To judge from campaign oratory, it is becoming increasingly difficult to believe that the Democrats and Republicans are contesting for the honor of governing the same country this election year.
The Democrats describe a country where, if the administration had acted more quickly and subjected the entire population to constant testing for the coronavirus even before any of its characteristics were known, Americans would have been spared scores of thousands of avoidable deaths. It is a country where there is now no alternative to a near-complete national shutdown while the whole population submits to constant testing and anyone with whom an identified COVID-sufferer has met in the previous 14 days must be hunted down and forcibly quarantined.
As the U.S. economy withers, poverty will be alleviated by borrowing on the backs of the taxpayers and shoveling out a trillion dollars every two weeks in a straight vote-buying exercise in which Trump will atone for his supposed failure to test in adequate numbers before the pandemic got going by transforming himself into the Herbert Hoover of our time, and go meekly to the electoral slaughterhouse as the father of a new Great Depression.
It is hard to credit that the Democratic Party has adopted this fairy tale until its interpretation of recent legal events is taken on board.
The exposure of the facts that Robert Mueller’s probe of nonexistent Russian collusion was launched by former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at the instigation of fired FBI Director James Comey’s illegal leak of a self-serving, self-addressed memo about a conversation with the president, after they both knew that there was no basis whatever for what Mueller was supposed to investigate; and that they and others had misled the FISA court in seeking warrants to spy on the Trump campaign and transition team, are portrayed as Trump’s politicization of the Justice Department. Joe Biden calls it a “diversion” from the mismanagement of the public health crisis.
Biden and other prominent Democrats denounced Trump for racism and xenophobia when he stopped direct flights from China to the United States on January 31. He inherited a skeletal pandemic response framework from Barack Obama; testing, which the Democrats are now shrieking from the house-tops should have begun a month earlier, was by Obama Administration standards in hospitals by appointment only, with all tests sent to Atlanta for analysis.
In a month, Trump had invoked the National Emergencies and War Production Acts to get instant testing, now being conducted 300,000 times a day, and had General Motors and others manufacturing pulmonary ventilator machines. He “flattened the curve,” produced a formidable financial assistance plan for the shut-down country, and now urges everyone to work and school, as we now know that for the eighty percent of people beneath the age of 60 without compromised immune systems, the fatality rate is one for every 22,000 people.
This is the Democrats’ plan: pretend Trump was responsible for the pitiful state of crisis medical response that he inherited, and that he didn’t act promptly in reducing the flow of incoming people from coronavirus-afflicted countries; pretend that he didn’t build an entire emergency medical service in three weeks; pretend that scores of millions of people should remain idle for months for the sake of a statistically very small number of potential deaths among the 260 million healthy Americans beneath the age of 60; pretend that it is Trump’s duty to impoverish a third of his countrymen as he sacrifices himself politically; and pretend that the revelation of unprecedented skulduggery by the Obama administration and the Clinton campaign in 2016 in corrupting the FBI and intelligence agencies and using them to try to influence and then undo a presidential election is just a red herring designed to distract the country.
With the enactment of this almost unimaginably fatuous sequence of fantasies and psychotic acts, the second tier of equally implausible suppositions is embraced: the country will ignore the indictment of a swath of prominent Obama-Clinton officeholders and cronies for criminal violations of and outrages against the Constitution; the allegations of sexual impropriety against candidate Biden will just vanish with no electoral consequences; the country will overlook the Democrats’ embrace of open borders and the Green Terror, and serious consideration of compulsory government-operated health care, as well as reparations for all non-whites.
With this further farrago of otherworldly nonsense accomplished, the mighty and Democratic triumphant fantasy will end by the country taking seriously enough to elect an inarticulate, forgetful, irresolute political ploughhorse whose family has hugely benefited from his public office, who is up to his eyeballs in the greatest political scandal in American history, who stands somewhat plausibly accused, at the very least, of peccadilloes in the most energetic rutting tradition of John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton (JFK was always credited with being alluring enough not to need to engage in coercion), and who is a superannuated, lightweight plagiarist, who won 11 percent of his party’s vote and came fifth in the New Hampshire primary three months ago, before he was exhumed by the party elders.
In a word, Joe Biden is as unpresidential a boob as could be found, without hiring Sherlock Holmes as a recruitment agent.
Against this Democratic orgy of phantasmagorical self-delusion, the Republicans offer a president who despite illegal harassments of unprecedented persistence, slashed unemployment to record lows, virtually ended oil imports, silenced all talk of China surpassing the United States any time soon, reversed the preposterous “new normal” of no real income gains for the lower half of income-earners, stopped 80 percent of illegal immigration, cut the taxes of 83 percent of taxpayers and all profitable corporations, delivered the country from the Green Terror, reduced poverty and violence, and reintroduced the concept of nuclear nonproliferation with the untrustworthy states of Iran and North Korea which had swindled former presidents. Then he managed down the greatest public health crisis in a century and is leading the country’s economic recovery.
This absurdly unequal contest, apparently, is being kept close by the concentration of the Washington press corps, bristling at Trump’s marginalization of them by his dominance of social media and the radio talk shows, and by his public disparagements of their laziness and dishonesty.
They have generally supported the Democrats in trying to soft-peddle the steady emergence of the fraudulence of the Mueller investigation and of the FISA activity and the persecution of Michael Flynn. The national political media’s efforts to downplay these elephants rampaging around the room are accompanied by a state of official make-believe. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) described the withdrawal of the prosecution of Flynn as Attorney General Barr advancing “the president’s cover-up,” without even hinting at what she thinks he’s covering up. The megalomaniacal judge in the Flynn case, Emmet Sullivan, has called for third parties to advocate against termination of Flynn’s prosecution although the jurisprudence is clear that when the charge is withdrawn there is nothing to try.
Trump’s enemies are cracking up; their tenacity in the treacherous defamation and harassment of this president is remarkable. Trump’s limitations are obvious, but so are his achievements. As Ulysses S. Grant said of the Confederacy, as General Lee took his leave at Appomattox on April 9, 1865, the Trump-hating official and media Democrats “have fought so long . . . for a cause, though that cause was . . . one of the worst for which . . . people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse.”
Comparative peace will come after the election; political corpses can’t fight on after the voters have buried them.