CSotD: Live Free and Die

(Historical note: When Gen. Stark said “Live free or die, boys. Death is not the worst of evils,”
he was calling for sacrifice, not selfishness.)


Stuart Carlson (AMS) offers about as clear a picture of the status quo as you’re apt to find, granted that I only blog once a day and Dear Leader’s moods can change by the hour.

For the moment, however, he appears to be stalling on the concession while counting votes that can’t possibly change enough to alter the outcome, and, as Carlson draws it, turning his back on something where the numbers really are piling up.

Not that he has ignored the topic entirely: Last night he made a brief speech about the coming vaccine in which he got some things wrong — he doesn’t seem to grasp how long it will take to get the Pfizer vaccine to people beyond critical workers, nor does he appear to recognize that an advance agreement by the government to purchase large quantities of the vaccine is not the same thing as having companies sign on to the Warp Speed agreement that provided front money for research.

But I’m tired of flogging a dead horse: Every White House memoir seems to detail his refusal to pay attention at briefings and he did, after all, manage to get an economics degree from Wharton without learning how tariffs work.

However, he did — perhaps accidentally — indicate an encouraging development, according to NPR:

 (T)his administration will not be going to a lockdown.  Hopefully, the, the, whatever happens in the future, who knows which administration it will be, I guess time will tell. 

Time will tell, but everyone else has already told. Still, it’s a crack in his armor against the obvious outcome of the election.


Which Pat Bagley (SLC Trib) celebrates by reminding us that Dear Leader got the same number of electoral votes in 2016 and declared it a landslide.

It’s almost become too easy.


Aesop told of the old lion, savaged in his dying throes by a buffalo and a boar, but particularly dismayed when a jackass began to abuse him as well. Nast used the fable to criticize press treatment of a dead Stanton, popularizing the jackass as the symbol of the Democratic Party.

I don’t have a problem with abusing Trump, mostly because, as his niece Mary said the other day, he likely won’t run in 2024 because he couldn’t stand the humiliation of another loss.

If humiliation is the antidote, I’m willing to pitch in.


Evoking the donkey is a gateway to evoking the elephant, and Paul Fell (Artizans) did a lovely job of capitalizing on a myth about that mighty beast.

Fell is right: The notion of a mask mandate is a virtual mouse, such a small thing that it is absolutely ridiculous to think it could inspire such fear among Republican governors, but here we are, with hundreds of thousands of Americans dying and so many of their leaders terrified to lead.


It’s not theoretical for me: I have several health workers in my family, and, as John Auchter (MPR) puts it, those roadside signs thanking essential workers don’t offset the damage of people who undermine real attempts to stem the pandemic. (Okay, maybe it’s not the same individuals. But it’s the same society.)

It’s getting real, and any leaders who pretend otherwise are either lying or incompetent. It is not for nothing that Atlantic headlined this critical report

“No one is listening to us” – More people than ever are hospitalized with COVID-19. Health-care workers can’t go on like this.

Read it and tremble.

And then put on your goddam mask.


Might as well start at home in New Hampshire, where, as Mike Marland (Ind) points out, Gov. Chris Sununu is declining to issue a mandate.

It’s a bit thorny, and Marland is honest in noting that Sununu has not condemned mandates, only declined to issue one, leaving it up to individual towns and cities to make their decisions.

He’s not really singing about sunshine and, to be fair, has been all over NPR and other venues with long, detailed press conferences.

So he’s not refusing to lead; he’s simply declining to lead. Whether that constitutes a commitment to local autonomy or depraved indifference is a matter of interpretation, I suppose, but we’re seeing an increase in cases, and not just in the southeast where we border the metro Boston region. (Find your own state and county figures here.)


Juxtaposition of Wisconsin

(Phil Hands – Wisconsin State Journal)

(Joe Heller – Ind)

Hands and Heller agree that lack of compliance in their state is primarily due to the refusal of people to go along with recommendations, aligning with Marland’s point that a lack of firm mandates is pretty much the same as no guidance at all.


In Maine, Gov. Janet Mills has updated her mandate, but it’s not only hard to put sharp teeth in such a rule, but it also has run smack up against “religious freedom,” as Greg Kearney (Ind) notes, with a popular conservative preacher holding out against prevention and defying contact tracers despite, as the Portland Press-Herald reported, having already made national news:

The wedding he presided over Aug. 7 triggered a cascading series of COVID-19 outbreaks that sickened at least 178 Mainers and killed at least eight, shut public schools, locked down a jail and helped push an entire county into an elevated state of alert. Nine of his own congregants got sick too, including his 78-year-old father and a child attending his vacation Bible school.

That, dear friends, is “depraved indifference.”


Still, as Gary Varvel (Creators) insists, it’s all about freedom.

Mask mandates aren’t the same as putting up stop signs and traffic lights. It’s about masks. Killing people with a car is different than killing them with depraved indifference.

You have a right to that kind of depravity.

We’ll discuss conservatives and forbidden depravities another day.


Meanwhile, Steve Breen (AMS) wishes you a happy Thanksgiving. Hey, it might be the last time your family ever gathers in one place.

Unless you count funerals.


4 thoughts on “CSotD: Live Free and Die

  1. In defense of Governor Evers, he issued executive orders for lockdowns and mandates with sanctions early on. The GOP led legislature and conservative majority Supreme Court stonewalled and struck them down. The elected GOP sheriffs spoke out against, and refused to enforce, the sanctions. When he called the legislature into emergency session to consider the matter they called the meeting to order and immediately adjourned. They have not met ln their own for at least six months.

  2. Considering Varvel hails from Indiana, where Gov. Holcomb’s mask “mandate” and other restrictions have absolutely no teeth, his immature pouting strikes me as more than a little disingenuous. But, the longer I live here the more I’ve come to realize that whining and moaning about perceived injustices in a state where 99% of the state legislature is already permanently on your side seems to be the actual definition of “Hoosier values.”

  3. Thanks, again Mike. I do look forward to your discussion of conservatives and their forbidden depravities.

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