Saturday, April 18, 2020

Washington Death Trip

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)

We’ve got to reopen, and when we do, the coronavirus is gonna spread faster.”- Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA)
“LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!”- "President" Donald Trump

At times, it alternately seems when one watches a zombie movie or TV show that the writers and directors are either warning us about trends and destinies to which we seem hellbound or the manifestation to just, to paraphrase President Barack Obama, "accelerate the endgame." And if coronavirus/COVID-19 has betrayed anything about America yet seemingly no other country, it's the weaknesses of our infrastructure and that of the right wing's general intellect.
   Seriously, as with virtually every other journalist on earth, I've been aggregating news and providing commentary about this historic pandemic that has already infected nearly 2,500,000 people worldwide. And I don't recall reading anything about the scale of disrespect for the rule of law in other countries in which local leaders handed down shelter in place orders and were met with armed insurrection as we saw late last week in Lansing, MI.
   Not long after the yellow vest protests in Paris dissipated, after the pro-demcracy protests disappeared from Hong Kong's streets, the armed rebellion in the United States was just ramping up. And, most shockingly, even for this shockingly stupid and reckless occupant of the White House, they were being egged on or even inspired by him. It doesn't require a Poli Sci egghead to see that what Trump is doing is exceedingly dangerous and needlessly reckless. He's not only ginning up incoherent, misplaced rage at Democratic governors who have issued shelter-in-place orders, he's also, knowing that's a sure-fire red button in their reptilian brains, conflating it with their alleged Second Amendment "rights" as if staying home cuddling their AR15s and Mossberg 12 gauges is going to somehow result in a loss of their metallic loved ones.
     And inciting a Civil War from the Fort Sumter of Twitter is the last thing Trump should be doing during a time when our nation is at its most fragile in a century, especially given his latest flip-flop of "letting" states have the right to do what they wish just a day after saying he had the "total" right to read states a Riot Act that doesn't even exist. Again, one doesn't need to be a political wonk to see that Trump is deliberately targeting states in which shelter-in-place orders have been handed down by Democratic governors such as Michigan, Virginia and Minnesota, not states in which shelter-in-place orders have been handed down by Republican governors.
    That newest outrage is just part and parcel to the selective cruelty and overall incoherence on the part of a sociopath who, predictably, has completely fucked up the response to coronavirus even more hideously than the Bush White House fucked up its Hurricane Katrina response 15 years ago. And just the very fact that we put such an unqualified boob in charge of the world's largest economy and nuclear stockpile betrays just how woefully the United States has fallen down drunk on the world stage and furiously swinging at phantom enemies.
     Mike Lofgren of Common Dreams is just one of several journalists who had co-opted a phrase we're hearing more and more of late. Just yesterday, he'd written and posted an article about the Republican Party's "death cult" that revolves around, among other things, a fetish for reopening the country too early at a time when we've still hardly tested more than 1% of the nation's population and that, if it results in the deaths of millions more, it'll all be worth it. Anything to get those economic numbers back up so the "president" gets "reelected."

Zombie Nation
The pandemic that had found a nice warm, cooperative and accommodating home in the United States has revealed many latent cruelties, biases and actual priorities of the right wing. To anyone who's been paying attention for the last 40 or 50 years, none of these weaknesses and hypocrisies should be news but the pandemic has brought the inherent weaknesses of our nation into sharper relief.
    For instance, 12 years after the Wall Street crash and bursting of the housing bubble, after 12 subsequent years of freezing the minimum wage, bailing out Wall Street to the tune of trillions, deregulations of banks and industrial corporations and endless rounds of corporate tax cuts, suddenly Wall Street and entire industries had to be bailed out two weeks after the pandemic hit America. Countless CEOs and Chairmen waddled to Capitol Hill with their cloven hooves out for another handout. And, as I'd predicted in these pages several weeks ago, they got it.
     So, while corporations got trillions between our tax dollars and the Fed reliably printing money, the American public paying for that bailout got dribs and drabs- A onetime $1200 stimulus check that's even more insulting than the $300 stimulus checks we got from Bush in 2008 and an extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits. And Republicans were literally screaming about that, with Lindsey Graham crying from his fainting couch that it would make American workers lazy and quit their jobs.
    And now the expendable people, the labor force that was never deemed "essential" by the Republican Party, is now suddenly very essential to those very same Republicans who want to open up America for business en masse before testing has even begun in earnest and diligence. The Republican Party, since the earliest days of the 20th century when they began to morph into a Brooks Brothers version of the National Socialist Party of Nazi Germany, has historically been hostile to the labor movement, especially when it came to unions. To Republicans and their investors in Corporate America, the American worker is supposed to do just three things- Work, consume and don't question your station and lot in life.
     And if the labor movement was smart, they'd get clued in PDQ as to how suddenly valuable they are and always have been and to start using the natural national strike of this pandemic to start putting the arm on Big Business. We've seen the beginning of this in Seattle, the city of Amazon's primary HQ, when they fired several workers for speaking up and organizing a strike for better working conditions. Amazon employees are among the most essential workers there are and without them picking and packing orders, the nation that does most of its shopping online would come to a grinding, screeching, smoking halt.
     But to the death cultists of the rabid right wing, it's not so much about going back to work as it is all about their freedom to take out their motorboats or painting their sheds. Predictably, these two-legged geckos are enraged because their "president" warned them their 2nd Amendment "rights" are somehow being threatened as well as their phantom rights as sovereign citizens. And with crops rotting in the fields because of the lack of migrant help to pick the harvests, dairy farmers dumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of milk a day because they have nowhere to sell it before it spoils, imagine how horrible things will get when people can no longer afford to buy food, water or, God help us, toilet paper.


At April 20, 2020 at 6:42 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

So, Cheesedick, you presume to know the status of my writing career, remember my grandson, remember what my cat's name was and, presumably where I buried her (Information gleaned by your plainly brain-damaged stalker twin brother now in Idaho) and even which key was missing off an old laptop...

...but heaven forfend that anyone would accuse you of stalking me and keeping very close tabs on me.

Fuck off, Cheesedick. We're done here.


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