Monday, July 27, 2020

Caveat Emptor

I know the people are sheeple and advertising has a dramatic effect on making people make stupid decisions, but....

After literally decades of GOP/Conservative conspiracy theories and misinformation and outright lies (Swift Boat Veterans, anyone?), the apotheosis of this effort was reached in 2016 with the defeat of Hillary Clinton (who was never enough of a politician to overcome the baggage she and her husband brought from Arkansas (read Gene Lyons on that, or leave me alone!) and the baggage she acquired, through her husband and on her own, in the White House (not to discount the absolute lunacy of "Whitewater," a series of vague and glittering allegations even Kenneth Starr couldn't make anything of it, and had to settle for getting the President to deny under oath that he had a tawdry affair with an adult staffer)).  The product of all their efforts was not a Ronald Reagan they could manipulate into destroying the socialist nightmare they still think America has become, but:  Donald Trump.

Haven't we all suffered enough?

Still, that massive effort labored as mightily as a woman giving birth to quintuplets, and all it produced was the wet fart that is our current POTUS.  Look around you.  Gaze upon a man who has held office for almost four years and whose approval rating was above his disapproval for less than a month at the beginning of that time  There's been at least a 10 point gap ever since.  Consider the case of a man who has no legislative accomplisments (his first and last was engineered by Paul Ryan, who even this morning Trump was trashing as once again his campaign says they'll get those tweets under control!), whose every effort has been a mistake and probably illegal (he learned no lesson from his impeachment because he is singularly incapable of learning anything), whose suport even among his supporters is dwindling.  Trump insisted the country reopen to reignite the economy, and when it did and disease spread like fire through dry grass, he equally insisted he had nothing to do with and everything was fine as the house around him blazed.  As the death toll rises across the country he insists there are no significant problems with ventilators or PPE, even as hospitals refuse new patients and park covid victims in hallways and fill refrigerator trucks because the ovens are breaking down from the overload.

His response is to egg on protestors in Portland (quick:  how many people can find Portland on a map, including Trump?) and beat and tear gas mothers and veterans, calling them all "anarchists" and "antifa."  And who is taking him seriously?  How far has his approval risen?  How far ahead of Biden is he in any state he needs to carry in order to pull off the EC hat trick again?  Early voting starts in just a few weeks, and yet we still all speak as the only votes that can be cast will be cast in 98 days, and even then people aren't sure what they want to do.

We are not "polarized," we are disgusted.  I remember this sentiment against Nixon when he finally resigned, and against Ford for pardoning him, even though Ford as President for two years after that pardon, and all the pundits expected the American people to "forget."  Were we trapped by partisanship then, too?  Or had we just had enough?  We went with the peanut farmer from Georgia because anything was better than what we had.

And now we're going to be bamboozled by an "October surprise" (the real surprise will be the pundits and armchair campaign managers who realize people are voting already and it's just October) or fooled by an announcement of a vaccine which won't hit the streets before January even if it is efficacious.  At this point the majority of Americans, the ones not stupidly screaming about masks (and I've yet to encounter one person like that in any store.  Sure, everyone of them in the country winds up on Twitter and Raw Story, but 100 times nothing is still nothing.  Texas as very liberal (!) open carry laws, but I've yet to walk into any restaurant or store since those laws were passed and seen anyone carrying a rifle or brandishing a handgun.  The few that do get all the attention, but they are still as rare as hen's teeth.)  Do we really need any "independent verification systems" at this point?   I mean, this is what the pundits are talking about:

So it really IS the economy, stupid?  Wow.  The pundits are as clueless as the GOP itself.

And while this has been obvious to anyone with a pulse, now that Washington Post reporters have reported on it, we can talk about it.  I understand this kind of reasoning in a court of law:  the court must confine its consideration of the issues to the facts presented in accordance with the rules of evidence.  Science and any system of reasoning (philosophy, theology, what have you) must conform to much the same rules.  But when you can see what's plainly in front of your face, when the whole nation finally sees the racism and authoritarianism that has been inherent in the American system since 1 776 (what is more authoritarian than limiting the vote to white male landowners?), we don't need carefully confined methods of reasoning to tell us what everyone already knows.  We're so much further down that road one wonders who the reporters think they're reporting "news" to.

We're well down this new road, and we really aren't going to be that easily fooled.  Not by the same liars, at any rate.  We all saw the Alabama troopers salute John Lewis as he crossed the Edmund Pettis Bridge one last time.  We also saw the President order flags lowered to half-staff for half a day, and know he'll leave town while Lewis lies in state so he has an excuse not to go to the Capitol.  We know, we see; we really aren't stupid.  Things aren't perfect right now; but the balance, as much as it ever is, has been restored.

How long we keep it that way is up to us.  But, of course, it always is.

Yeah, we see him very clearly.

(There's another factor here.  Pharmaceutical companies will be happy to market a vaccine for covid-19, but they also know a faulty vaccine won't do them any good at all.  Trump has no friends in Big Pharma, and any campaign on his part to champion a "cure" before November will probably be met with the same skepticism as every announcement he's made on this disease has been met.  Trump has built a reserve of distrust and disbelief on this matter that runs from "it will disappear" to "open the schools, it's just politics!"  Nobody is listening to him anymore, and any promise of a vaccine that can't even be distributed before January (if then; the production issues will be massive, look at what happens annually with flu vaccines) will mean about as much as spit in a hurricane.)

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