The white-hot, laser-bright line between abject fear and totalitarianism was hugely on display, yesterday, in the Supreme Court’s hearing of a case calling into question the Biden administration’s OSHA vaccine mandate. I’m not a lawyer, nor even a student of the court, but I’ve read enough court transcripts to register, with high alarm, that Justices Kagan, Sotomayer, and Breyer looked something like nervous haus fraus with their hair on fire.
Sotomayor: We have hospitals that are almost at full capacity with people severely ill on ventilators. We have over 100,000 children, which we’ve never had before, in — in serious condition and many on ventilators.
This is a blatant falsehood and irresponsible hyperbole that even the “fact-check” media felt obliged to correct. (There’s a reason Joe Rogan gets 11 million viewers and CNN struggles holding ten times less than that.) It made me wonder: is it actually possible for a Supreme Court justice, after two years of the Commie-virus pandemic, to remain as conventionally Covid-panicked, and uninformed, as the average member of The View’s live audience? What does Sotomayer actually read? Where has she been for the last two years?
Breyer: I mean, you know, 750 million new cases yesterday or close to that is a lot. I don’t mean to be facetious.
How about just factual, Justice Breyer? 750 million new cases would represent more than 2 cases for every individual in the United States. We should be careful, though, because the urge to test, when you have no symptoms and feel the need to virtue-signal, could become a fad. “I tested four times today!”
Kagan: We all know what the best policy is. I mean, by this point, two years later, we know that the best way to prevent spread is for people to get vaccinated and to prevent dangerous illness and death is for people to get vaccinated. That is by far the best.
We all — just — know that, right? All the best people know that. Everyone knows that. Elena, get with the program, will ya? I thought you were the court progressive whose intellect we were, at least, supposed to respect. Even the CDC director admits the vaccine neither prevents infection, nor spread. Case rates are exploding in hugely vaccinated states. Naval ships, with 100% vaccinations, are experiencing outbreaks. This is not the Polio or the Smallpox vaccine, folks. It doesn’t work. When are we going to admit that? How can our policy makers make sound policy when they insist on blinding themselves?
When Fear is Weaponized
Kagan, Breyer and Sotomayor, like all of us, are scared of dying, but they haven’t come to terms with that fear, and, as any crisis manager will tell you, someone who can’t control their fear, someone who panics, is likely far more dangerous than the immediate threat at hand. Someone who panics at the bridge of the ship is particularly dangerous. Supreme Court justices — do I need to even say this? — need to be “sensible and steady” people. They absolutely cannot be cowards, nursing phobias.
A decade prior to the present insanity, we raised our children on the delightfully fearful and hilarious antics of Tony Shalhoub’s Adrian Monk, the obsessive-compulsive detective who required an assistant with hand-wipes everywhere he went. Adrian’s fears were truly guffaw-worthy. He refused to even drink bottled water in Mexico. If the salad touched the meat he would push away the plate. The picture of a hotel room under luma-light, with its various human excretions on display, nearly sent him into catatonic withdrawal.
There was a time, in America, when the Adrian Monks of this world quietly, and collectively, understood their limitations. They properly understood their phobias needed constraint and healing, not celebration. Any business owner, however, will tell you that a few of them have never confronted those limitations. They live to complain. On our apple farm, the vast majority of our guests love a day in the country. We enjoy, truly, a LOT of very nice Yelp reviews, and we’re thankful for them, but I’ve come to the conclusion that the “smart” (read: “cowardly”) approach to a public service business, and social media is just this: get a high score by being as superficially sweet as possible to the weirdest, most neurotic, high-maintenance misfits out there — the sort of people who actually LIVE to complain. They were never really hoping to pick an apple or enjoy a chicken pot pie. They were looking for a good cry — a big, goobery snot-fest, with well-wishers giving them a neck-rub between sniffles.
We’ve always known these people were out there, but the Commie virus era has weaponized them. In a former era, they would have quietly endured their own burdens, their own paralyzing fear, assuming the world expected them to buck up and find the enormous courage necessary to walk up a staircase with a handrail lacking a full time employee dedicated to its sanitation. These people always were standing at a distance from you. They never wanted to shake your hand or give you a good hug. They fantasized, Adrian Monk Style, about cocktail parties with hand-wipe assistants, surgical hand-washing, and triple masks.
You’ve known these people all your life. You didn’t catch it, but they are the sort who positively wince when they see an open dish of cashews on the holiday table, freely fingered by all the guests. They hear someone sneeze and they check their health insurance card. In an era when clinics were able to routinely run tests that were likely unnecessary, they were there making all those unnecessary appointments. They are precisely the sort of people comforted by moral midget quacks like Dr. Fauci, unable to shake anyone’s hand. (They just love that quality in a man.)
They are profoundly afraid, and they want you to be profoundly afraid, but they are also now in the ascendancy. They no longer have to apologize for being afraid. They get to be damned proud of it. In places like Australia and New Zealand and Austria, they actually want to send you to a camp for not being afraid.
I sensed, with a chill, this profound fear undergirding Justice Kagan’s willingness to ignore the facts and dive headlong into her fear. It’s the same fear I registered when a friend told me she couldn’t visit with an old friend until a three year old daughter had been inoculated. It’s one thing to endure hysteria from a hovering, over-protective mother, but it’s bone-chilling to see it in a Supreme Court justice quite willing to smooth over her totalitarian impulse with verbal trickery..
Kagan: And this is the policy that is most geared to stopping all this. There’s nothing else that will perform that function better than incentivizing people strongly to vaccinate themselves.
Catch that? No, we’re not forcing you to get vaccinated. We’re “strongly incentivizing” you to get vaccinated — meaning, “sure, you can remain unvaccinated, but you can’t have a job. If you can’t feed yourself, as a result, that’s your problem.”
We live in the age of the quiet, polite Gulag, a Gulag enthusiastically endorsed by people like Kagan, Breyer, and Sotomayor. With notable exceptions — such as the January 6th political prisoners — we aren’t being sent, yet, to actual camps. We’re being constrained by a social index system, conceived by government and enforced by corporations. Want to keep your job? Attend the white-shaming CRT workshop. Put your preferred pronouns in the signature line. Take a vaccine with no long term testing. Do what the HR manager tells you to do, buddy.
But that’s just the way it’s actually carried out. The more important reality is the fear that is fueling it all. I got the impression, hearing the justices the other day, that the more obese they were, the more likely they were to justify sweeping, un-elected authority by the Federal government. “I’m scared, so send everyone home.”
Lord save us from the fat, timid den-mothers of both sexes.