We begin this morning’s roundup with an op-ed by Margaret Renkl in The New York Times detailing the failure of many Republican governors to protect Americans during public health emergencies:
[I]n every case our leaders have responded with disinterest and disinformation at best. In many cases they have worsened the emergency in every way imaginable.
Instead of taking concrete measures to limit climate change, they send up prayers for rescue workers. Instead of making it possible for poor women to get quality medical care, they limit reproductive options for everyone — though the poorest, of course, will suffer most. Instead of espousing common-sense gun laws that keep citizens safe, they ally themselves with the gun lobby. (Tennessee’s governor, Bill Lee, actually signed this state’s new permitless-carry bill in a ceremonial event at a gun factory.) Instead of trying to keep people safe during this pandemic, our leaders offer ludicrous platitudes on the subject of freedom.
Of course, the poster child for deadly mismanagement of a public health crisis is Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis. In an editorial, The Miami Herald unloads on DeSantis as a “profile of selfishness”:
On Friday, Gov. DeSantis actually uttered these incredible — and incorrect — words about the vaccine: “It’s about your health and whether you want that protection or not. It really doesn’t impact me or anyone else.”
Doesn’t impact anyone else? Talk about a profile in selfishness. Almost 46,000 have died of COVID in his state since the pandemic began. Too bad we can’t ask the thousands who have died since vaccines became available if they wished everyone around them had gotten vaccinated.
Meanwhile, with respect to Texas and its anti-choice law, David Graham at The Atlantic wonders why high-profile conservatives remain quiet of the unconstitutional law:
When liberals have triumphed in major cases at the Court, including the Affordable Care Act’s skin-of-the-teeth survival in 2012 and the success of marriage equality in 2015, they have exulted. Why is this moment playing out differently? One possibility is that many anti-abortion conservatives understand that their victory this week is tenuous. Texas’s law relies on a novel mechanism: Rather than imposing a state-enforced ban on abortions, it allows private citizens to bring suits against people who provide or even abet abortions after six weeks. “The statutory scheme before the court is not only unusual, but unprecedented,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts, who would have blocked the law, in a dissent. […]
A second theory is that conservatives understand the law will be unpopular. This is probably true, and to some extent explains the understated reaction on the right. Polls generally find that 60 to 65 percent of Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade. Although a majority of Texans may support the law, and indeed a majority of voters in other red states, the national political landscape is not so friendly.
More on the impact of the law from Jeannie Suk Gersen, and specifically how it provides a model for states to evade scrutiny for unconstitutional schemes:
The fact that the law undoubtedly disobeys Supreme Court precedents is not the most outrageous part of it. In his dissent, Chief Justice Roberts emphasized that the state engineered the statute to evade judicial intervention under legal doctrines governing what cases federal courts may even hear. Not only is the scheme a model for other states in the abortion area, but, as the Chief Justice astutely noted, it may be a “model for action in other areas.”
On a different note, in case you missed it, here’s an excellent interview with Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh by Sarah Jones at New York magazine:
What, in your mind, characterizes a pro-worker presidential administration?
A pro-worker presidential administration empowers workers morning, noon, and night. This means ensuring access to quality, affordable child care, a seat at the table and safe working conditions on the job, and the ability to save for retirement, get medical care, and put food on the table. President Biden has been unequivocal in his goal of building a more equitable, resilient workforce and in his support for labor unions and collective bargaining. From supporting the Protecting the Right to Organize Act to a $15 minimum wage, this administration recognizes that it’s not enough to simply say workers are important — we must respect the value our workers bring to our communities and put it into action.
And on a final note, don’t miss out on reading this harrowing reporting from Afghanistan by Anand Gopal in The New Yorker:
Even as Shakira contemplates moving Pan Killay forward, she is determined to remember its past. The village, she told me, has a cemetery that spreads across a few hilltops. There are no plaques, no flags, just piles of stones that glow red and pink in the evening sun. A pair of blank flagstones project from each grave, one marking the head, one the feet.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.