Just how out-of-touch do you have to be with reality to win the hearts and minds of the Republican base these days? If Joni Ernst is any sort of guidepost, the answer is something to the effect of, “Reality? That’s your opinion.”
When confronted with a reporter on Tuesday morning that challenged her on her empty Ebola fear-mongering, she dismissed the assertion that there was only one victim of Ebola in the United States as “opinion.”
While stomping in Newton, Iowa, The Queen of Pig Balls complained that Obama hasn’t been leading America, and called him “apathetic.”
After the event, Charles Pierce from Esquire magazine challenged her claim, pressing her over claims about the president in an exchange also documented by Ben Terris of the Washington Post. Ernst has been press-shy (presumably learning from Sarah Palin) the last week, canceling a whole raft of interview with Iowa papers. There was nowhere to run here, though.
And while patriotism and populism may be the last refuge of the scoundrel, it was the first refuge that Ernst sought out. Staking familiar ground, she told the crowd that Obama “is just standing back and letting things happen, he is reactive rather than proactive. . . With Ebola, we see he’s very hands-off. He’s not leading. He’s not leading.”
Pierce pressed her, asking her what Obama should have done. He added that “One person in America has Ebola.”
Ernst responded by telling him “OK, you’re the press, you’re giving me your opinion.”
I saw no opinion in there, just facts. But Ernst would have an easier time recognizing and knowing what to do with pig testicles than she would actual facts.
When Pierce told her it wasn’t opinion, it was fact, Ernst fell back on the only thing the Republicans have to fall back on: attacking Obama.
But he is the leader. What he can do is make sure that all of those agencies are coordinating together and make sure that he is sharing that information with the American people, that he cares about their safety.
The obvious implication of those words is that Obama doesn’t care about people with the disease, which is exactly what Pierce asked: “So he doesn’t care about the people with the disease?”
Ernst, tired of being pressed, backed out, dismissing Pierce: “I don’t know that he does, he hasn’t demonstrated that. I’m sorry. I’m done. Anybody else?”
Sure, I have a question: what have you done to demonstrate you care about the victims? Parading their diseased bodies around to fear-monger doesn’t count.