Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, April 03, 2020

Alternate Realities

It's been a rough week on Earth 2, as President Clinton tries to lead the country through the rapidly mounting pandemic despite a rising storm of criticism from her political rivals on left and right in an election year.

With Marco Rubio leading in the GOP primary, it had seemed like the party was strong and back to normal, with a strengthened majority in the House after the mid-term elections and an establishment friendly primary slate. However, in the Republican firmament it was Steve Bannon and Tom Cotton who gained notoriety when their early warnings about COVID-19 proved true. While establishment Republicans quietly agreed with President Clinton's dismissal of their January call to impose a total travel ban on China as "racist jingoism", the fledgling Trump Network went full in on promoting the threat of the Chinese Virus. Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have been running the lead "Clinton Lied, Americans Died" on their nightly Trump Network programs where the "Chinese virus" is a major theme. With the primaries on pause during the pandemic, pundits have asserted that Rubio (quietly in self quarantine since being exposed to a COVID-19 positive supporter at his last fundraiser) has shown himself rudderless in the crisis and should either be replaced at the convention despite his delegate lead -- or else that he should choose Senator Cotton as his running mate in order to bring on clear expertise and solidify the support of the populist side of the party. Trump himself has even suggested that he might be willing to accept the nomination if it was offered because "it would take a businessman" to get American through the kind of supply problems Clinton has faced in securing ventilators and PPE. "With the right person in charge," said Mr. Trump. "There'd be so many ventilators doctors would be tripping over them. I'd get us a million ventilators and make China pay for them."

Meanwhile, President Clinton's struggles have brought new life to Senator Bernie Sanders' quixotic primary run against a sitting Democratic president. Sanders and progressive Democrats paired with Senator Romney and House Majority Leader Ryan to sponsor legislation the president initially denounced as "ridiculously fiscally irresponsible" to promise every American immediate financial relief as well as bridge loans to employers with the goal of keeping furloughed workers paid throughout the national lockdown Clinton announced on March 15th. While Sanders had not to date won a single state against the president, his supporters have been simulataneously suggesting that Clinton step down and allow an open convention (with clear parallels to LBJs acknowledgement of his failure in Vietnam) and floating the idea that since the situation has changed democratic principles require a new, national primary held by mail.

Mainstream Democrats including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have attempted to defend Clinton's handling of the crisis, though this has rung hollow to some constituents as they simultaneously plead with the hastily convened National Health Supplies Allocation Board for PPE and ventilators. Republican governors, particularly in Florida and Texas where outbreaks were perhaps hastened by crowds at Spring Break and the South By Southwest music festival, have openly accused the Clinton administration of rationing much needed supplies.

All of which has served only to convince this blog's humble author that we are always living in the worst of all possible worlds.

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