GOP opposition to Mastriano applauded

York Dispatch editorial board
FILE - Members of the audience sing songs of worship during a primary night election celebration in Chambersburg, Pa., Tuesday, May 17, 2022, for state Sen. Doug Mastriano's, R-Franklin, the Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/ Carolyn Kaster, File)

Thumbs up for nine leading state Republicans who recently publicly announced support for Democratic candidate for governor Josh Shapiro.

The GOP contingent — which includes former congressmen Charlie Dent and Jim Greenwood, along with a former lieutenant governor and a state House speaker — said their own party’s candidate, conservative firebrand Doug Mastriano, is simply too extreme to endorse.

Their announcement was quickly followed by the formation of a GOP-led anti-Mastriano political action committee.

If it seems like an all but unprecedented move at a time when hyper-partisanship rules politics, well, Mastriano — a vocal supporter of Donald Trump who spreads lies about the 2020 presidential election being stolen — represents an all but unprecedented threat, say his Republican opponents.

More:Mastriano embodies Christian nationalist movement: 'We have the power of God'

More:Theaters take a pass on movie about Doug Mastriano

More:Doug Mastriano: Running on a platform of deceit

“(He’s) an extremist who is a threat to the rule of law and the constitutional order,” Dent said in a statement. Shapiro, on the other hand, “has integrity and always works to bring people together.”

It’s not easy to break political ranks in an environment where stepping afoul of party doctrine is rewarded with online abuse and official ostracization (one reason the rank-breakers are former office-holders). But if increasingly extreme and reality-averse right-wing candidates like Mastriano are to be countered, it will take courageous voices from inside the party.

Here’s hoping those voices grow louder.

Thumbs down for an unfortunate new milestone in Pennsylvania: The state recently surpassed 3 million total coronavirus cases since the pandemic began back in the spring of 2020.

Even worse: cases are again surging, both in York County and throughout the state. Cases in the county were up nearly 25 percent over a two-week period earlier this month. And health care professionals warn that, with the increasing reliance on home test kits, those figures may be well under-reported.

The culprit is the latest in a seemingly endless parade of viral variations. The latest variant, BA.5, has been spreading rapidly around the world and now accounts for nearly two out of every three newly reported cases in the United States. And it seems adept at slipping past immune defenses, even among those who have been vaccinated or have already contracted COVID-19.

Fortunately, new variants can be still countered using tried and true methods. Masks and social distancing continue to be effective ways to minimize the potential for contracting the virus, and vaccinations and booster shots minimize the opportunity for the virus to spread and mutate, say experts at Yale Medicine.

We thought we’d be long past this advice by now, and we wish we were. But coronavirus viruses have been persistent — and so must we.

Thumbs up to reopening of York City’s historic Martin Library after recently completed renovations.

The 1935 facility underwent extensive upgrades, including a complete redesign of the library’s circulation desk, atrium, Family Place, Quiet Reading Room and an expanded Teen Space on the second floor the three-story landmark.

At a time when libraries and their staffs are under increased attack for everything from anti-coronavirus policies to inclusive literature, it is heartening to see a library — the intellectual soul of a community — being updated and celebrated.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony last week kicked off a weeklong celebration of the $6 million renovation project

The Martin Library is an architectural gem and a valuable resource. It deserves not only community support but the time in the spotlight it received last week.