Compassion for the COVID-denying Bereaved in the COVID-19 era

I feel horrible for his wife and kids.


I only feel bad for his kids. His widow is likely of similar mind as he was (and possibly attended many of these campaign events). This leaves the kids at high risk of losing their mother, too.


You have a good reason for saying such a horrible thing?

Because divorce is still legal in Louisiana?


This is a good reason to mock someone who has to be in 1000 different kinds of pain?

We have evolved from mocking those who die because we disslike their ideas, over to their grieving family?

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It isn’t at all that I disagree with his politics. It’s that he and his cohorts have somehow turned public health into a political matter, and have functionally murdered hundreds of thousands of people. So, yeah, mocking is the least I’d like to do.

And any spouse of a congresscritter is complicit in their actions.


His wife literally chose to be with this dangerous fuckwit the whole time. Why should we feel bad she experienced the natural consequences of her own choices?

Isn’t that what republican conservatism is all about? Taking responsibility for your choices?

His children had no choice in being born and raised by a guy with an understanding of science slightly worse than a 13th century english serf. I feel bad for them being forced into such circumstances.




I thought liberalism was about compassion and trying to help others but I guess that is just me. For some it is compassion for those who think exactly like “us” and the rest and their families can fuck off, die, and suffer. Interesting take on liberalism.

I’m not a liberal. In fact calling everyone here a liberal sort of shows how little you seem to know about political philosophy.

In anycase, I do believe in compassion. But I can’t bring myself to care about people who choose to support dangerous pandemic worsening idiots in positions of power. For the same reason I don’t generally feel sorry for people who get bitten by rattle snakes playing with them after they’ve already seen dozens of other people play with rattlesnakes and get bitten firsthand.

Oh you got bitten by a rattlesnake? That really sucks huh? I guess you should have learned that it sucks when you watched a bunch of your friends play with rattlesnakes and get bitten by them for the last year.


Never said you were or anyone else for that matter. Furthermore, I have no interest in your political or any other philosophy. I did, however think many on his forum were about helping those who suffer.

Yes, but making light of the pain of the family of the one who got bitten and died is inhuman and completely devoid of compassion and I will always call out such deplorable behavior.

Hey man, I’m not the one married to a guy who’s main thing is telling everyone they should die for the economy.


I actually am a liberal, what the late Steve Gilliard called a “fighting liberal” (not the “bleeding heart” stereotype so comforting to our politically unsophisticated opponents). Perhaps that’s why I’m a bit more willing to allow for the (admittedly unlikely) possibility that the widow wasn’t actively on board with her husband’s COVID denialism while still acknowledging that, either way, the consequences of marrying such a dangerously stupid ideologue were depressingly predictable.

I will say that it’s always rich in these situations to suddenly hear cries for compassion from “free”-market fundies of various stripes. Rich, but not surprising. Whether it’s fascists, prosperity gospel Xtianists, Republicans, movement conservatives, Libertarians, or Objectivists, those on the social and economic right expect compassion from all for those* they consider “deserving” but exhibit none for those they consider “undeserving”.

Consider that many of them – not all Objectivists – recommend with the zeal of evangelists a book that celebrates the deaths of the author’s straw-man leftist and liberal opponents (and their innocent family members) in a train accident. Consider also that many of them – not all evangelical “Christians” – demand that we all live our lives according to the laws of a text that celebrates the gruesome genocides of the enemies of the book’s protagonists in Part I (and relish the future genocide of Part I’s protagonists in Part II). How are we supposed to take any “free”-market fundie of any stripe seriously on the subject of compassion for those we disagree with?

[* including corporate persons, my friend]

ETA – A quick story about Margaret Thatcher, hero of conservatives and AynCaps, and compassion:

Derek and Michael Henshall, the Bishop of Warrington, talked about our role in working for reconciliation with parts of the community that had been deprived of good opportunities. Michael then spoke of the need for compassion. Denis Thatcher, who had come to stand by his wife, said to her: “That’s not one of your words, is it?” She replied: “I find it so condescending.”


No, it’s very human. Maybe you mean immoral or just something you don’t personally like, or something that you find emotionally unpleasant etc.

But truly… contempt is a very human emotion. Perhaps you could apply some of that compassion to other people’s emotions on this subject? Or is that too liberal? Not liberal enough? I’m confused now. :woman_shrugging:

Outrage, contempt, disgust… all perfectly natural human emotions. Are people allowed to have them? Irrelevant because they are going to no matter what.

Are they allowed to express them? I dunno depends on the set and setting I guess.


this is a piece from the author who goes by the handle of “the rude pundit”. tragically, not a goddamn thing in the piece has shifted except for the worse–

Oh, Fuck You, Trump Voters. Just Fuck You

Do you think they realize how fucking stupid they look, these man-children (and the occasional woman-child) playing soldier dress-up except with real guns who show up at these rallies to try to force states to open up while we’re deep in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic? It’s just pathetic that they believe they seem strong when they just look like a bunch of people who have been rendered brainless from a toxic stew of oxy, Facebook conspiracy madness, and One America News. And when I say they look fucking stupid, I mean objectively stupid, as in anyone looking at them from outside the whole bullshit zeitgeist we’re damned to live through would think, “That’s hilarious and absurd, and, c’mon, they can’t be serious.”

