Nothing To Say

by digby

In case you're wondering what the head of the Republican Party thinks about the flu outbreak, here is his statement:

After the break, Rush attacked the UN for issuing a warning for a worldwide flu pandemic, claiming that it is "by design" to get people to respond to government orders. The media fall right in line with this stuff, Rush said, amplifying the nature of the crisis. Rush -- in his capacity as public health expert -- added that "the flu's a common thing."

This makes perfect sense. If you are a conservative you can't believe that something like an epidemic or a pandemic could even exist or you would have to grant that the necessity for public health --- a government function. Indeed, you even have to grant that a pandemic requires that people are going to be forced to behave in ways that explicitly explicitly define their own personal survival with the common good.

Rush is right to be a little bit nervous about this, though. Public health crises tend to focus the public on the usefulness of things like science, international cooperation, government coordination. You know, the sort of thing that liberals think are necessary. Something like that simply doesn't fit into the conservative worldview. They see all problems and challenges in schoolyard terms of good guys and bad guys. This kind of challenge (like global warming) falls outside the paradigm by which they organize their world. Pandemics, like hurricanes, can't be dealt with by using tough talk and threats. So, they are lost.