In the past week we have all witnessed the heroism and bravery of medical personnel as they fight against almost insurmountable odds, trying to subdue an unimaginable number of Covid-19 cases. These men and women are, as well know, dying along with their patients.
Also in the past week we have seen an outpouring of support for these heroes—hearts in windows or on doors, horns honking, anthems sung, applause—orchestrated but heartfelt—springing up. In fact everyone seems to be on board and 100% behind them—with a few notable exceptions. The impeached president and his glib, well-spoken, but still lying, vice-president.
As was the case two weeks ago, there isn’t enough of anything to assist these medical personnel, yet every night that sorry sack of Trumpish protoplasm stands in front of reporters and a nation hungry for truth and states categorically that there are no shortages, merely greedy governors and feckless mayors.
But the incompetence is finally reaching the mainstream press. This morning’s Courant picked up an AP story which came originally from a Washington Post exposé that traced the activity of the Trump administration from early December 2019. The Courant article does not exactly come out swinging, but it pulls fewer punches than in the past. It says quite plainly that this administration, month after month, made a conscious choice to protect the economy instead of the people; and when warned of the impending pandemic, failed to create stockpiles of equipment they absolutely knew would be needed to blunt the spread of the disease.
Now Trump, as his wont, will try to evade the truth by his usual tactics:
let's try Hydroxychloroquine;
don't let the cure be worse than the disease;
nobody could have predicted this;
anybody who wants a test gets one;
we have done an amazing job.
Always there will be some, of course, who believe him and will do so until their dying breath, even if that dying breath comes far too soon via COVID-19. But the truth is becoming clearer even to the mainstream press, which has been reluctant (read: negligent) in presenting the obvious truth through some misapplied concept of non-partisan objectivity. Now they print what most of us already knew.
And what of Trump's acolytes? The governors who refuse to shut down their states and the senators who felt, even a month ago, that this president deserved to stay in office? What do they say about their vaunted leader as the toll mounts, and how much blood is on their hands?
Today a thread of blind stupidity and overarching venality permeates the Republican party. It isn't the party of Lincoln or Eisenhower, but it is, philosophically, very much the party of the "beloved" Ronald Reagan. Trump is Reagan, rebooted for the 21st century—a less subtle Reagan loosed from all bounds of decency and honor, buttressed by the amoral and obsequious McConnell and Graham and hosts of others. The Republicans who know better have no voice, and very few have even a modicum of courage.
Still, knowledge is power, and as more and more of us gain a better understanding of Trump's deceit, it may become unprofitable for his party to defend him. We just don't know how long that will take, or how many will have to die in the interim.