Skip to main content

A Really Talented Virus

Berkley, Michigan
Saturday

Of course, this would have to happen on Trump’s watch. We all knew it would be something big. We all knew we couldn’t possibly make it through the whole four years without stumbling on something he could seriously fuck up.
We thought it would be more of a garden-variety disaster — a war, earthquake, wildfire, tsunami, cat-5 hurricane, etc. These we understand. These have media profiles we’ve grown used to. Each is easily imaginable as the kind of challenge Trump and his GOP stooges were born to botch. They’re only in it for the grift, after all. Competence just gets in the way.
But they weren’t thinking plague. Way too biblical. Way too low tech. Not to mention low visibility, which Trump thinks is for losers. So it totally blindsided him. He couldn’t see it, so he never saw it coming.
Of course, neither did we. We weren’t expecting COVID to be so prodigiously talented at self-promotion (the Donald Trump of microorganisms?). A ninja that sneaks in under the radar, it invades our respiratory system, makes a few million copies of itself, then lays low for a week or so. It doesn’t even let us know it’s there until long after we’ve passed a bunch of those copies on to the next guy.
Which scares the shit out of Trump. He’s a germophobe to begin with, so the whole idea gives him the willies.
Then there’s the invisibility thing. Not being able to see or even sense his enemy is something totally new to him (me too, but I’m not in charge of the free world). And what he can’t see, he can’t make a deal with. Or sue. Or get Bill Barr to cover up.
Then, of course, there’s the infuriating fact that COVID is impervious to insult. He can’t just tweet it away. It doesn’t do press briefings (invisible things rarely do). It has no interest in photo ops or interviews on Fox, and it doesn’t need Mitch McConnell to wreck the economy—it can do that on its own.
So Trump’s anxiety level is surely cranked up to eleven. He can’t spin this. He can’t gaslight it. He’s desperate for somebody to blame, and the old razzle-dazzle isn’t working anymore. He has no credibility with anyone outside his imbecile base. The non-Fox media now debunks his lies in real time, before they even get out of his mouth. And as the curve gets steeper and refuses to flatten, that same imbecile base might actually start to find out—the ultimate hard way— how they’ve been conned (though that’s far from a sure thing). The thing is, it might be too late, because his words could start killing them off, maybe as soon as next week.
Look at the demographics. The highest percentage of his dumbfuck supporters are in the high-risk zone for the virus. They’re over sixty. They have more than their share of compromised immune systems, derived from an assortment of long-term health issues. These people would be right in COVID’s sweet spot, even if they weren’t being gaslit by Fox.
But instead of protecting them—the only voting bloc he has left—Trump is telling them to go out and party. And, no surprise, they’re stupid enough to listen. Which means a rather large number of them — six or seven figures, maybe — won’t be voting in November.
As demographic shifts go, this one’s a killer.

Comments

  1. I'm afraid that Trump's old razzle-dazzle might be working well, even outside his base: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/trump-genius/609142/

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Justice Alito Channels his Inner Putin

This is the year the bad guys showed their true colors. It’s the year when the differences between Vladimir Putin and, say, Samuel Alito proved to be only a matter of degree. Both seek cruelty for its own sake. Both impose the will of the privileged few on the horrified many. Both take toxic Christianity and white supremacy to levels not seen in centuries. And neither Putin nor Alito can be stopped. Not by anyone, not by any apparent means. Alito is, of course, just one of the five Putin wannabes on our Supreme Court, but he might be the most Putinous of the bunch — the one with the most contempt for democracy and those who practice it. The leaked draft he wrote for the reversal of Roe v. Wade is shocking, not for its content — which has long been expected — but for its smug tone, its abominable take on history, and its sneering disdain for any American who’s not male, white, straight, and Christian. And, oh yes, Republican. I’ve long wondered about those “mainstream” Repub

Texas, Stalinism, and The Informer Society

  From the afterdeck of a cruise ship now entering Nassau harbor, it's hard to summon up the anger so appropriate to these times, and so essential to this blog. A temporary condition, I’m sure. So rather than writing something new, I’m relying instead on a reprise of this post from last September, which foreshadowed several of the key issues we'll all face in the next decade. For ‘Stalin,’ just substitute ‘Putin,' and for ‘Texas,’ substitute ‘every red state,’ and you’ll get the idea. Rage over the new Texas abortion laws comes naturally to anyone with either a heart or a brain, let alone both. But beyond the unspeakably cruel restrictions on reproductive rights, beyond the wanton misogyny and toxic masculinity, beyond the predictable media firestorm that turns outrage into clickbait, there is a larger issue on the table. And it’s one we can only hope is not a trend: Texas Republicans are now openly embracing a culture of citizen-on-citizen informi

What’s the Worst that Can Happen?

It’s not a pleasant thought, but I believe it’s time for those of us in the reality-based community to think about what happens if Republicans manage to win both houses of Congress this November. I am not conceding that this a done deal, but at this time it feels worse than fifty-fifty, which is distressing. Between the new voter suppression laws and the old tendency of Democrats to not bother voting in midterms, the outlook is not promising. But while there is little doubt that a GOP takeover would be a disaster for both the country and the world, the question becomes how big a disaster. And I, for one, am thinking we’ve seen worse. So let’s game this out a bit. Let’s assume the worst, that they take control of the legislative branch. What would the next two years look like? The most important thing to remember is that the executive branch — the vast apparatus of the federal government, including military, law enforcement, and justice — will stay in the hands of the grownups.