For those of us who've been pushing back against anti-vaccination hysteria---most of it coming from the left---I think there's an inevitable sense that the whole anti-vaccination thing is so nutty that it's inevitable that it's going to be picked up by the right wing, the home of most nutty conspiracy theories. And indeed, the Obama administration's efforts to halt the swine flu have created the occasion for this. The Onion published this fake story on October 28th.
Claiming that the president was preying on the public's fear of contracting a fatal disease last week when he declared the H1N1 virus a national emergency, Republican leaders announced Wednesday that they were officially endorsing the swine flu. "Thousands of Americans—hardworking ordinary Americans like you and me—already have H1N1," Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele said during a press conference. "Now Obama wants to take that away from us. Ask yourself: Do you want the federal government making these kinds of health care decisions for you and your family?"
Really, it's just a matter of time, since Republicans are 95% of the way there. Conservatives like Rush Limbaugh are all but claiming that there's no swine flu, and that Obama is creating a national panic to grab power. Now Glenn Beck is going so far as to use classic anti-vaccination rhetoric in order to scare people away from the vaccine. I'm forced to draw one conclusion: They are so consumed with hate for Obama that they're willing to have people die of swine flu in order to fill their endless maw of freaked out hate. Not just people, who Republicans aren't fond of, but also....fetuses! Remember, the people most susceptible to swine flu are pregnant women, and a common side effect is that you lose the pregnancy. Beck and Limbaugh hate Obama so much that they're willing to kill precious, precious fetuses in order to get at him. I'd say that's dedication, but I can't go that far, because I know that they don't care about fetuses at all, except that they're a useful tool to remove women's rights.
This swine flu thing has really driven home how much Republican opposition to health care reform is rooted in pure assholery. How else to explain the open hoping that we continue to see shortages of the swine flu vaccine? But it's not all that surprising. The opposition to health care reform may be phrased in pseudo-concerned tones about "rationing", but we all know the reality is that they oppose health care reform because it's the opposite of the current rationing system that we have now, because more people will get health care.
Or maybe they just see people getting sick and dying as necessary (though exciting!) casualties in the War on Obama.
One thing I do know is now that conservatives are getting a taste of the power of anti-vaccination hysteria, it won't be long before they go full throttle for it. There's already an inclination, considering the right wing reaction to the HPV vaccination. And a herpes vaccination is in the pipe, which is only going to make it worse. The good news is that perhaps when this happens, the people on the left pushing unscientific hysteria will rethink their position.