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Charlie Sykes/Bulwark:

Masks Off! Now Bring On The Vaccine Passports.

That strange feeling that you experienced yesterday afternoon? Liberation? Euphoria? Actual excitement?

Shortly after 2 EDT, the director of the CDC, Rochelle Walensky, declared:

If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. We have all longed for this moment, when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.

It’s been so long since we’ve had this kind of news that it took a while to process it: Doing what things? Pretty much anything. When? Now.

Shannon Bond/NPR:

Just 12 People Are Behind Most Vaccine Hoaxes On Social Media, Research Shows

“The ‘Disinformation Dozen’ produce 65% of the shares of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms,” said Imran Ahmed, chief executive officer of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which identified the accounts.

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CNN:

Congressional Democrats have a 100% vaccination rate

Democratic lawmakers in both chambers of Congress have a 100% vaccination rate against Covid-19, a CNN survey of Capitol Hill found this week, significantly outpacing Republicans in the House and Senate and illustrating the partisan divide over the pandemic.

For Republicans, at least 44.8% of House members are vaccinated and at least 92% of senators are, CNN found.

These must be Mike DeWine voters.

Patricia Murphy/AJC:

Telling the truth about a lie

During a House hearing about the attack on the U.S. Capitol, U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde read from a prepared statement to take issue with people calling the assault “an insurrection.”

“There was no insurrection,” the freshman Republican from Athens said. “And to call it an insurrection, in my opinion, is a bold-faced lie.”

The congressman went on to say that video from that day showed people walking through the main floor of the Capitol in an orderly fashion.

“If you didn’t know the TV footage was a video from January the sixth, you’d actually think it was a normal tourist visit,” he said

Clyde’s comments cannot be accepted or ignored. Police officers were attacked, beaten, crushed, and doused with bear spray. 140 were injured. Two committed suicide.

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Politico:

Riot revisionism, hallway aggression, squashed alliances: The House nears a Cold War

To Democrats, it seems that Republicans are trying to gloss over the facts of the insurrection at every turn.

A sizable faction of the House GOP is downplaying Jan. 6’s violent attack by a pro-Trump mob, with one Republican comparing it to a “normal tourist visit.” Infuriated Democrats say remarks like that — plus this week’s public ousting of the most vocal Trump critic in the GOP — is further proof of the extremism overtaking the Republican Party, leaving little chance of healing the political and psychological wounds caused by the deadly assault on Congress.

The rift between the two parties over the insurrection is worse today than it’s been at perhaps any point since early January, with lawmakers openly berating each other in the hallways and refusing to partner on legislation. The fractious breakdown of what little bipartisan comity remained in the House is playing out, of course, in the long shadow of the former president.

And the growing tide of GOP insurrection revisionism could turn the already-bitter divide between House Democrats and Republicans who voted to support Donald Trump’s election challenges into permanent cold war.

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John Cassidy/New Yorker:

The G.O.P. Can No Longer Be Relied On to Protect Democracy

How low has the Party of Lincoln fallen? In answering this question, it is instructive to look at the example of Kevin McCarthy, a seven-term California congressman who, since 2019, has served as the House Minority Leader. Until Donald Trump appeared on the scene, McCarthy wasn’t regarded as particularly conservative—at least by the standards of today’s Republican Party. When, in 2015, he abandoned a bid to become Speaker of the House, some Tea Party activists celebrated.

In the summer of 2016, McCarthy endorsed Trump for President, but only after the interloper from New York had sewn up the nomination. A year later, it emerged that, in June of 2016, McCarthy had told some of his fellow-members of the House Republican leadership that he believed—“swear to God”—that Trump was in the pay of the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. When the Washington Post eventually reported about these comments, McCarthy tried to laugh them off as a joke.

The nature of the accommodation that McCarthy made with his conscience, when he jumped onto the Trump train, can only be speculated upon. It’s perhaps fair to assume that he didn’t realize exactly where the tracks would lead, but, given his comments in 2016, it’s also clear that he didn’t harbor any illusions about the man he was endorsing.

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NY Times:

A Breakaway Third Party of Ex-Republicans? Don’t Count on It.

The idea of a conservative anti-Trump party gained publicity this week — but the threat remains hollow.

A group of traditionalist Republican figures — virtually none of whom currently hold elected office — are threatening to ditch the party and start a new one, saying that the G.O.P. is on the verge of becoming “all one thing”: a cult of personality.

But some insiders say that the threat is mostly hollow, given how staunchly pro-Donald Trump the Republican base now is, and how unfriendly to third parties the American political system has always been.

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