From perspectives across evolution and deep time, we must now veer back our current crises dividing America and the world....First see the 15 times Trump publicly praised China's handling of the coronavirus. Was he lying then or is he lying now? Note that the only action that Trump points to having taken in March (there are none - zero - in January or February) is the travel ban from China, which his officials swiss-cheesed with 40,000 holes and exceptions.
== Start with our Covid-transformed politics... ==
== Start with our Covid-transformed politics... ==
Talk about a first class RTNIT (Rub Their Noses In This). And if your MAGA cries "Fake news!" repeatedly demand cash wagers to be settled before a respected neutral... some retired military officer will do nicely. See MAGA run.
But the President's Intelligence Briefing is the great big RTNIT of the week -- how often Trump was urgently warned and ignored every opportunity to get us ready. Read the article, especially how cabinet officials get an adjusted version of the PIB, so there's a paper trail to prove every bit of this.
Meanwhile, here is Joe Biden in a USAToday op-ed way back on January 27th: "The outbreak of a new coronavirus, which has already infected more than 2,700 people and killed over 80 in China, will get worse before it gets better. Cases have been confirmed in a dozen countries, with at least five in the United States. There will likely be more."
And yes, analyses show that Fox/Limbaugh watchers have swarmed in misinformation, much of it dangerous, even life-threatening. And why does no one at all confront Hannity & co with wager demands? I tell you, it works.
Don't you dare let your RASRs swallow the line of Justin Amash - till recently running for the Libertarian Party nomination - asserting that "both parties are the same and Biden is as bad as Trump." That is the stalking horse of a factotum who's been assigned the job of distracting fed-up, decent Republicans and Libertarians, to keep them from defecting all the way to the Union side of this desperate phase of our 240 year civil war.
== They have no answer for this one ==
Every few years I come back to disprove the most persistent and insane of all political myths... that Republicans are somehow more fiscally responsible than democrats. It is not only false, but totally 100% diametrically opposite to true, ever, at any level.
Sure I speak of the "Second Derivative of Debt." Is that arcane? Then think of the brakes and accelerator of your car. And actually think about this slide I offered just three months ago (based on the blue chart of 2016).
Then look at the new version I made today. Cram this in the face of any MAGA or RASR who claims "well Trump is insane, but Democrats will spend us into poverty!"
Better yet, make a cash bet of that hoary cliché! It... is... an... easily... disproved... lie.
== The statues thing ==
Okay this renaming thing has proceeded to demands that NASA rename its John Stennis Center. Wow. Won’t happen right away, but with Mississippi changing its flag, we sure are moving along.
But while you're at it, there's an aircraft carrier - a top US capital ship - also named for Stennis. Also the Carl Vinson. Both of them segregationists. The excuse? "Named after Democrats!" in order to offer “balance" while Republican Congresses rushed to label carriers Reagan, Bush and… Ford? Seriously? While giving LBJ - MLK’s ally who got us the Civil Rights Acts - a destroyer and Carter a sub, in order to ensure neither will ever get carriers. See where I work it out, here.
Alas, while I agree with much of this renaming trend (Bragg and Hood weren't just slavers but BAD generals!) and relish the toppling of confederate monuments to treason, I must point out that symbolism-obsession used to be a largely GOP phenomenon. It is important to a degree, after which it becomes symptomatic and counter productive. Take the toppling of a statue to... um... US Grant who did as much as any human to ensure all slaves would be freed?
Likewise the Emancipation Monument in DC. Frederick Douglass attended the opening of this memorial to Lincoln freeing the slaves. It is an even better example than the Teddy Roosevelt statue of something that was woke in its time and hated then only by racists, that appears horrific(!) to our modern eyes! The TR statue can be saved by separating the Native American and African figures - noble looking in their own right - to their own new settings commissioned from modern artists, and let the 90% decent TR stand alone.
But this Emancipation Monument, paid for by freedmen and approved by every black leader of the time? Okay, times change. Keep Lincoln, he deserves it. But take the kneeling slave to the African American Experience Museum as a cautionary tale! Commission a new version of the same fellah standing on his own! (Symbolism experts, many of them black scholars, say that is exactly what the liberated slave is doing, in the current version. But it's still cringeworthy and demeaning to our eyes.)
In its place next to Lincoln, put up a statue to Frederick Douglass! Lincoln's equal in all ways except power and in fact the conscience who nagged and irked and pricked and drove Lincoln to finally keep his promises.
The crux -- there is one criterion that pierces all of these arguments. Did you try hard to be better than your times? To move the arc of justice forward, despite your own blind spots and personal flaws? Each case raises interesting perspectives! Douglass himself said Lincoln's effective good deeds vastly outweighed his sin of waffling. Jefferson and Washington were guilt ridden over their own hypocricies and they did set us on the path --grinding and too-ponderous -- away from 6000 years of feudal oppression. Can you say as much?
On the other hand, Andrew Jackson was a bastard through and through, though his cynical populism did spread the vote to poorer men. He'll be off the $20 in two years and good riddance! As for Woodrow Wilson, he did great good for democracy, self-determination and fought to create a fair international order -- and was a neo-confederate bigot who winked at the Klan. Even if a future generation rehabilitates him for the good stuff, it is our time now! This generation has a right to its priorities! And so let's rub him out of sight, for the bad stuff.
Only now pause. Look around at things you take for granted. Use your SFnal powers to look back at them from the year 2200.
My nomination for something we take for granted today, that those future folks - our descendants - will abhor? Something you routinely do that is - in essence - truly a terrible thing?
I have a candidate for that evil thing you and I do, that our better descendants won't.
== And finally... for you splitters, out there... ==
I've offered many reasons to quash "splitters" trying to break up our coalition to save the Great Experiment. Their prissy invectives against "DNC types" are refuted overwhelmingly in FIVE rebuttals that refute every splitter rationalization. But like numbskulls of the right, they don't read. So let's simplify. If Dems win overwhelmingly, DC becomes a state. And if you don't help make that happen, then you are proved to prefer pompous posing (or helping Putin) over helping achieve citizen justice. Yes it's that simple.
So get off your butt, cut the pretentiousness and help register folks. Fight! Then complain about Biden and Pelosi in 2022, after the nation has been saved.
And heck yeah, it's part of Polemical Judo. And if you really want better generalship in this political phase of Civil War, then get folks in high places to read that book, filled with 100+ original and effective tactics that no pundit or politician seems yet to have come up with.