Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Vaccine mandates are working while Congress is, sort of, as well

Greg Sargent/WaPo:

Katie Porter”;s epic beatdown of Kyrsten Sinema reveals an important truth

Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) just delivered a sharp dressing down to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) that neatly crystallizes this contrast. While many progressives are hammering Sinema, Porter”;s broadside captures something essential about what we”;re seeing from Sinema, and by extension, about the crossroads that Democrats now face.

That essential point is this: Public servants should feel a basic obligation to level with the voters who granted them the privilege of being their representatives. While more may be happening in private talks than we know, all signs are that Sinema”;s caginess is edging toward a level of deceptiveness that borders on betrayal of public duty.

The average voter doesn’t care about process, so all of the insanity happening over infrastructure/reconciliation right now won’t matter *if* they get it done. And, unless something insane occurs, something will get done sooner or later… they’re not going to walk with nothing.

–; Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) October 1, 2021

Here”;s a good summary from Greg Sargent:

If you don’t believe us, at least listen to the savvy @PunchbowlNews team. Their analysis of the dynamics is very close to what @paulwaldman1 and I laid out in that piece, particularly in terms of how Pelosi’s choreography is designed to work here.

–; Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) October 1, 2021

I am reminded that a few Democrats didn’t want Pelosi to be Speaker.This sausage might just get made, and who will get credit if it gets done?

Hint: it won’t be the 56 member bipartisan Problem Solver caucus.

Jonathan Bernstein/Bloomberg:

“;Popular”; Policies Don”;t Win Elections

It”;s one thing for a citizen to register support for a program in a public-opinion poll. It”;s quite another to cast a vote.

My own view is that it”;s generally good electoral politics to appeal to the middle. Even during the present period of strong partisan polarization, there still are swing voters. It”;s worth going after them, and that means having a good idea of who they are and what they think. Folks on the ideological extremes tend to think that there”;s more to be gained by mobilizing others like themselves. That”;s not entirely untrue, but that approach can also mobilize the other party while driving away swing voters. As an electoral proposition, the argument for appealing to the median voter is a strong one.

But not everything is about electoral politics.

American politics in a nutshell (Sinema and AZ voters)

–; Greg Dworkin (@DemFromCT) September 30, 2021

AP News:

Biden vaccine mandate splits US on party lines: AP-NORC poll

With the highly contagious delta variant driving deaths up to around 2,000 per day, the poll released Thursday by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed that overall, 51% say they approve of the Biden requirement, 34% disapprove and 14% hold neither opinion.

About three quarters of Democrats, but only about a quarter of Republicans, approve. Roughly 6 in 10 Republicans say they disapprove. Over the course of the outbreak, Democrats and Republicans in many places have also found themselves divided over masks and other precautions.

Pope Francis praised young environmental activists for challenging global leaders on emission policies ahead of a United Nations climate summit next month.

–; DW News (@dwnews) September 30, 2021

Michael Hiltzik/LA Times:

Few have quit their jobs over COVID-19 vaccine mandates, but thousands have gotten shots

In other words, vaccination mandates are working.

You might not know that from the excessive news coverage afforded protests against the mandates. We covered this phenomenon recently as it applies to overreporting on small clumps of loudmouthed extremists in the political sphere.

We also expressed doubt about how many workers pledging to quit rather than get vaccinated would actually follow through once the threat of lost paychecks became real.

An important aspect of analyzing the political impact of vaccine mandates is the impact they have on COVID cases/hospitalizations/deaths. The summer COVID surge took a toll on Biden’s approval rating – that needs to turn around for him to bounce back.

–; Ryan Matsumoto (@ryanmatsumoto1) September 30, 2021

Biden bottomed out at 43/51 approve/disapprove, in last month’s @NPR @NewsHour @maristpoll. He’s gained some of that back at 45/46 this month, a +7 net change. Rs are maxed out in disapproval. Gains came from Ds/Is with most of 9% unsure being D leaning

–; Domenico Montanaro (@DomenicoNPR) September 30, 2021

Aaron Blake/WaPo:

The evidence is building: Vaccine mandates work –; and well.

