Republicans ‘raised the cost on stupid’ by rejecting basic common sense: MSNBC’s Heilemann
Ron DeSantis introduces Florida first lady Casey DeSantis during a news conference announcing the Resiliency Florida initiative, at the Amway Center in Orlando, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. - Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

MSNBC's John Heilemann said the delta variant of the coronavirus had "raised the cost of stupid," and he said conservatives were finding out the hard way.

Republican governors are banning common-sense measures to protect public health, such as mask mandates and vaccine requirements, while conservative broadcasters push unproven treatments and question vaccination -- and the "Morning Joe" host said they're putting everyone else at risk.

"The delta variant has very visibly raised the price of stupid, right," Heilemann said, "and because it's raised the price of stupid and we've been able to see the consequences of entrenched stupidity both in the vaccine resistance movements of various kinds, in the horse glue and lobster meal, my joke earlier, for people doing crazy things to helps that are contrary to science, and the price of that has gone up."

But polling is starting to show the public is turning against officials who refuse to do anything to prevent the spread of COVID-19, even as a vocal minority soaks up news coverage with tantrums and outbursts.

"We've now started to see, as the price of stupid has gone up, what the political fallout of that is, and for a while, we watched as people like Ron DeSantis were able to, in some ways, defy gravity as the cost of stupid were borne by many Floridans and the stupid politics that went along with that, seem to be -- allow DeSantis to maintain a certain kind of political stability in a weird way, given the strength of this -- the endurance of the stupidity of the stupid caucus," Heilemann said. "Now, as the cost of stupid has risen and we've turned the corner, as you see these numbers move ... on mandates and people finally getting to the point where the tipping point is reached, saying we can't go on this way, that has had an impact, as you see, on Gov. DeSantis' numbers, on other politicians who rode the stupid wave, and the time is running out."

"You can see it across the board in a lot of political research across the country for governors who had, for a long time, benefitted from being in that place," he added. "It's become untenable, and I think we'll see the corner turn in a dramatic way across the board in a lot of data we see."

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