I would be easy to say that Phil Gingrey's plague-mongering is a new low in depravity for the Party of Jefferson Davis, but really, the hash marks were worn off those calipers years ago. From MSNBC:
...Leading the charge is Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), who recently told the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there have been “reports of illegal immigrants carrying deadly diseases,” including the Ebola virus. The right-wing congressman also complained that many of the children “lack basic vaccinations.”Let’s pause to note a few pertinent details that Gingrey, himself a physician by trade, might have missed.For example, the children are fleeing Central American countries where Ebola doesn’t exist. Maybe Gingrey should have looked this one up before warning the CDC.What’s more, according to the World Bank, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico each have a higher vaccination rate than the United States, making Gingrey’s CDC letter, among other things, ironic.“There is a long, sad, and shameful tradition in the United States in using fear of disease, contagion and contamination to stigmatize immigrants and foreigners,” Arthur Caplan, director of the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University’s Langone Medical Center told NBC. “Sadly, this letter which rests firmly on innuendo and fear-mongering proudly continues this unethical tradition.”
So while Brother Charles Pierce marks this development as "nearly beyond belief" and a "comical disgrace" --
-- I would disagree....This is why what Gingrey said was so dangerous, not to mention indecent. Would anyone like to guess the reaction of the people to whom Gingrey is pitching this nonsense if it ever took hold in what passes for their minds? (Here's NewsBusters, the wingnut-welfare rest home for aging tropes, passing along Gingrey's bullshit, ably assisted by Larry Klayman's terrarium for paranoids, Judicial Watch.) Hell, these are people who were ready to rumble merely at the sight of a schoolbus carrying immigrant children.Would anyone like to guess at the reaction of the anti-science faction of Wingnuttia if this nonsense ever took hold and doctors tried to tell people what hooey it actually was? Remember the scene in Jaws when the mayor says, "You say barracuda, and people say, 'What?' You say 'shark,' and we've got a panic on our hands on the Fourth Of July." That's what we have here. You say "dengue fever," and people say, "What?" You say, "Ebola," and the hysteria goes red-zone. Which far too many of our politicians find advantageous.The idea that an elected official even would consider ginning up that kind of thing by appealing to the nativist ignorance of his audience is nearly beyond belief. That said elected official is a physician is an almost comical disgrace. That anyone anywhere would do it while people are dying unremarked in an authentically terrifying medical catastrophe, simply because his primary audience is made up of people who simply hate the undifferentiated brown people with whom they have to share the planet, makes Phil Gingrey an object of justified contempt....
Once our Beltway media and the leaders of the Democratic Party decided to sacrifice accountability to the Gods of Bipartisanship -- once the Party of Bigots and Lunatics were be allowed to skip out on paying any long-term price whatsoever for their treasons and disasters by scampering through the Bush Off Machine over and over again -- the rise of political foot fungus like Gingrey to positions of prominence became inevitable.
Hell, If he could get away with it without being sued by HBO and AMC, I have no doubt that Gingrey would swear on the Republican Bible that these kids are vampires and zombies.
Because like every other critical issues bearing down on us today, this was never about the facts.
And as long as the GOP is permitted to exist unashamed and unrepentant, it never will be.