NEWS AND OPINION:
The first anniversary of the Jan. 6 uprising at the U.S. Capitol is a week away, and it has prompted a frenzy among news organizations anxious to weigh in on this very unfortunate day, and from every imaginable angle.
How do Americans feel? The pollsters also are at work gauging that sentiment, including those at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, which revealed their findings Wednesday.
“The results of a new national University of Massachusetts Amherst Poll show 71% of Republicans — and one-third of the nation — continue to believe that [President] Biden’s victory was illegitimate, and that Republicans continue to blame Democrats, Antifa and the Capitol Police for the events of Jan. 6. They also oppose both the continuation of law enforcement efforts to prosecute the rioters and attempts to learn more about what happened that day,” the poll analysis said.
“The poll of 1,000 respondents found that only 58% of Americans believe that Biden’s electoral victory was legitimate, with more than a fifth (22%) saying that it was ‘definitely not legitimate,’ numbers nearly identical to an April 2021 UMass Amherst Poll (59% / 24%). Only one-fifth of Republicans (21%) view Biden’s victory as legitimate,” the analysis said.
In the greater picture, 56% of the respondents agreed that it is “important that we learn more about what happened” while 44% believe it is time to “move on.”
See the complete numbers in the Poll du Jour at the column’s end.
FOR THE LEXICON
Well all right, then. That phrase is how MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace described herself during an appearance on the network Wednesday, saying that she was a big fan of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to President Biden.
“I’m a Fauci groupie, I am a thrice-vaccinated mask adherent. I buy K-95 masks by the caseload. There is one in every pocket, I wear them everywhere except when I sit down,” Ms. Wallace advised.
And here’s another new term to consider: “Beach masking.”
Multiple observers arrived on this new description after news broke that Mr. Biden was wearing a facial mask while strolling on a Delaware beach with only his new dog Commander and first lady Jill Biden for company.
“Biden is wearing a mask, outdoors, surrounded by nobody,” tweeted Jake Schneider, a deputy director of rapid response at the Republican National Committee.
And as an addendum, every imaginable source of public authority — from county governments to churches, schools, taverns and gas stations — has issued guidelines for proper or universal “masking.” So maybe “masking” should go in the lexicon as well, right alongside “face covering,” the alternative phrase for plain old “mask.”
SO WHO’S IN CHARGE?
President Biden now says that managing the coronavirus challenge should be done on a state level, this after promising he would “shut down the virus” during his campaign for the White House. Well, now what?
“Abdication of duty is typical of this administration. In one of its more well-known failures, Vice President Kamala Harris has done nothing to fix the immigration crisis on the southern border that she was appointed to resolve. Her refusal to do her job mirrors Biden’s punt on the pandemic. Apparently the work was just too hard,” advised an Issues & Answers editorial.
“We won’t blame Biden for failing to live up to his vow, though. It was impossible to keep anyway. Governments can’t stop pandemics. This should be clear to everyone by now. Viruses don’t respond to legislation or executive orders. Fifteen days to flatten the curve was meaningless to this virus. So are lockdowns. The virus doesn’t care which party is in the White House nor who is or who isn’t sending ‘mean’ tweets,” the editorial continued.
“But we will blame Biden for making a guarantee he couldn’t back up. He either knew he couldn’t kill the virus, yet said he could anyway, which makes him unfit for office because he used a blatant lie to rise to power. Or he simply wasn’t smart enough to know he couldn’t do it, which also disqualifies him. We also hold the voters who believed him responsible. Because they put their faith in a quack, we now have a growing pile of problems on top of the pandemic created by this administration,” the editorial said.
ONE FOR THE GUIDES
Sen. Marco Rubio has just introduced the “Protecting Guides and Outfitters from Coronavirus Vaccine Mandates in the Great Outdoors Act.”
The Florida Republican is determined to ensure that President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors does not extend to self-employed individuals and small businesses that operate on lands managed by the U.S. Department of Interior.
“I will not sit idly by as this power-hungry administration continues to pursue draconian and overreaching COVID-19 policies that hurt families in Florida,” Mr. Rubio said in a statement.
He is particularly concerned about fishing and tour guides in Everglades National Park.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, Florida Republican, has also introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House.
POLL DU JOUR
• 46% of U.S. adults believe that President Biden’s victory in the 2020 election was “definitely legitimate”; 6% of Republicans, 37% of independents and 83% of Democrats agree.
• 12% overall say it was “probably legitimate”; 15% of Republicans, 17% of independents and 8% of Democrats agree.
• 11% overall say his victory was “probably not legitimate”; 25% of Republicans, 6% of independents and 2% of Democrats agree.
• 22% overall say his victory was “definitely not legitimate”; 46% of Republicans, 25% of independents and 2% of Democrats agree.
• 9% overall are not sure about the issue; 6% of Republicans, 15% of independents and 6% of Democrats agree.
SOURCE: A University of Massachusetts Amherst poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted Dec. 14-20.
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