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Idaho COVID Insanity Shows How Much Worse the GOP Can Get

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As the morgues and ICUs in Idaho overflow with COVID patients, Republican Governor Brad Little said he would fine businesses with over 100 employees if they enacted a mask mandate.

It’s an insane stance rooted in his desire not to give his challenger, Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, any cause to attack him as she guns for his job.

Dying people be damned, as Republicans turn against each other in contests up and down the ballot and across the country to see who can get farthest to the right to claim the Trumpian mantle.

The Idaho governor has reason to be on guard. McGeachin pulled a power play when he was out of the state briefly in May, using her temporary status as acting governor to enact a mandate against mask mandates. Little overturned it as soon as he got back—not that he’s a big fan of mask mandates, but he was leaving it up to individual localities and that didn’t go far enough for the Trump base, so now he’ll be punishing companies for trying to keep their employees safe in a pandemic.

“She does seem to be channeling Trump here and angling for Trump’s endorsement,” says Jessica Taylor, who follows governors’ races for The Cook Political Report.

That dynamic is hardly confined to Idaho. In another red state, Alabama, where COVID cases have overwhelmed the health system, Governor Kay Ivey blamed the unvaccinated for the surge, a rare moment of truth-telling that has gotten her three primary challengers, with two more mulling the race.

Even in Texas, where Governor Greg Abbott isn’t facing a........

© The Daily Beast

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