The Protests Are Coming…Whether They Make Sense or Not

FRIDAY UPDATE: Oh, neat. President Trump is now ENCOURAGING this behavior.


Views from a MAGA rally/government protest in Lansing, Michigan on Wednesday

Right-wing Republicans across the country are shaking their fists at stay-at-home restrictions because the coronavirus wouldn’t respond to their complaints. As a result, this week has seen ridiculous protests in places like Michigan, and Colorado is next on the list.

Organizers are planning an event called “Operation Gridlock Denver” (we’re not linking to any of this nonsense) that will take place on Sunday. Yes, you read that correctly. “Gridlock” on a Sunday. Planners of this event are stressing that people who attend should remain in their cars to protest stay-at-home orders, because you are obviously more likely to get infected by COVID-19 if you are out milling around with other people. If you don’t already understand the irony here, then we certainly can’t explain it any better.

Before anyone gets too carried away in thinking that these “protestors” represent more than a small percentage of like-minded morons, there are a few important points we’d like to address:

The Vast Majority of Americans Absolutely Do NOT Agree

A new poll from POLITICO/Morning Consult shows that 8 in 10 Americans are in no hurry to end social distancing practices because they are (rightly) scared of COVID-19:

More than eight in 10 voters, 81 percent, say Americans “should continue to social distance for as long as is needed to curb the spread of coronavirus, even if it means continued damage to the economy.” Only 10 percent say Americans “should stop social distancing to stimulate the economy, even if it means increasing the spread of coronavirus.”

Those poll numbers track with what Gallup has been following. Even after government restrictions on social contact are lifted, 71% of Americans would “wait to see what happens with the coronavirus” before resuming “normal activities.”

Via Gallup


Across the country, the Governors who have been leading the way on issuing stay-at-home guidance are viewed exponentially more favorably than President Trump, whose approval ratings are plummeting. In our state, 75% of Coloradans approve of the way that Gov. Jared Polis has responded to the coronavirus outbreak, compared to about 43% who approve of how Trump has handled the situation.


Protest Arguments Make No Logical Sense Whatsoever

This interview with a protestor in Michigan should speak for itself:

In case you can’t see the interview, it features a guy wearing a mask covering most of his face saying that coronavirus concerns are overblown. You don’t have to be House Minority Leader Patrick Neville to say something stupid about social distancing measures.

As we know from multiple failed recall attempts by a small band of right-wing grifters, the most outspoken of protestors don’t necessarily ply their trade with logic. Nevertheless, it’s important to point out the flawed reasoning here. Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, artfully explained for POLITICO why arguments opposing social distancing are lunacy:

A good example of the genre is an op-ed co-authored by former Education Secretary William Bennett and talk radio host and author Seth Leibsohn . It is titled, tendentiously and not very accurately, “Coronavirus Lessons: Fact and Reason vs. Paranoia and Fear.” Bennett and Leibsohn are intelligent and public-spirited men whom I’ve known for years, but they’ve got this wrong, and in rather elementary ways.

They cite the latest estimate of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Washington state that the current outbreak will kill 68,000 Americans. Then, they note that about 60,000 people died of the flu in 2017-18. For this, they thunder, we’ve scared Americans and imposed huge economic and social costs on the country.

This is such an obviously flawed way of looking at the question, it’s hard to believe that Bennett and Leibsohn don’t realize it.

If we are going to have 60,000 deaths with people not leaving their homes for more than a month, the number of deaths obviously would have been higher—much higher—if everyone had gone about business as usual. We didn’t lock down the country to try to prevent 60,000 deaths; we locked down the country to limit deaths to 60,000 (or whatever the ultimate toll is) from what would have been a number multiples larger. [Pols emphasis]

By Bennett and Leibsohn ’s logic, we could just as easily ask: Why did we expend all that blood and treasure fighting Hitler when he couldn’t even take Britain or conquer Moscow? Why did we adopt tough-on-crime policies, when crime rates are at historic lows? Why did we work so hard to find a treatment for HIV/AIDs, when so many of the people with the disease now have normal life expectancies?

Of course, it was precisely the actions we took that caused those welcome outcomes.

It’s probably not just top White House adviser Kellyanne Conway who believes that “COVID-19” means there were 18 other “COVIDs” that came before it.

