You Will Know Them By Their Priorities, II

Dan Patrick, Lt. Governor of Texas, got some attention when he asked older Americans to give their lives for the economy.

The premise of Patrick’s argument is, of course, since only the old folks die from Covid 19, aka “Trump flu,” it should be okay with them if we stop restricting economic activity and go back to work. If some old folks have to die off to save the economy, so be it. Seriously, that’s what he said.

First, let’s be clear that people of all ages are dying of Trump flu. A 31-year-old woman with no known medical issues just died in St. Louis. And a child has just died in Los Angeles County. Younger people shouldn’t assume they don’t need to worry. But Lt. Gov. Patrick has exposed something dark and ugly about his values. Do economies exist to serve people, or do people exist to serve economies? Clearly, Lt. Gov. Patrick believes the latter. Most Republicans and many neoliberal Democrats believe the latter. And by “the economy” is meant a means to generate great wealth for the few by exploiting the many.

For his part, Trump is tired of the virus and has gone back to wishing it away.

President Trump, in the latest signal of his mounting frustration with the economic impact of the coronavirus, is back to inaccurately comparing the death rates of the virus to the seasonal flu in order to justify calling for the reopening the economy in the near future—possibly as soon as Monday.

“We lose thousands of people a year to the flu, we never turn the country off,” Trump said during Fox News’ Tuesday coronavirus special. “We lose much more than that to automobile accidents. We didn’t call up the automobile companies and say, ‘Stop making cars, we don’t want any cars anymore.’ We have to get back to work.”

Trump then appeared to argue that the economic damage of keeping social distancing measures in place would bring a greater loss of life than the increase of deaths that experts have warned would come after ending the restrictions. “You’re going to lose more people by putting the country into a depression,” he said.

He’s going back to arguing that Covid 19 is no worse than the flu. He wants to order an end to the restrictions on business. The problem with that is that he isn’t the one who ordered a start to the restrictions on business. It’s governors, mayors, and other local officials who have done that, and few of these people are likely to lift restrictions on Trump’s say-so. His calculus appears to be that those governors, mayors, and other local officials can own the shutdown.

And yes, he’s very unhappy with the restrictions, for some reason.

President Trump’s private business has shut down six of its top seven revenue-producing clubs and hotels because of restrictions meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, potentially depriving Trump’s company of millions of dollars in revenue.

Those closures come as Trump is considering easing restrictions on movement sooner than federal public health experts recommend, in the name of reducing the virus’s economic damage. …

… In his unprecedented dual role as president and owner of a sprawling business, Trump is facing dual crises caused by the coronavirus. As he is trying to manage the pandemic from the White House, limiting its casualties as well as the economic fallout, his company is also navigating a major threat to the hospitality industry.

That threatens to pull Trump in opposite directions, because the strategies that many scientists believe will help lessen the public emergency — like strict, long-lasting restrictions on movement — could deepen the short-term problems of Trump’s private business, by keeping doors shut and customers away.

So now much of the Right has concluded that We (or, rather, some other people We don’t know) Must Be Willing to Die for the Greater Good, the “greater good” being not inconveniencing rich people. Required reading today is Charles Pierce, No Thanks, I Will Not Immolate Myself on the Altar of Your Stock Portfolio.

Over the past couple of days, the response in certain quarters has turned ghoulish. Quite simply, it is becoming a kind of revealed wisdom on the right that we’re going to have to take some casualties—especially among we Olds—to get the economy moving again. … I’m telling you, by the weekend, screw-it-everybody-dies-sometimes will be Republican gospel. We’ll all be spring breakers on South Padre Island.

Dan Patrick isn’t even the worst example. “R.R. Reno, the editor of First ThingsAmerican Catholicism’s most prominent Pius IX fanzine, explained at length that demonic forces may be at work in the efforts to keep people from being dead,” Pierce writes. Yes, Reno believes demonic forces are at work in the pandemic, and we citizens have a duty to put our lives on the line and fulfill our economic functions, or Satan wins.

Note that Liberty University students have been ordered back to campus, over the objections of pretty much everyone in Virginia.

A writer to Talking Points Memo:

The comments I heard went something like this, “This is going to sound bad, but 2% really isn’t that many people and it’s mostly old people anyway. They’ve lived a good life. Overpopulation is a major problem and it will also help with social security.”

I’m writing in because I fear we are treating this as a more fringe idea than it actually is. I don’t think this is Trump reacting to his properties being forced to close or to a Fox News segment he saw. I think this has serious legs. …

It’s part Ebeenezer Scrooge morality; part inability/unwillingness to comprehend the scope of horror coronavirus is capable of inflicting on us. Of course, implicit in their thinking is that it won’t affect them.

We must be clear-eyed about what we’re up against. These people absolutely do not give a shit if 2.2 million people die. And they lack the imagination to understand what exceeding our hospital bed capacity by 30X looks like.

I really don’t think this is Trump sending out a trial balloon by himself. This is mainline Republican thinking and we should act accordingly.

See also Dana Milbank, Trump risks the lives of millions to save himself.

