focused spike, there was a national rise in cases as Spring Breakers returned to their home states to spread the infection.
The COVID vaccines represented a turning point in confronting the deadly pandemic. Yet, there were many who simply refused to take advantage of this life-saving medicine. Despite it being one of the few things Trump could truly claim as an accomplishment during his chaotic years in office, his followers were so thoroughly brainwashed that they even booed him at the mere mention of the vaccine.
Experts estimate that, of the one million deaths attributed to coronavirus, nearly a third could have been prevented if they had heeded the advice of experts. Instead, they followed the conspiracy theorists and the guidance of their Republican leaders.
They have only themselves to blame for these needless fatalities. Ironically, most of these deaths are fellow Republicans.