Because stupid is bipartisan


Oh. Hello. I didn't see you there. I was just pounding my head against a wall.

From Slate:
Swine flu may have an unexpected side effect: political unity. The far left and far right agree that they're sure as heck not getting vaccinated against swine flu.

On the anti-government right, swine flu vaccinations are seen as an example of government overreach. Last week, Rush Limbaugh made headlines by announcing that he would not be getting a shot. "Screw you, Ms. Sebelius," he said on his radio show, referring to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. "I'm not going to take it precisely because you're now telling me I must." Glenn Beck has declined to say whether he's getting vaccinated. But he's made his position pretty clear, suggesting that the vaccine may turn out to be "deadly," raising the specter of mandatory vaccines (they're voluntary), and saying he wants the "U.S. out of my bloodstream."

I don't think I'm alone in hoping that, next, Kathleen Sebelius will issue a statement urging Americans not to drink antifreeze. And trying to counter Glenn Beck by invoking science is like trying to fight a forest fire with a spatula, so I'm not even going to try.

But, lest you think I am going to launch into a lengthy, "those stupid, anti-intellectual Right-wingers" screed (time enough for those, I'm sure), I should point out that plenty of Hollywood types (including [who knew?] self-appointed skeptical smart guy Bill Maher) are anti-vaccine, and I'm willing to bet that Jim Carrey is a Democrat. Indeed, as the Slate article continues:
On the left, there are prominent doctors, lawyers, and Hollywood celebrities skeptical of vaccines in general—and the swine flu vaccine especially. In a September article written for the Huffington Post, Dr. Frank Lipman recommended against getting vaccinated, arguing that the virus seems benign and the vaccine is unproven. Earlier this year, Jim Carrey—yes, that Jim Carrey—penned a HuffPost column reiterating the oft-made (and widely discredited) point that vaccines may cause autism. Robert F. Kennedy made a similar argument in a famous (and also largely discredited) 2005 article that appeared in Rolling Stone and Salon. The anti-vaccination movement is hardly exclusive to the left wing, but declines in vaccination rates have occurred in large part because of affluent parents in states like California.
There aren't enough synonyms for "argh!!" to fully describe my feelings about all of this.

Thankfully, as the phone lines in our office attest, plenty of people aren't paying much attention to either HuffPo or El Rushbo. But it remains monumentally frustrating to see how much opposition there is to something that has done so much good. As Orac at Respectful Insolence put it:
Vaccination represents arguably the single most effective public health intervention ever developed by "conventional" medicine. It has all but eliminated diseases that once ravaged huge swaths of this planet and will to protect billions of people from horrific diseases--that is, unless muddle-headed alties like Bill Maher [ed: or flaming lunatics like Beck and Limbaugh] have their way and persuade people that they don't need to vaccinate their children or themselves.


  1. There are people on both extremes that wouldn't know good Science if it came up and bit them in the butt.

  2. It seems to me that all the negative vibes this blowhard (Rush Hudson Limbaugh A.KA. Jeff Christie) has been spewing over these many years has come back to blow back on his face (A classic “Blow Back”). He always tries to give off the airs that he can have anything he wants but as we all witness those with more money and more influence tossed him aside like sack of potatoes and the ultimate insult was that it was done in public (money don’t buy you everything butterball).

    Now of course he blames everyone else (Michael J. Fox, Perez Hilton, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor, Hillary Clinton, Olympia Snowe, ESPN, NFL, the media, basically people of color, the handicapped, women and gays) when of course all you have to do is listen to his show and plainly hear his daily prejudices filled sermons. So NFL, I salute you decision, job well done. And to the whaling cry baby perched on his self made pedestal, quit your whining it was your own fault. He is reaping what he has sowed, KARMA, "palin and simple" like his followers. Don’t we all feel better?

  3. Ohhh, yes, the evidence Rush is a racist was so damning, it had to be made up. Every Left-thinking person knows he is a racist moron, so if the transcripts didn't accurately reflect this notion, well, the Left would just make [fecal material] up to accurately reflect what everyone knows is in his heart. Even if he won't actually, you know, say it. He was damn inconsiderate not to actually say those fake but accurate quotes. I mean, we can't let anything stand in the way of the community based reality.

  4. It's funny, when I read this article a couple of weeks ago, it made me vacate my fence straddle in favor of getting the vaccine. (My wavering was not based in anti-BigPharma or anti-vaccine, and was pretty studied and reasonable; but is now vapor.)