What It Is

hopkins map 0720
From a Gunnison County Public Health presentation Monday: the Johns Hopkins map showing confirmed cases of covid. The U.S. should be so proud!

Sometimes this swamp filling is so blatant that it gets overlooked as we discover, all over once again like this is something new, that the “president” is completely incapable of acting presidential.

As CBS noted this morning, Democrats and Republicans are “2 trillion dollars away” from agreement on an aid package. Not some overseas aid; this is for the American people. Maybe.

While Colorado’s Republican senator, up for re-election this November, is running an ad touting how he single-handedly has revived the economy, which has added 4.6 million jobs — the ad somehow forgets to mention that 50 million jobs have been lost, so we’re really only one-tenth of the way back — his compatriots in Congress have decided that there is not room in their $1 trillion aid package for more than $200 per week supplemental unemployment benefits.

Which might be all right, but apparently there’s plenty of money for defense at a time when our most recent troop deployment has been against fellow Americans. Most egregiously, there is money to move the Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters to within one block of a Trump hotel.

If we were talking about aid to some foreign country, this blatant sort of graft would be breathtaking.

But since it’s the United States, and congressional Republicans are concerned strictly with proper stewardship of taxpayer dollars (really, debt dollars that haven’t been paid for), this seems a perfectly legitimate use.

You know, a fun game is always to try perspective, wondering what the Republican reaction would have been had President Obama tried some tiny fraction of this. Remember, this is the president who was taken to task by Republicans in Congress because two Americans died of Ebola. And for wearing a tan suit. The really egregious stuff.

Now we have a president who is completely unconcerned about the part where his national security adviser has contracted coronavirus — because he hasn’t seen the man in he can’t remember how long. Let’s consider the broader ramifications of that blasĂ© statement: the “president” obviously has no idea or care with what’s going on in the world of national security.

Truth be told, that probably will make me sleep better, but it really shouldn’t.

I think we should shift the parameters of the fun “What if Obama did some fraction of this crap” game to “What if any president in recent memory was doing this?” Candidate Mitt Romney got in trouble when a tape leaked of him disparaging people who didn’t have enough money to be a worthwhile donor.

And now his same party, at least momentarily regarding him as a potential pariah, appears to be perfectly fine spending pandemic aid on moving the FBI to within walking distance of a presidential property. “We’re here for you, little people: maybe you can use your ‘extra’ $200 of unemployment benefits to spend a portion of one night in this conveniently-located hotel.”

What would we, as a collective nation, have thought of George Bush, now also a conservative’s outcast for daring to question some of the president’s many questionable actions, if he came out for three consecutive days one week to read off the teleprompter about how serious the virus is, how it’s going to get worse before it gets better, and wearing masks is a vital part of the solution — only to turn, three days later, back to his favorite Twitterpated pastime of posting virus misinformation that said the very opposite of what he had just read? Misinformation that was so bad and wrong that Facebook and Youtube rushed to remove it, and even Twitter took it down.

But don’t you worry, because in this lapse of logic that escapes all such misinformation, this virus is a hoax that somehow, despite not existing at all, will some day disappear. Besides, it’s just a Democratic plot to keep the president from being re-elected.

President Bush the Younger often said things that weren’t exactly correct, which will happen with President Biden as well (I’m thinking positive because one of the president’s last apologists at the Washington Post is taking the polls seriously and expects him to lose), but think about the excoriation if either of them tried something that venal.

What do you suppose we would have said about George Bush the Elder if it had come out that his feuding with his leading virologist spilled over into the idiotic realm of throwing out first baseball pitches?

Yes, the Nationals invited Dr. Anthony Fauci to throw out the first pitch of the season, which apparently was enough to compel the president to announce he would be throwing out the first pitch for the Yankees. Which came as a complete surprise to both the Yankees and the president’s staff.

And then just as suddenly, the plan was off the table. The president, too busy to make even a brief appearance as John Lewis’ body lay in state, was suddenly too busy with his virus to make it to the ballgame.

I guess he meant, Tweeting about how wrong everyone else is about it. Or it was cutting into his golf game, which takes up far more of his time than it ever took up while Obama was president despite assurances from the puny man who would be president that Obama golfed way too much while occupying the White House.

But columnist Dana Milbank, who has been urging everyone to check to make sure they’re registered to vote and to get their application in as soon as possible for a mail-in or absentee ballot, has also decided that the country is better off when the president goes golfing. There he can cheat to his heart’s content and it doesn’t harm 145,000 Americans, which is the number of our countryfolk dead from this virus. So far. We’re still dropping like flies.

When asked a couple of weeks ago about the virus, the president who is too busy worrying or not worrying about — it’s hard to keep track — told the reporter, “It is what it is.”

What it is is criminal negligence, the equivalent of hundreds of plane crashes, or 20 years of hurricanes, or all the Northern deaths caused at the hands of Southern rebels in the Civil War. These are human lives, and it ought to be incumbent on the occupant of the White House to be cognizant of that.

So no matter how many times he can answer questions that aren’t part of any IQ test but rather a measure of if one is having a stroke or dementia, this waste of space if never really going to be cognizant of anything pertinent. It is time for him to go.

Please make sure you are registered to vote, and then vote like your country’s very existence depends on it. Because it does.


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