On Monday, writing for the conservative Trump-skeptic website The Bulwark, editor Benjamin Parker outlined one of the strongest signs the Republican Party is an authoritarian institution in decline: Its "brain drain" of intellectuals from the party — and its celebration of this phenomenon.
"One of the problems of strangling and restricting a society for political expediency is that there are always other options," wrote Parker. "The people with the most human capital — extraordinary abilities, intelligence, skills, etc. — are the most likely to defect. The Soviet Union and its allies leaked talent at an extraordinary rate. Judging by how many former Republican luminaries have publicly broken with Trump, the Republican party, or both, its brain drain could be even quicker."
As examples, Parker noted that over 100 former staffers of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a number of alumni of the George W. Bush administration, and several former GOP national security staffers endorsed Joe Biden, and the fact that four prominent Republicans spoke at the Democratic National Convention.
"The Republican party has shed many of its legal, economic, foreign policy, and political experts — the very people who enabled it to govern," continued Parker. "Its new leading legal light is Rudy Giuliani. Its foreign policy guru is ... maybe Sen. Rand Paul? (Sorry, Mike Pompeo.) Its most accomplished economist is Larry Kudlow. The Trumpist 'intellectual' movement is a bit like the Soviets' ersatz space shuttle — it never really got off the ground."
And yet, noted Parker, the Republicans who remain are pleased with this state of affairs.
"Sycophants are the only people who won't threaten the power structure," wrote Parker. Moreover, it allows the Republican Party "ideological and political flexibility" if its adherents aren't intellectually consistent. But all of this will hurt them in the long run: "At least in theory, a political party's purpose is to win and hold power. How is the Republican party supposed to do that if all the smart, experienced, well-trained, well-organized people have left the party?"
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Fox News helps embattled school nurse spread her bogus claim that vaccines and masks are riskier for kids than COVID-19
Erin Pein, a nurse for Stafford Public Schools in Connecticut, questioned mask orders and other public health guidance during an appearance Monday morning on "Fox & Friends."
"I say that is ridiculous," Pein said. "We already know that this virus does not affect children the same way as it effects adults, and children, from 0 to 20 years old, are 99. 97 percent, you know, unaffected by COVID, which means they can survive it at that rate, and if they do get it, they will have mild symptoms."
"We know that the risk from this vaccine and the risk from continued mask use is more detrimental than the actual virus to these children," she added.
The Food and Drug Administration last week approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 12 to 15, and there have been no severe side effects or risks observed for that age group.
On Fox & Friends, a school nurse suspended for refusing to wear a mask on the job claims that, for children, "the r… https://t.co/UXzXLvYsnr— Bobby Lewis (@Bobby Lewis)1621252902.0
Arizona congressman compares Republican Trump devotees to Hugo Chavez’s Chavistas: 'It’s not a party of ideas'
During a recent appearance on Univision's Spanish-language news program "Al Punto," Democratic Rep. Rubén Gallego of Arizona compared diehard devotees of former President Donald Trump to supporters of the late leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez — and it was obviously meant to be a major insult.
The 41-year-old Gallego, who represents Arizona's 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, discussed the GOP-sponsored vote audit of the 2020 presidential election in Maricopa County, Arizona — stressing to long-time "Al Punto" host Jorge Ramos (who has often been described as the Brian Williams of Spanish-language television) that the audit was nothing more than a partisan farce from the Arizona Republican Party. The interview was conducted entirely in Spanish, which Gallego — a native of Chicago — speaks fluently.
The Latino congressman pointed out that in Arizona, more than one recount of the 2020 presidential election results had already been conducted. And those recounts, Gallego told Ramos, made it abundantly clear that now-President Joe Biden defeated Trump in Arizona. Slamming the Maricopa County audit — conducted by the Florida-based firm Cyber Ninjas — as a joke, Gallego saw it as a sad reflection of a party that has been taken over by Trump and his sycophants and continues to promote "La Gran Mentira" (meaning "The Big Lie" in Spanish).
"They are not a party of ideas," Gallego told the 63-year-old Ramos, a native of Mexico City now based in Miami. And Gallego was especially insulting to the GOP when he told Ramos that Trump's Republican sycophants are "like Chavistas" — meaning Venezuelan devotees of Hugo Chávez, who died of cancer in Caracas in 2013.
Gallego has served in both the United States' federal government and the Arizona state government. The Chicago native was first elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2010, and in 2012 — the year in which President Barack Obama was reelected — he was elected to the U.S. House.
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