4 min readSep 7, 2020


To Cowed GOP Senators, ‘Herd Immunity’ Means Protection from Trump’s Tweets

By Joe Rothstein

This is the first election in my memory where a vote for any of the Republicans running for reelection to the Senate is totally irrelevant.

Why? Because Republican senators have opted for “herd immunity,” an immunity that has nothing to do with the pandemic. Rather, they are huddled as a herd to protect themselves from Donald Trump’s tweets.

Is Trump trashing the nation’s intelligence agencies? No problem. Surrounding himself with convicted felons? Yawn. Turning the Census into a political football? Compromising Congress’s subpoena and appointment confirmation powers? Politicizing Homeland Security, the Post Office, the EPA? Wrecking relationships with allies? Betraying the Kurds?

Not only has Trump told more than 20,000 lies since he took the oath of office, he has committed dozens of offenses that most presidents would have been pilloried for by responsible congresses. This is not history. It’s current events. Senators are not bystanders. They have a constitutional duty to see to it that the president does his — and to call out offenses when they occur.

Just in recent weeks Trump has admitted trying to cripple the U.S. Post Office so it won’t be able to deliver the expected crush of absentee ballots. He’s illegally used the White House as a campaign prop and smugly bragged that no one could stop him. He’s threatened to deny cities run by Democratic mayors legally authorized federal payments. And he’s been credibly accused of violating the and honor of everyone who’s died serving in this nation’s uniform.

Asked what he thought of Trump’s outrageous comments about the nation’s military dead, all South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham could do was praise Trump for saving the Stars & Stripes newspaper. In Arizona, Sen. Martha McSally could only muster nice words to say about the late John McCain, whose seat she filled through appointment.

On the nation’s most serious current problem, here’s been no effort by Republican senators to investigate why the U.S. has been so deficient in handling the coronavirus crisis.

At a recent event, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner was asked how the coronavirus pandemic became “so political” and eroded trust in government. Gardner replied by telling this story: “My 8-year-old son came to me and said, ‘Dad, I know when the pandemic ends.’ And I said, ‘You do?’ He says, ‘Yes, the day after the election.’ Now, he picked that up somewhere or heard that somewhere, or maybe mom and dad were talking too much around him.”

So, dismissing reality of 180,00 deaths, you’ve joined the…