Sunday, August 2, 2020

Where Is the Count When We Need Him?

In the midst of this madness, it is easy to lose track of all of the malice policies enacted by the Trump Administration.  I asked twitter after naming three, and I got a heap of feedback.  The top three that came to mind for me, thinking largely about the big effects, of the worst things with the most malicious intent since COVID hit American shores are: 

  1. Slowing down testing, which Trump admitted/bragged about.  One can fold into this the recent story about Jared starting to set up a testing policy and then dumping it when COVID seemed to be a blue state problem.  The failure to test, for me, is number one because of the following number: 156k and counting.  To get a grip on this pandemic, one has to test and test a lot and have quick results and then quarantine the positives and trace with whom they were in contact recently.  That the US has failed to bend the curve much has a lot to do with this.
  2. Politicizing masks.  Sure, some blame goes to Fauci and others who were worried about a run on masks denying doctors/nurses the PPE they needed, but the politicization of masks is a bigger problem.  That Trumpists refuse to wear masks, seeing as a sign of weakness, of a sign of being too Liberal, or whatever.  Had Trump mandated mask-wearing, his supporters would have followed suit and the non-followers would have done so because they want to live.  Getting mask wearing compliance is also key to containment.  Yet, we are having "debates" about masks when 150k people are dying here and not in places where they wear masks.
  3. Messing with the mail.  Clearly aimed to delegitmate the mail-in vote, which ordinarily is not so partisan but Trump guesses will be this time since he has made COVID seem like a hoax.
Then others responded:
  1. The whole Trump treated COVID like a hoax giving lots of air and light and fuel for the conspiracy theorists out there.  This ain't the flu, and it is not going away.
  2. Repressing Black Lives Matter protests.  It has backfired pretty spectacularly with American public opinion shifting quite a lot, which is why I didn't include it.  But a lot of people have been hurt, with more than a few journalists being blinded and some concussions and, yes, Trumpists driving through protests, hurting others.  Plus the use of DHS thugs has been awful.  
  3. Intercepting PPE that were going to states and Canada.
  4. The incredible corruption involved with the "bailout" that went to friends of Trump.
  5. The weak support for the rest of the economy including the failure to extend unemployment benefits and prevention of evictions.
  6. The effort to open the schools despite no funding, support, or plan.  A new way for Betsy DeVos to destroy public higher ed.
And of course, there is the continued arson that preceded the pandemic including: the continued kids in cages; nasty immigration policies; use of federal resources to line the pockets of Trump his cabinet, and pals; and the xenophobia, misogyny and racism.  It may be that the failed impeachment effort was a mistake--that the possibility of impeachment might have restrained Trump somewhat.  However, it might just be that this emergency has just given Trump more opportunity to do more damage.

Anyhow, just as Trump kept a list of Obama initiatives to undo, the Biden team needs to keep in mind everything Trump did and undo all of it.  It will be too late for 200-300k Americans who will have died due to Trump's bungling of the pandemic, but we must correct the awful mistakes and then make more progress (so, yeah, nuke the filibuster).

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