Friday, May 22, 2020

Andrew Sullivan: With Trump, the Pathology Is the Point

Minnesota Catholic, some Lutheran churches plan to defy Walz's executive order by reopening next week
Yesterday Donald Trump defied his hosts at Ford and the Governor of Michigan appearing unmasked at a plant that has converted to making ventilators.  Today he defiantly declared that Churches are essential and must open.  Governors who stand in the way will be overruled.  In Minneapolis Roman Catholic Archbishop Bernard Hebda met with right wing religious freedom litigators The Becket Fund to announce his intention to defy the Governor's orders.  How many will decide that their faith compels them to ignore risk to themselves and others?
I have mixed feelings about Sullydish.  A brilliant polemicist he can go off the rails.  But here...he nails it.  Is he going off the deep end when he says we've reached the Jonestown phase? The suicidal phase?  Today I made a couple of pickup stops: necessities at Lowe's, a take out sandwich.  Lowes declares at the entrance that anyone entering must wear a mask.  The staff does.  The customers? Women - 90%.  Men 50% You can see the defiant stance.  But it's walking off the cliff brave.  

The risk here in Knox County - mid-coast Maine - is low.  But with people arriving for the summer it will doubtless grow.  Maine is NOT seeing a Covid19 drop.  The urban counties, the slaughterhouses and meat packers, the nursing homes, assisted living facilities all have seen steady increases in the last month. Our county - Knox - has only a handful of cases so we don't know how behaviour will change if the risk rises...but testing here is minimal.  So if there is a surge it will likely not be found at the earliest stage.
Andrew Sullivan: With Trump, the Pathology Is the Point
New York Magazine - Intelligencer
It’s perfectly clear by now that the United States does not have a functioning president or administration. It also seems clear that this does not matter to a sizable chunk of the population. They just don’t care — even when it could lead them to lose their lives and their livelihoods. A year ago precisely, Trump’s approval rating was, in FiveThirtyEight’s poll of polls, 53.8 percent disapprove, 41.1 percent approve. This week, the spread was 53.1 percent disapprove and 43 percent approve. Almost identical. None of the events of the last year — impeachment, plague, economic collapse — have had anything but a trivial impact on public opinion.
Neither, it seems, does the plain evidence of Trump’s derangement. Yesterday, at a Ford plant in Michigan, the president reiterated that he was once named “Man of the Year” in Michigan, something that never happened and an honor that doesn’t exist. He insisted that Obama had left no pandemic preparation behind — “we took over empty cupboards. The cupboards were bare” — which is untrue. He said he owned a lot of Lincolns but then he said he didn’t. When referring to the anti-Semite and Nazi-supporter Henry Ford, he ad-libbed, “Good bloodlines, if you believe in that stuff. Good blood.”
 In a factory where mask-wearing is legally mandatory and where every other executive was wearing a mask — and one who spoke with a Perspex visor on as well — Trump refused to wear one in public, though he apparently put one on behind the curtain. When asked why he wasn’t wearing one, he said: “I don’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.” The official taxpayer-funded White House trip was also used to give an overtly partisan campaign speech, breaking the law. Just one completely bonkers day from a president who has effectively refused to do the job.

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