The Monday Morning Teaser

This week’s news was dominated by two trends: the apparent turning of the corner in New York’s battle against coronavirus, and Trump putting pressure on state governors to relax their lockdown orders, even though their predicted peak may still be weeks off. That pressure came from below, as well as above, as Trump-inspired and Koch-organized anti-lockdown protests were staged in states across the country.

This week’s featured post focuses on the blatant contradiction between Trump’s rhetoric and the “Guidelines for Opening Up America Again” that his administration released Thursday. His rhetoric is aggressive about reopening, claiming that 29 states are nearly ready to relax restrictions, and that some should start before May 1. But the guidelines are cautious, listing prerequisites about testing and contact-tracing that no state is anywhere near fulfilling.

If you want to be catty about this (and I guess I do) the guidelines are for people who read, and the rhetoric is for people who watch Fox News. I’m sure the protesters chanting “Lock her up!” against Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer have no idea just how closely her position lines up with the administration’s published guidelines. (BTW, this urge to lock up powerful women — what’s that all about, anyway?)

The post will be called “Trump’s Guidelines Aren’t What He Says They Are”, and its main point is that he has set himself up to take credit for any good that comes from relaxing lockdown rules, but dump blame on the governors for anything that goes wrong. Faithfully pro-Trump governors like Ron DeSantis in Florida or Greg Abbott in Texas shouldn’t imagine that he won’t throw them under the bus if relaxing the lockdown leads to a new wave of deaths. It’s not like he’s planning to take responsibility himself; he never does. (Abbott, at least, seems to understand the trap Trump has set for him. But it’s not clear he has a way out.)

That post should be out shortly. The weekly summary will discuss the numbers, good and bad, and the basic division this crisis is showing us between what is real and what is symbolic. (Flag-waving is symbolic, staying home is real patriotism. Crowding into church on Easter is symbolic, looking out for your neighbor’s health is real Christianity.) A lot of that needs to be written yet, so I’m not entirely sure what will be in it; I have to go through my bookmarks. Let’s say the summary comes out around noon EDT.

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  • reita anderson  On April 20, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    Well another day another trump* DISASTER.šŸ˜ˆ


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