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Sen. Joni Ernst

Photo by usembassykyiv/ CC BY-ND 2.0

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Back in July, as Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst was being pressed on her previous assertion that two Ebola deaths on Obama's watch amounted to "failed leadership," Ernst told CNN that Donald Trump was really "stepping forward" on stemming the coronavirus. At the time, despite 130,000 Americans having already died, Ernst managed to squeeze out that claim with a relatively straight face.

But now that we know Trump did exactly the opposite by admittedly downplaying the pandemic, Ernst, the erstwhile self-professed hog castrator, is running scared. Thursday marked the second day in a row the GOP incumbent senator who's locked in a very tight reelection race ducked questions about Trump's taped confession that he lied to the American public about how deadly the coronavirus is.


"I haven't read it, I haven't seen it, so give me a chance to take a look," Ernst told CNN's Manu Raju of the revelations in Bob Woodward's latest book, Rage.

Notice what Ernst didn't say, she hadn't heard it. Yep, there's tapes and that's a big part of what makes this so sticky for Ernst and all her GOP colleagues struggling to hold on to power. Remember, earlier this year they all strapped themselves irrevocably to Trump when they voted to acquit him of impeachment charges without hearing from a single witness. GOP senators didn't care that Trump was willfully corrupting U.S. elections in order to win a second term, and now that he has deliberately brought death and destruction to the American people, they're either turning a blind eye or just running for the hills, à la Ernst.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn laughably pooh-poohed the reporting from arguably the most famous journalist of a generation who backed up his account with recordings of Trump himself. "I don't have any confidence in the reporting, so I'm not going to comment," said Cornyn, who's got a 9-point advantage over his Democratic challenger M.J. Hegar, according to Real Clear Politics. Sorry, but at the risk redundancy, there's f'ing tapes. Cornyn may as well just say he doesn't have any confidence in Trump himself, since Trump's the one who privately told Woodward back in early February how "deadly" the coronavirus was.

And North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, who's trailing his Democratic challenger, suggested that Trump's pandemic response has been right on the nose.

"When you're in a crisis you've got to strike the right balance (not to create) a panic," Tillis told CNN's Raju. Tillis apparently thinks 190,000 American deaths and counting is "the right balance."

All these spineless GOP lawmakers remain more concerned about their reelection bids than the toll their craven silence has taken and continues to take on the nation. Unconscionably sociopathic.

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