In Related News — There may be a vote on the Senate phase 3 stimulus bill this evening. Word is that the Republicans agreed to allow an inspector general and a five-person congressional panel to oversee the half trillion pot of money for corporations. I’d rather there were no half trillion pot at all, but at least this will make it harder for Mnuchin to use the fund to reward Trump and his campaign contributors.

10 thoughts on “You Will Know Them By Their Priorities, II

  1. 2 – 4 – 8 – 16 – 32 – 64 – 128 – 256 – 512 – (where we are) 1024 – 2048 – 4096 – 8192 – 16364 – 32768 – 65536 – 131072 – 262144 – 524288 – 1048576

    I hope you realized that's the curve of a number doubling – 2, 4, 8 etc. This is pandemic basics. Consider each doubling a "generation" We were at 22 on March 8.  In 16 days we've gone through roughly five generations, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512. We're in the 600 range, on the way to near 700 tonight. We're doubling every three days.  If constant, 1024 on 3/26 2048 on 3/29, just over 4K  on April Fools Day. If unchecked, when do we hit a million? About a month from now. 

    We should see the rate of doubling begin to extend at something between 5 to 8 thousand dead. How much the rate slows depends on how effective (and strict) social distancing has been. Remember Spring Break? They infected each other in revelry and with schools closed, they went home. There's a huge spike there, potentially. 

    What about the benefit of social distancing? The great unknown. There's a 2-week delay between the beginning of a program of isolation and the benefit. That's the 2-week incubation. We've won when the number can't double, a rate of growth that's less than one. 

    Here's a source for looking at the curve over time. I don't know how they will handle the graph at the end of the month but for now you can see the whole curve.

  2. The soylent green thinking is exactly how these people think, all the time. They may sit in churches and praise Jesus, but they're perfectly OK with killing off their neighbor if it will save their stock portfolio.

    They can't conceive of a world that might just recover, albeit after a hit to the economy. In much the same way, they can't conceive of a world that restructures all its systems to deal realistically with climate change. They can't conceive, because they're dumb.

    Above all, they can't conceive of a world where the virus might strike them, precisely because the warnings of professionals were disregarded.

    Their inch deep morality – what you expect from inch-deep people? – aside – you do not want to be in a jurisdiction ruled by such idiots.

    Heart-wrenching article, Coronavirus advice from a grocery store worker

    • They may sit in churches and praise Jesus, but they're perfectly OK with killing off their neighbor if it will save their stock portfolio.

      LMAO… You got it exactly right, moonbat. 

      • In Matthew 15:8 Jesus said, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me"

        I am so sick of these grotesquely pious phonies!  Always screaming about being a "Christian nation" even as its obvious their real god is mammon.



  3. Thanks Doug, for displaying your work for everyone to see!  🙂  I'd read some other great descriptions, but just plain ol' mathematics is the simplest was to demonstrate how a virus/epidemic can spread.

    One thing about dying:  Yeah, we all going to die.

    Me?  I'd rather not die from a pandemic which might have had its progress slowed, but for completely inept Federal leadership. I would though, like to do something I never ever thought I would do:  Compliment NY's Governor Cuomo on the way he's handling this crisis.  He's everything tRUMPleTHINSKIN and Pence, the sycophantic putz, are not!!!  Calm, informative, measured, honest, and occasionally humorous (in a goofy kind of way). 

    Now, if we decide to charge the ramparts of the wealthy and powerful to start drastic economic and social heirachical changes, then I might think of sacrificing myself so that groups of others could storm the rich and powerful's "Bastardtilles!"

    But that would be MY choice!  Not from the decisions of some political toadies, determining that at 62, with a bad heart and lungs, that I am expendable!

    To those who say we'd be better off without "a surplus of people," I say:  Ok, MFer.  YOU FIRST!!!    

    I'd like to stick around a little longer!  If only to act as cannon fodder in the future Class War!!!!!


  4. So Trump and the GOP are now advocating for people die to save the economy, but in true fashion, they accuse others of setting up "death panels:"

    "The Daily Beast reports the president then showed Fox News Bill Hemmer a printout of an article from The Gateway Pundit. 'It says that he didn’t buy the ventilators in 2015 for a pandemic, established death panels and lotteries instead,' Trump said, paraphrasing the far right-wing blog known for publishing conspiracy theories."

    'Publishing conspiracy theories" isn't the only thing Gateway Pundit is known for.  Run by "the dumbest man on the internet," Jim Hoft, its also well known for publishing verifiable lies.

    But this is what they do.  In a form of projection on steroids, they blame the opposition for the very thing they know they are doing.  They ask people do die for the economy, then accuse the one person opposed to that of setting up death panels.

    They are thoroughly disgusting!

  5. I just read that the owner of Hobby Lobby said he is not closing his stores because God spoke to his wife.  Sad to say, that kind of stuff works with a lot of people.

  6. Remember when obama was president and wanted to bail out banks an gm and ford and the republicans said let them go under? Didnt want to borrow money to keep the economy afloat

    A ball of snakes pretending to be a government.

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