There are definitely a few people who will head to Denver on Sunday to yell at the Capitol Building, and they absolutely have the right to do so. Let’s just not pretend that they represent the majority opinion of Coloradans on staying protected from COVID-19.

35 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Diogenesdemar says:

    Seems to me the neighborly thing to do here would be to offer to help arrange and coordinate their car pooling?

  2. 2Jung2Die says:

    It would be OK with me if this event got exactly zero media attention.

  3. Diogenesdemar says:

    Live from Washington, DC . . .

    . . . Its, The Donald Ttump Shooooooow!!!! . . .

  4. JohnInDenver says:

    Saw a set of activities the Michigan protesters were naming as what ought to be opened up, as they were essential. 

    • getting back to work doing curbside pet grooming;
    • using motorboats (canoes and sailboats are still allowed);
    • getting hair cuts or styling;
    • “We can’t buy paint and go paint our house.”
    • “the closure of the gardening section of Costco amounted to a ban on buying American flags.”

     And naturally, those issues were addressed by the addition of prominently displayed weapons, confederate flags, Trump 2020 signs, and chants calling for the Governor to be “locked up.”

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Betsy Ross should have shopped at Amazon . . .

      . . . thank dog Florida got enough patrioticly essential sense to give ‘em their WWE back . . . (main-event bout — The Star-Spangled Ttumpinator versus Professor Lo Wuhan) . . .

      . . . and don’t forget those oil companies — drink more gasoline! 

      • MichaelBowman says:

        “If hot spots flare up, we’ll wack em.” 

        ~The President of the United States (today)

        "It will be tremendous whacking. Whacking like no one has seen before."

        ~My Inner Voice

  5. Gilpin Guy says:

    I guess now we know that every life isn’t precious to these folks based on their actions but money is.  The next time they promote anti-abortion measures to ‘protect life’, their actions during the pandemic should be hurled back in their faces.  What morally corrupt people.

    • Duke Cox says:

      One of the things many people are going to have to accept is that we are not going to rid ourselves of this menace easily, nor by the methods we are accustomed to using. He will desperately try to prevent mail-in balloting because he knows he will lose. He may try to declare marshal law. He has already threatened to adjourn congress and rule by fiat. We have learned already of his propensity for floating trial balloons when he wants to do something illegal.


  6. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Gridlock on a Sunday??? When few people are out driving anyway???

    These goofballs need an event planner. 

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      But it does eliminate road rage incidents and flying spittle.  I guess that counts as courteous CB kind of.

    • MichaelBowman says:

      Maybe we think about opening up when we have consensus between Heaven and Hell to do so? I’m guessing the likes of Sheldon Adelson won’t risk their fortunes on the idea they could be the targets of lawsuits for opening early and endanger public health.  Ditto for every other American business. 

      Call me when the casinos open up (they’re a more credible barometer on this issue than the #WhiteProsperityJesus crowd)

  7. Genghis says:

    These fuckers are going to kill a lot of people. If they were only infecting and killing themselves, we could filed away the deaths in the Did Society a Favor drawer and call it good. But these knobs will be killing innocent non-morons as well.

    • kickshot says:

      That’s why the suggest to coordinate carpools for ‘these knobs’ is a brilliant suggestion. They wouldn’t be smart enough to counter that carpooling reduces congestion on the road.
      Organize your group’s carpool and rideshare needs! Stop using spreadsheets, they don’t work. Use it for family get togethers, club outings, school fieldtrips, green weddings, camping trips, etc….

  8. Duke Cox says:

    Someone tell me how those tweets don't amount to treason. Inciting violence against a state? Isn't that what he is doing?

    • MADCO says:

      Light treason?
      I mean its twitter, ffs.

      The Civil War was treasonous, by definition.

      I have Michigan ancestors that fought for the Union.  I assure you they realized then, as good Miciganders should now, that elections matter even and especially when you disagree with the outcome.  


      • Duke Cox says:

        Twitter is, sadly, the official voice of the executive branch of the government of the United States. It is where the Whitest House and its orcs get their marching orders. Betsy Devos is involved in funding and advertising these "grassroots" events. If she is involved, Erik Prince is involved. etc…etc….

        I know…its just Twitter…but Twitter ain't what it was before the Orange Horde moved in. What is going on is bigger than his insane Tweets. He is just an agitator.

  9. MichaelBowman says:

    True story. 

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