Think about that for a second. Think of someone arriving here with no understanding of American gun culture or the fetishizing of militia chic or the condemnation of science and education or the really warped ideas of “liberty” and “tyranny,” and then they see the protest yesterday in California or last week in Michigan. Think about informing that outside someone that the costume cavalry was protesting for the right to gather in large groups and go to stores and salons and they don’t care if those actions end up causing mass death. Oh, and, by the way, the president of the whole goddamn country thinks they’re awesome for doing it. Oh, and, by the way, that same president has refused to do anything to make the nation safer for supermarkets and salons during the two months the country was shut down.

Everything that Trump has done and is doing is fuckin’ owned by his voters, and their utter refusal to believe that Trump has fucked up just about every aspect of the response to the COVID-19 crisis is on each and every one of them. They fucked up this country worse than it was already fucked up, and they will stand on a pile of corpses to bray their devotion to Trump while popping hydroxycholoroquine with bleach shooters. If that corpse pile happens to contain their family members, well, fuck, they died so the rest of us could go eat at the Longhorn Steakhouse by the highway because freedom or some such shit.

Story after story about what went wrong and what continues to go wrong with the federal coronavirus response shows that the Trump administration has screwed the pooch on it. Fuck, they screwed the pooch then turned the pooch over and screwed it again and then when that pooch was dead from all the screwing, they tossed it aside and took another pooch from the Strategic Pooch Reserve and screwed that one, going through all the pooches they could screw and then they imported pooches from China which were flawed but screwable so they screwed those. Alas, pooches. Alas, America.

See, it’s not just that you’ve been fooled, Trump voters. It’s that you stick by your foolishness. You listen to bloviating assholes loudly farting from their home studios about how you need to get out there for the good of the “economy.” You insist that everything Trump says is real, on the useless drugs, on the bullshit cures, on the supposedly fake death toll, on the masks, on the drive-thru testing centers, on the number of tests, on every fucking thing, despite the absolute proof, in a factual way, as in indisputably, that he’s totally fucking lying or just making shit up.

Most contempt-worthy is the fact that you think we who haven’t drunk the tainted Diet Coke straight from Trump’s dangly nipples actually want to be in quarantine, that we want tens of millions of people out of work, that we want schools closed and restaurants closed and supermarket shelves bereft of toilet paper. No, you poor, dumb motherfuckers. We’ve lost jobs, too, and we’re sick of having nothing to do but post memes about how fucking stupid you look. But we know that the price of reopening is the likelihood of all the gains we’ve made being erased and far more death, and, well, I guess we’re just pro-life.

And it pains us, really, it pains us deep in our souls that you can’t be reasoned with. That Trump, by any measure, has failed and continues to fail at this monumental task and that the reason he has failed so enormously and tragically is because he thought the virus was just there to spoil his chances at reelection. He is going to toss out truth and reality and replace it with everything filtered through his selfishness, his avarice, and his unending, crazed belief in his own superiority. Yet you’ll just go the fuck along with it. It’s fucking sad, man. The deepest wells of Obama worship never even came close to the cultish, mindless Trump veneration. I mean, c’mon, Trump refuses to wear a mask, but his campaign is going to start selling official MAGA masks. That’s how stupid he thinks you are. That’s how cynical this whole thing is.

And you know what else pains us? It’s that it would have been so ludicrously easy for Trump to have been the big shot hero, ordering companies to produce swabs and masks, amping up testing far exceeding any other country (for real, not in his fantasy world), demanding Congress pass funding for salaries so everyone could keep their jobs, and telling people to stay home. He could have led a genuinely positive national reawakening of community and patriotic service. He’s not actually capable of that, but he could have faked it, like he’s faked being a successful businessman.

And what pains us even more? You credulous simpletons would have bought into it whole hog. And you would derided anyone telling you to go back to work as an unpatriotic dick who just wants Trump supporters to die. Your media would have said that Trump was the greatest man who cares so much about us that he’s willing to sacrifice the economy for your lives. In other words, you have no beliefs. You only have Trump. Goddamn, how empty you must be to think that’s all you need.

Trump has wrecked our alliances and degraded our country to the point that the world thinks we’re just a pathetic vestige of our former selves, worthy of pity and derision, and that’s because of you, and you’re so full up with gobbling his shit that you don’t even think that matters as long as he lets you be openly racist and keeps owning the libtards, which means “anyone who doesn’t gobble shit from the MAGA trough in Donald Trump’s pig pen." It’s too bad. We could have used the help of the world, which, even in good times, we do need to buy our goods or your job is in permanent jeopardy. (Which, to be fair, it already is.)

