CSotD: So Much Winning

A juxtaposition, plus a disclaimer:

(Matt Davies)

(Mike Smith)

The disclaimer: I can’t claim to be neutral in this.

I’ve noted before that I had a son, a soon-to-be daughter-in-law and a granddaughter working in healthcare. The granddaughter walked off the job the other day because they would not provide her with adequate protection against the coronavirus.

I was proud of her when she got the job, I’m proud of her for having left the job. I’m proud of the other two for sticking with the job, though I am sure that, in her place, they’d take the same principled stand.

Yes, heroes must be willing to sacrifice. But there’s a line between meaningful sacrifice and simply throwing your life away.

And here’s where that line is drawn: If you want heroes, you can’t just scatter seed and hope. You have to tend and support them.

I’m reminded of when, during the Cheney Administration, they were rushing GIs into Iraq with vehicles that were not properly armored to withstand IEDs, and the guys were attaching to them whatever metal scrap they could find to try to stay somewhat safe.

Sec’y of Defense Rumsfeld looked down from his safe perch thousands of miles from the front and said, “You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.”

Which in turn reminds me of Siegfried Sassoon’s poem “Base Details”:

If I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath
I’d live with scarlet Majors at the Base,
And speed glum heroes up the line to death.
You’d see me with my puffy petulant face,
Guzzling and gulping in the best hotel,
Reading the Roll of Honour. “Poor young chap,”
I’d say — “I used to know his father well;
Yes, we’ve lost heavily in this last scrap.”
And when the war is done and youth stone dead,
I’d toddle safely home and die — in bed.

Siegfried Sassoon was uniquely qualified to call out insensitive command: In the trenches of WWI, he was known to his mates as “Mad Jack” for his insane attacks on German positions as well as the coolness with which he was known to venture out into No Man’s Land and then find a hole in which to sit and read while waiting for something to happen.

When he turned against the war, it was with a perspective that demanded respect.

President Trump has declared himself a “war president” and this is most assuredly a war, but it’s hard to forget that he blew his chance to be a hero, copping out on a rich boy’s excuse while others, rich and poor, served.

And so I agree with Davies: The real service for which people should be thanked is respecting and fulfilling their own vital role in this.

For the average citizen, it means sheltering in place and behaving sensibly.

For our leadership, it means doing more than sending other people’s children and parents and brothers and sisters and lovers and friends — and grandchildren — out into combat with the equipment they have, not the equipment they might want or wish to have at a later time.


Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Ann Telnaes)

(Kevin Siers)

My impatience with Trump’s lack of mental capacity goes back well before the virus put members of my family at risk of his inability to process information, to seek competent advice or to let those who knew what they were doing simply carry on unimpeded.

Moreover, I don’t care if he’s simply that arrogant or genuinely that stupid.

I’m not even all that disturbed by his ability to either pretend or believe that he never said the things that videotape clearly shows him saying.

It disturbs me, rather, that we have so many people whose own indifference to facts and truth and logic and goddam common sense makes the upcoming election appear to be a coin flip.

I don’t like thinking that a conman’s pigeons are numerous enough to represent a dominant voting bloc.

Yet here we are.

I like Elizabeth Warren, though I like her in the Senate and didn’t support her presidential bid. But look at the date on this Tweet.

We knew. Those who wanted to know, knew. Those who had ears to hear, knew.


Signe Wilkinson greets the president’s new frankness showing him like a dog having his nose pressed into his own poop, and I wish I could agree with her that this reversal of months of foolish denial had been stemmed.

But shoving your dog’s nose in his poop is not an effective housebreaking technique and your average puppy is more trainable than Trump, if only because it understands the value of pleasing others.

It’s good that he is allowing Fauci and Birx to speak up, but he’s still being enabled, as Jeff Danziger notes, by the Dominatrix of Spin who coined the phrase “alternative facts” and continues to deflect and deceive in defense of the chief executive’s lack of capacity.

And letting Fauci and Birx present their graphs on the Five O’Clock Follies won’t accomplish a damn thing, as long as he doesn’t simply stand up and tell his loyalist crew to get with the program, as long as he doesn’t tell them not to allow churches to be packed in the name of “religious freedom,” as long as he doesn’t call together the GOP governors and demand they step up and do the right thing.

Boss Tweed famously said that he didn’t care what they wrote about him because his constituents didn’t read, but he hated Nast’s cartoons because any fool could look at pictures.

The Deplorables not only don’t read, but are not going to buckle in for 90 minutes of graphs and statistics.



I had been hoping for something a little quicker:

5 thoughts on “CSotD: So Much Winning

  1. Any cartoons yet about Trump interrupting his news conference Wednesday to announce proudly that he’s “number one” on Facebook?


  2. I can’t believe you invoked the Five o Clock Follies too. No better comparison.

  3. How about the firing of the captain of the carrier Theodore Roosevelt ? I didn’t realize you could FIRE anybody in the armed forces. I wonder what the original Theodore Roosevelt would make of that.

  4. Mary,

    When we say that someone was “fired” in the military, we’re referring to their being stripped of command. The Captain (O6 in the Navy) still has his rank and commission, but will be reassigned.

    It’s also worth noting that the Pentagon made the decision on their own, from the best that we can tell.

    As for why the Captain was removed: I agree with the contents of his letter, but I disagree with how he handled himself. A military officer is supposed to control what he (they) can, not use their position for political grandstanding. The Pentagon noted that they believed he was only doing what he felt was best for his crew, but he’s been reassigned anyways.

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