Clay Bennett proves that less is more with this simple statement of where we’re at.
The Republican Party has decided their future lies not simply in ignoring the pandemic or even in denying it, but in weaponizing its spread as an article of libertarian purity.
Which might benefit the country if they would simply stay amongst themselves, but, unfortunately, they mingle with innocent people who are bright enough to understand the problem and smart enough to want to avoid a serious, debilitating illness with strong potential for long-term damage and even death.
And as Bennett identifies the virus with its most vigorous and only sponsor, Kevin Siers comments on the promotion of the pandemic in terms of current events.
It’s a good commentary on the Idiocracy at the heart of their approach, but, then again, exploiting the gullibility and paranoia of a certain segment of the population is a policy the GOP has been honing since the Nixon administration.
Dave Brown suggests a classical parallel, though his walrus and carpenter, in real life, appear to despise each other.
But they did, for a time, cooperate in scooping up and devouring those who trusted them, a policy that, as many have noted, the walrus is not working terribly hard to reverse.
He’s simply explaining why he doesn’t like the carpenter, for a modest fee of only $32.50, but, for you, $19.42.
And, as JD Crowe points out, Dear Leader is not simply ignoring the pandemic but defying it, announcing that the problem is not that the disease is spreading but that we know it’s spreading and that the solution is to stop knowing that.
He seems perfectly sincere, which adds a chill to his nicknames of Toddler-in-Chief and the Diaper Don, because, IRL, fightfighters know that very small children will try to hide from fire, such that attempting to rescue them requires searching closets and behind furniture.
And whether it is a cunning plan or he really is that feckless doesn’t much matter, because he does the same foolish, dangerous things either way.
You’d think this obvious lack of coherent policy and action would lead to a general abandonment of the Creeping Meatball, but the operative phrase there is “You would think.”
The administration relies on a strong belief that you won’t.
Though his response to falling poll numbers does, as Walt Handelsman suggests, raise the question of whether he is trying to convince us or trying to convince himself.
Or is simply hiding from the fire.
Michael Ramirez isn’t exactly a liberal, but he has tumbled to the shell game being played by the administration on this topic.
To which I would add, since he acknowledges on the lectern face who heads the coronavirus task force, that I’ve found Michael Pence’s response particularly disheartening.
For three years, he’s been a sphinx, quietly standing behind Dear Leader in photo ops but generally keeping his hair in place and his mouth shut.
It offered a bit of hope that if, for whatever reason, he ascended to the Big Chair, he’d say, “Okay, now, let’s get back on track …”
But in recent weeks, he has begun to open his mouth, and Sarah Cooper can’t nearly lip-synch the Diaper Don with the facility that Mike Pence demonstrates.
The only remaining question being, if something happened to President Trump, who would pull the white plastic ring on Pence’s back to make him talk?
But here we are, and, however we got here and whoever is to blame, the question is, “Now what?”
We’re divided, and, as noted before, the people who believe common sense precautions are an infringement of their liberty, and the stream of self-righteous Karens being outed on social media, either for mask-avoidance or simple, loud-mouthed racism, are not confined to a particular place the rest of us can avoid.
(Note: Here’s where that name came from.)
And now, on the “What do we do about it?” side of the issue, our
Juxtaposition of the Day
First, I’d just like to say that “Doomscrolling” is a fantabulous term because, while I looked it up to confirm it, I knew immediately what it meant and not because I haven’t found myself doing exactly that.
And if you’re reading this on a phone, I’d recommend you visit those linked sites so you’ll have a prayer of reading the text because they’re both terrific in quite different ways: Collins encapsulates the self-hatred it brings on, while Joy of Tech confesses to the group-think at its core.
Those are not contradictory responses. In fact, I think they’re two sides of the same thing, a sort of hi-tech emotional binge-and-purge compulsion.
But I do have a remedy, or, at least, a way to cope with the self-disgust that follows each joyless bingeing session.
Brendan Loper dropped this silent drama over at the New Yorker, and it was well-timed: Our town had just announced that they were concerned about a shortage of poll watchers due to older people’s worries about Covid-19.
As a result, they were considering consolidating our three polling places into one and moving it to a hangar at the airport, which, by my crude Google-Map estimate, is a mile and a half from the nearest residence.
I suppose in a world where everyone is 30 and owns a car, that might not be a crisis, but I don’t live in that world.
However, I also don’t live in a world of purposeful voter suppression, so I dropped an email to the town clerk, telling her I strongly disapproved of the airport as a polling place.
And that I would be willing to sit a poll next November 3.
For which she thanked me, assuring me the hangar was only one proposal.
Even if you’re not retired, I’ll bet that, in the three-and-a-half months remaining, you could arrange to have that day off.
Though, admittedly, sitting in a chair crossing off names would be a serious infringement of your Constitutional Rights.
But you could spend it giving people rides to the poll.
Or doomscrolling. That would be useful.