Tuesday, February 03, 2015

The Evil Party and the Stupid Party.

So, Chris Christie decided to weigh in on the vaccination thing and, not wanting to be out-wookie-suited by the RINO governor of New Jersey, Rand Paul played the full-on Jenny McCarthy dog whistle with the "I have heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking, normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines," quote. Oh, boy.

Now, leaving aside the meta argument of whether the state should have the power to do this thing, this is just some some astoundingly dumb politics. You could say that, this being the run-up to primary season, they have to craft their messages to play to the farthest out elements of the base. But if you hang out in that particular echo chamber all day long, you might be overestimating the size of that base, there, Pauline Kael:
Of the students who reported in Indiana last year, nearly 93 percent of kindergarten and and 99 percent of 6th graders were in compliance with the MMR. That translates to nearly 5,000 students who are not, putting them at greater risk if they are exposed, not only to contract measles but also to be a carrier.
Well, hell, assuming both mommy and daddy vote GOP and not Libertarian or Constitution or stay home out of principal, that's 10,000 votes you just locked up there, at the expense of handing your opponents the sound bites required to paint you as flat-earther looney tunes. Golf clap.

Here's a handy pop culture illustration of what just happened, with lines and labels and suchlike:

I don't mind seeing Christie torpedo himself, but dammit, I could vote for Rand with surprisingly little nose-holding if he doesn't keep trying to throw this game.