Trump makes it his own personal fire sale
April 16th 2020
We’re at the point where there are some faint glimmers of hope that the first round of the coronavirus pandemic might be cresting. New cases as a percentage of existing cases have dropped from 15% three weeks ago to just 5% now. New York crested, and Cuomo sent 150 ventilators to states that haven’t been overwhelmed yet. Social distancing has had an effect: back in early March, I estimated we would have 1.2 million cases by April 12 (it was just under 600,000) and between 10 and 20 thousand dead. Unfortunately, I was wrong in the bad way on that one: the death toll was actually 21,500.
However, America has been hit harder than any other country, due in part to the utter lack of a safety net, and partly because the Republican party expects every good American worker to risk his life so that no billionaire should ever have to chance the horror of becoming a mere millionaire. As a result, even as places like New York and California can see a light at the end of the epidemiological tunnel, colonies of infection are erupting across the red and mostly rural states. South Dakota, lightly affected until this past week, had 650 new cases erupt at just one meat processing plant which was under no orders to close down and felt little pressure to protect its workers.
Despite that, there’s a growing resistance from people who are tired of being locked down, which is reasonable, and believe that the disease is a hoax, or want to show the Chinese they can’t infect good Americans, or just want to stick it to the libs, none of which is reasonable.
Incoherence plays a major role in this. In Florida, pro wrestling was declared an “essential business” and allowed to continue business as usual. Pro wrestling. Yes, you read that right. But in Florida, and in most of the country, beaches are closed, even though usage of same is light this time of year. The resistance is also pretty incoherent, as you might imagine. Some of them just want to lock up any politicians they find annoying. Some just want to be able to go to the hairdresser again. I saw a video made by a well-coiffed sorority brat type who sobbed through a glittery blonde frenzy about how without decent nails and lots of good make up, she would have to compete with unkempt and possibly smelly farm girls for the attentions of the boyz. Now, good chance she was just taking the piss, but I took no chances; I suggested we help her out by sending her old “L’il Abner” comic strips as a fashion guide.
I suspect the resistance to shelter-in-place will grow, and as a result, so will the contagion. It’s hard to be sympathetic to these people because while they will find out that you can’t gaslight mother nature, the fact is they’ll also infect relatives, co-workers and friends through their foolishness.
But as all this is going on, we have Trump and his cabal of thieves who are exploiting this. They are encouraging people, and the dimmer state governors, to defy social distancing and get back to work. Avery Bundy and his gang of land-thief nuts declared that no phony government was going to stop him from his self-declared right to steal other people’s property. Various churches rebelled, declaring that Jesus would protect them from the virus. About once a week, I see an amusing article about how one of the pastors or leaders of these little cults up and died from—you guessed it—coronavirus. In Wisconsin, republican judges ruled that voters must cast votes and not delay the primary. Both the state Supreme Court and the federal Supreme Court disgraced themselves in this bald-faced ploy to protect a Republican incumbent judge, and in the hundreds of thousands, Wisconsins turned out to kick that fascist strutter off the court. It was perhaps THE bright spot in all of these. Americans are still willing to fight fascism, and to risk their lives to do so.
The worst part is the people who are defying the lockdowns out of simple desperation. The government response has been mostly pure shit, and many people are out of food, facing eviction, and utterly desperate.
It’s in the interest of the federal government to make this even worse. Trump is staging a coup against America. He reluctantly signed the stimulus bill, adding the signing statement that he felt free to disregard the language that forbade him or his pestilential family from profiting from the crisis, or other language that the government must account for where and how that money is spent. To that end, he fired the inspectors-general, administrative cops that oversee disbursements of funding for fraud or waste. He wants lots of fraud and waste, and he wants it kept secret.
He also is demanding that in the next stimulus bill, funding for the Post Office be cut and the Post Office closed. Never mind that the Post Office is vital; Republicans have wanted it shut down for years so profiteers can take over, and Trump wants it eliminated because without the Post Office, there is no mail-in voting, and Trump has openly admitted that if everyone could vote by mail, no Republican would ever win office again. It’s nice to know that even he acknowledges that most Americans hate fascism.
Now he’s threatening to close Congress if they don’t immediately approve all his appointees. He hasn’t read the Constitution; not only does he not have that power, but neither House can adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other House. If Pelosi digs in her heels—and she will—Trump will have to force another Constitutional crisis to get his way.
If he does that, America is only weeks away from widespread revolt and possible civil war.
Between the pandemic and his own lust for power, Trump is hoping, if he can’t simply prevent voting in November, to at least make it so hard and so dangerous to vote that he can get reelected by the surviving members of his cult—the ones out protesting that Americans should bow to no sissy virus whut weighs less than one tenth what a good Amurrkin does.
So even though many other countries have peaked and are containing the virus, America has the wrong government, run by the wrong people, at the wrong time.
It won’t end well.