Sunday, June 21, 2020

Tulsa Time

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)
"I left Oklahoma drivin' in a Pontiac
Just about to lose my mind
I was goin' on to Arizona, maybe on to California
Where all the people live so fine
My baby said I was crazy, my momma called me lazy
I was goin' to show 'em all this time
'Cause you know I ain't no fool and I don't need no more schoolin'
I was born to just walk the line."  "Tulsa Time", Don Williams

During a weekend in which a dozen states had hit record highs for coronavirus cases (that included Oklahoma), Captain COVID thought last night would be the perfect time to hold his first rally since March 2nd (Well, the perfect time would've been Juneteenth, in his white-hooded mind). It was billed as a "campaign relaunch", Trump's grand comeback on a par with, as Trump sleepily reminded West Point cadets last week, General Douglas MacArthur returning to the Philippines. Campaign manager Brad Parscale at one point boasted of one million ticket requests and no doubt, if the Tulsa rally was held next week instead of last night, the estimate would've been higher than the national population.
    The stage was set, both of them, in fact, for the 993,000 that Parscale had promised for the overflow crowd that somehow failed to materialize. In fact, if this rally had a soundtrack, it would consist entirely of whoopie cushion rubber farts. As for the unused overflow stage, this is what the NY Times said: "Mr. Trump was furious about the unused outdoor stage and the comparatively thin crowd in the stadium, according to two people familiar with his reaction."
     In short, it was a flop, coming thisclose to being the Woodstock 50 of political rallies. And, just to be fair, the Trump campaign was outwitted by a shockingly brilliant counter culture that consisted of Steve Schmidt's 16 year-old daughter and her friends scarfing up 600 tickets all on their lonesome. Yes, the awesome minds of the Trump Train were outwitted by dastardly devious adolescents on TikToc.
    Predictably, right wingers took to the talking head circuit this morning delivering their autopsy results of the Tulsa rally. Mercedes Schlapp told Chris Wallace on Fox that 5,000,000 actually watched the rally last night on that same network before Wallace told her to "stop filibustering" and reminded her that not only do Trump's apologists "look silly" but that the overflow section was more deserted than the Sahara.
    Inside, it wasn't much better, with the BOK arena (maximum capacity approximately 19,100), filled barely more than a third of its capacity. But the right wing, of course, had a response for that: It was radical protesters who scared off Trump's big bad base of patriots with all their Second Amendment solutions. But the reality is, one of the few documented protests was this poor woman who was dragged off by Tulsa police on live national television and forced to undergo a "psychological assessment."
     So, the Million Moron March promised by snake oil salesmen Parscale and Trump wouldn't even fill a single A ballpark. Ergo, true to form, Trump's people (at least those not sick with coronavirus as are six members of his advance team), in tried-and-true propagandistic fashion, tried to bunch as many unmasked people tightly together as possible, which aren't exactly optimal conditions during a pandemic featuring a frighteningly communicable virus, to manufacture the illusion the arena was more filled than it actually was.
     Last night's rally was billed as Trump's "campaign relaunch" because it had come on the heels of two concurrent and highly-publicized polls in which CNN reported Trump was losing to Biden by 14 points and the infamously right wing Rasmussen poll last week that showed him losing by 12. So, at a time when Trump could have used his first rally in almost four months to address Americans as a whole, he decided to throw more red meat to his dwindling base, blaming China for the pandemic, calling it "Kung Flu" and attacking the media in attendance on which he nevertheless heavily depends for his exposure.

I Walk the Line... Slowly
To show those that he suffers slights and criticism with a long, vengeful memory, Trump spent a full 14 minutes last night demonstrating his ability to walk, except he didn't, stopping awkwardly at a ramp, and blamed his leather-soled shoes for his walking down like a 13 month-old toddler at West Point. For good measure, he also manufactured an imaginary conversation with the general who'd walked down the ramp with him with no difficulty. He also assured us he was still capable of drinking with one hand then throwing the glass across the stage. Like a toddler having a tantrum (To be fair, that bit actually earned him a standing ovation).
    Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is what we're reduced to- The Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, the man with the ultimate authority over our nuclear arsenal, felt the need to demonstrate that he has the gross motor skill set of a toddler. It would have made for great bathos were it not for the deadly seriousness of the situation in which Trump's greed, vindictiveness and solipsism had placed us.
     For instance in the line that's going to be most heavily-used in Biden, Democratic down ballot and Lincoln Project ads more than any other last night will be this gem, "When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people. You’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people slow the testing down please." Yes, he went there again. It doesn't even matter if this was another of his imaginary conversations. The proof is in the pudding and all one needs to do is check the CDC's own website to realize that, coming up on five months since the coronavirus hit us, our nation's population had been tested only 26,781,666 times in a nation of 328,000,000 people. Yes, after all these months, over 300,000,000 of us still have not been tested. That's over 92%.
     The sparse crowd's reaction to that intended applause line was confused laughter but most remained silent, perhaps wondering in their reptilian brains, "Wait, ain't testin' supposed to be a good thang?" Well, yes, yes it is. Because without testing, contact and vector tracing can't properly begin. Anyone who has spent even a few minutes on reputable websites that disseminate correct information about coronavirus knows this.
     Instead, our country is being led by a man who earnestly believes that the fewer people you test for a deadly, highly-infectious disease the better. Because the artificially suppressed numbers make him look better. He honestly does not care how many of his fellow Americans are infected, at how many die, and he doesn't want you to know, either, at least until election day. Instead, here's what he does want you to know about him and his elitist critics but mostly him:
    "I look better than them. Much more handsome. Got better hair than they do. I got nicer properties, I got nicer houses, I got nicer apartments, I got nicer everything."
    As a harbinger of things to come, it rained torrentially on Trump in DC yesterday afternoon on his way to Tulsa. The ambience hadn't improved much on his return, nor had Trump's mood, when a AP photographer captured him walking back from Marine One on his way back to lonely luxury. As he marched across the wet lawn, clownishly long tie undone, head down, gripping a MAGA cap in his left hand in anger and frustration, it looked as if inescapable reality that he won't be in the White House much longer, that he will be vulnerable to countless federal investigations and lawsuits and not having the shield of the presidency to protect him, was finally catching up to Trump and, even with his infamously hermetic mind, was beginning to seep in.


At June 22, 2020 at 3:33 PM, Blogger Stan B. said...


At June 22, 2020 at 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After the purveyor of Reichwing treachery, Timmy McVeigh, murdered so many Okies back in 1995 in OK City why do the people of OK continue to vote for Reichwing politicians? The obvious hatred spawned by the Republican Party toward the 'others' encouraged Timmy to kill. Whatever happened to love thy neighbor? Okies are supposed to be such exemplary Christians. Your attitude is as self destructive and hypocritical as that of the moneychangers in the Temple in Jerusalem.

What is it going to take to convince Okies that maybe their faith in Donald and Mitch and the gang is really not benefiting the country or the state? How can you people be so self unconcerned? Just because the Dems are pro-choice and think gays are still human beings and not perverted sex obsessed creatures are those legitimate reasons to keep voting Republican? What have the Repubs done to deserve your vote? Same for you Kentuckians. Do crazy Rand Paul and Massacre Mitch really represent you, the people? I for one do not think so. If you disagree please explain how those I mentioned above have enriched or improved your lives in any way. And do not even think for a moment to say the Dems are socialists. That is a stupid and untrue argument.

At June 22, 2020 at 5:34 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Stan, I remember reading yesterday Al Franken going over the attendance figures for the BOK Stadium this year and found over-the-hill hasbeen John Tesh drew more people than Trump.


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