You just don’t believe in what the country ever aspired to be, to the world and to itself. Instead of believing scientists and doctors, you believe TV bullshit artists like Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity and Rush “How the fuck is he still a thing?” Limbaugh, agreeing with Trump that popularity somehow equals depth and knowledge. Instead of people qualified to lead an effort, you think that feckless pricks like Jared fuckin’ Kushner are true polymath visionaries and not just vile charlatans and egomaniacs. Instead of seeking those who have earned the right to lead you, you turn to Donald Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., a devolved version of his devolved father, a pile of shit that has dried out.

This is all on you. You’re fucking adults, for fuck’s sake, and I just won’t treat you like children who need to be forgiven and hope you learned your lesson. You decided to overlook Trump’s blatant greed and corruption. You decided that someone accused of more than a dozen rapes and sexual assaults, including multiple under oath allegations, is just a jocular party guy you wanna hang with. You decided that it was better to spend money on his trips to golf and on tax cuts for the wealthy than on roads and health care and fucking pandemic preparation.

I know that we’re supposed to feel some kind of pity for you, that you’ve spent decades being inundated with talk radio and Fox “news” and YouTube videos and conspiracy mongers and politicians and preachers who either believe this shit or fake it because they know how easily you’re manipulated. You have been hit hard by the wealth disparity in the nation, with shitty jobs for shitty pay and shitty people telling you that your shitty job for shitty pay is somehow honorable and that it’s better that you suffer than government take care of your medical needs. You would rather walk around with your guns and your camo and pretend you’re free than admit how much Trump has fucked you over. And when he’s no longer president, you’ll whine about how it’s all rigged and unfair, echoes of his miserable voice. Yet we’re supposed to feel sorry for you.

Fuck that. And fuck you. You are to blame for this madness and this death. You did this to our country. You made this decision. You won’t see what’s right before your eyes. You proudly refuse to take off your orange-tinted glasses with the sphincter-shaped lenses. So you’re into it. You’re good with it. You don’t care how many people are hurt, how many people die, how many people suffer. You’re good with it. As long as you can blame anyone but the wealthy in this country for every fucking misery, you’re good with it. As long as the racism continues, you’re good with it.

You decided that Trump isn’t evil. Or else you decided that he is evil and you just fuckin’ like being evil.


I should be more compassionate about tollerating other people’s hate? Interesting, very interesting.

Thanks for posting that. I haven’t read The Rude Pundit in a while, though along with Steve Gilliard (mentioned above) he was regular reading for me back during the second term of the Cheney Regency. His rants are as good as ever. I wish Gilliard was still around, too.

“Fighting liberals” like those two are a tonic not only to conservatives and Libertarians disingenuously wailing about liberals’ lack of compassion, but also to those Useful Idiots on the left (or who claim to be on the left) who think it’s more important to signal their own virtue by accommodating those who are constantly on the attack against their values. Demonstrating their unfamiliarity with Popper’s Paradox, these appeasers are constantly asking liberals to be doormats, to not be so harsh and unforgiving like Gilliard or the Rude Pundit because it’s “uncivil” and “not compassionate” (feeding into the right’s “bleeding heart liberal” stereotype mentioned above). Screw that.

In a different way, this behaviour also includes Dem politicians (including the president-elect) who ask liberals and progressives to work with a death-cult party and movement that constantly screws them over. This is more an attempt to signal the virtue of the system that’s gotten them where they are, which is why they also get defensive whenever it’s pointed out that the system is broken, compromised, and thus readily and constantly exploited by the Party of Demonstrable Bad Faith.


I’m not sure where the “mocking” came in? Maybe it got left behind when this thread got moved, but I don’t see any mocking here.
Declining to voice compassion for someone is not the same as wishing them ill or mocking them.
Personally, I empathize with the pain being felt by all the families who’ve lost loved ones to COVID, but it is exhausting. If others are more selective in their empathizing, it’s probably a healthy bit of self-care. Or they’re just more bad-assed than I, and I need to take some lessons. :wink:


Yep and let’s not forget the pain of people who have lost some one and are angry because people like her husband made that more possible.

That’s valid. They deserve to be able to speak about that.


It’s interesting how those who berate liberals for their lack of compassion in the case of this Congressman don’t say a word about the response of the far right and how that might be distressing to the widow. For example, this selection of comments from a Breitbart article posted by @Faffenreffer :

Assuming that the widow doesn’t buy into the same garbage her husband’s dupes did, how are those Internet comments going to make her feel?

This isn’t an occasion for false equivalency, either. Liberals and progressives simply don’t pull out the kinds of gratuitously cruel conspiracy theories that will (I have no doubt) soon place this congressman on Qanon’s “he’s still alive” list along with JFK Jr.

But no, it’s liberals and progressives on BB who are the baddies. Please.