David Jolly, former Congressman (and former GOP-er) had a characteristically blunt and justifiably unforgiving take on state and local leaders who have failed so miserably to lead during this pandemic. He should know. He's from Florida.
He joined John Heilemann and Nicolle Wallace on Deadline White House for a discussion on the appalling lack of leadership. Wallace asked how the so-called leaders might right the ship, when they cannot even get a mask mandate to succeed.
WALLACE: No one accuses ME of that.
JOLLY: Look, the decisions have been stupid. We have stupid people leading us through a pandemic. We can say it's because they have a conflict of interest or they're worried about the economy or they want to get re-elected or they're ignoring science.
They're stupid. They're fundamentally stupid people and they're leading us down the wrong road. And the calling of leadership in this moment is to convince the American people that it's in our interest to shut this entire thing down, to come up with alternatives to education and to the workplace environment, lead us through the public health pandemic, get us the other side stronger than we've ever been with our public health and our economy.
They have made the wrong decisions. And at times you've got to -- we, I, have to stop parsing the decisions they've made and say they made stupid decisions, and we need to call them out for it.
WALLACE: I think you make an important point, and a blunt point. I appreciate both. The important point being we have to dispense with some of the niceties to move the conversation to what the future looks like because literally our lives would appear to depend on it.
They're both right. No one can accuse Nicolle Wallace of sugar-coating things...she dispensed with niceties a long time ago. And Jolly is right, too. Too many in media couch their analyses in friendly, softer terms than accurately portray the seriousness of what is truly happening. They may think it make them sound more "fair" and "impartial," but honestly, it makes them sound complicit and weak. Just tell things as they are, please.
These leaders in the states who want to deny science, kiss Trump's @ss, and the like are nothing short of stupid. That's where Jolly is most accurate of all.