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The Elite Panic of 2022

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From the end of Covid restrictions to Elon Musk’s Twitter bid to the Dobbs ruling, startling developments threaten progressives’ grip on power. Martin Gurri writes:

In April 18, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle struck down the federal requirement for wearing surgical masks on airplanes, in airports, and while riding mass transit. Online videos showed passengers and airline staff ripping off their masks and celebrating in mid-flight. Given the accumulated frustration of two years of pandemic travel, the reaction was understandable.

Far more remarkable was the vehemence of those opposed to the ruling. Judge Mizelle was unfit for office, they said. She was too young, at 35; she was unelected; she was a single, unrepresentative voice. Worst of all, she was an “activist Trump judge” and thus branded with the mark of the beast. Rescinding government policy—the kind of thing that American judges engage in with abandon, and usually to progressive cheers—in this instance was condemned as a usurpation of the powers of the executive branch.

Judge Mizelle had crashed an exclusive party reserved for people of higher caste. “The CDC has the capability, through a large number of trained epidemiologists, scientists, to be able to make projections and make recommendations,” said Anthony Fauci, bureaucratic czar of all things Covid-19. “Far more than a judge with no experience in public health.”

[Martin Gurri, “The Elite Panic of 2022,” City Journal, July 29]

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