Most of the news on this front comes from hospital systems, where there has been strong compliance. Here are the numbers in New York, as reported by the New York Times on Tuesday:

The entire system, an early indicator for vaccine mandates, has gone from about three-fourths of hospital employees and nursing-home workers being vaccinated when the policy was announced a month and a half ago to 92 percent today.
Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y., announced a 95.5 percent vaccination rate.
Albany Medical Center said only 200 of its 11,000 employees either did not get shots or did not seek exemptions –; around 2 percent. Those employees were suspended and given a week to comply.
St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx went from 20 percent unvaccinated as recently as last week to just 3 percent.
Bassett Healthcare Network in central New York said 97 percent of employees are vaccinated.
Rome Health in Upstate New York said 98.2 percent are vaccinated after a late surge.
The Mohawk Valley Health System went up from 70 percent over the summer to 95.6 percent today.

A passionate @JillDLawrence on the stakes: “The moment America decisively turns the page on the anti-government Reagan era…The week we at last decided to tackle income inequality and the wealth gap by …; tackling income inequality and the wealth gap.”

–; Walter Shapiro (@MrWalterShapiro) September 30, 2021

Dave Leonhardt/NY Times:

The Right to Health

Immunization mandates aren”;t new. One helped win the American Revolution.

In 1777, smallpox was a big enough problem for the bedraggled American army that George Washington thought it could jeopardize the Revolution. An outbreak had already led to one American defeat, at the Battle of Quebec. To prevent more, Washington ordered immunizations –; done quietly, so the British would not hear how many Americans were sick –; for all troops who had not yet had the virus.

It worked. The number of smallpox cases plummeted, and Washington”;s army survived a war of attrition against the world”;s most powerful country. The immunization mandate, as Ron Chernow wrote in his 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Washington, “;was as important as any military measure Washington adopted during the war.”;

In the decades that followed, immunization treatments became safer (the Revolutionary War method killed 2 percent or 3 percent of recipients), and mandates became more common, in the military and beyond. They also tended to generate hostility from a small minority of Americans.

so Idaho ICUs are not only clogged up with (often belligerent) vaccine refusers to the point that the entire state is in triage mode, deranged antivaxers are also violently threatening local medical staff

–; ryan cooper (@ryanlcooper) September 30, 2021

Leonard Pitts Jr/Miami Herald:

Dear unvaccinated: Bye! And don”;t let the door hit you in the . . . well, you know

“;If you want to leave, take good care, hope you make a lot of nice friends out there”; –; from “;Wild World”; by Cat Stevens This is for those of you who”;ve chosen to quit your jobs rather than submit to a vaccine mandate.

No telling how many of you there actually are, but lately, you”;re all over the news. Just last week, a nearly-30-year veteran of the San Jose Police Department surrendered his badge rather than comply with the city”;s requirement that all employees be inoculated against COVID-19. He joins an Army lieutenant colonel, some airline employees, a Major League Baseball executive, the choral director of the San Francisco Symphony, workers at the tax collector”;s office in Orange County, Florida, and, incredibly, dozens of healthcare professionals. Well, on behalf of the rest of us, the ones who miss concerts, restaurants and other people”;s faces, the ones who are sick and tired of living in pandemic times, here”;s a word of response to you quitters: Goodbye.

🚨 Rural Americans are dying of covid at more than twice the rate of their urban counterparts –; a divide that is likely to widen. “We”;ve turned many rural communities into kill boxes,” @Amorganrural @NRHA_Advocacy said My latest for @KHNews @NBCNews

–; Lauren Weber (@LaurenWeberHP) September 30, 2021

TEXAS Do you support or oppose requiring health care workers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine? ALL Support 57% Oppose 36% REP Support 35% Oppose 61% DEM Support 93% Oppose 7% IND Support 50% Oppose 43% (Quinnipiac U. Poll, 9/24-27/21)

–; (@pollreport) September 29, 2021

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