Friday, March 20, 2020


This is not a vacation.

Here, have a free newsletter issue! This one's set at the Winter White House in Gulchville, Kentucky, where some of our cartoon characters are taking a break from the swamp. (That's Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, kids. Tell your friends!)

• How y'all doing? I'm doing the work-from-home thing for the God Damn Job and it does not in any way feel like a vacation from the cares and strife of the Before Time. In fact, playing with buggy and probably overloaded phone conference services and screen-sharing apps has just added to the usual demonic activity level. On the other hand, when I take a break I can go lie down or play with the cat, so that's good. And I am very grateful not to be one of the millions who will be furloughed or just plain laid off in this the Glorified Gig Economy that was bound to collapse at some point even without a national emergency hastening it along.

Anyway there's always music. I know my regular readers will drop some good shutdown tunes in comments, so go have a look.

• I'm glad Bernie Sanders is hanging in there so I can once again proudly vote from him in the DC primary (assuming we have democracy anymore at that point in time) and doing the public-facing work Biden apparently finds too threatening to his fragile my-fellow-Republicrats act. The Biden bros are less pleased, and Jonathan V. Last, one of the holy Tribe of NeverTrump who now fancy themselves the conscience of the Democratic Party, has really come up with a stunner:
The Sanders Campaign Is a Menace to Public Health
Bernie Sanders can't beat Joe Biden. But he can force millions of people to risk being exposed to the coronavirus.
I'm not even gonna get into what calling the first viable Jewish presidential candidate a disease vector looks like. Last's argument, such as it is, is that Bernie has no chance, no hope, no prayer (this point is hammered away at for a third of the essay); one wonders what Last would be saying if Sanders had a few hundred more delegates (probably the same thing with a different grade of bullshit). So it's not worth subjecting our citizens to the peril of representative democracy:
And if Sanders wanted to go on a scorched-earth campaign against Biden designed to make him radioactive for the general election—purely out of spite? No problem. All’s fair. 
But this is not a normal time. We are in the midst of a global pandemic. America is adopting desperate measures—like voluntary quarantines and the elimination of communal events and gatherings—to slow the infection rate of COVID-19. Many of these measures are hurting the broader economy and will create societal pain down the road even if they work. 
Voting is a communal activity...
No, you asshole, it's not a "communal activity" like a maypole dance (in fact if this stupid country had its shit together we could be doing it all by mail) -- it's the difference between us and North Korea. People fought and died so we could keep doing it. I realize when your stock portfolio is the biggest thing in your life, and you only adopt the wounded This Is My Country tone to get some grubby result you think you can con people into giving you, that might be hard to remember.
This would be a risk worth taking if we were talking about a real election with real implications for the future. Our democracy is precious and we should not allow it to be overrun by emergencies.
But since my candidate's ahead let's all shelter in place while Biden sleepwalks into a woodchipper. Oh, Last tries to blame the struggle over the Ohio primary on Sanders, too:
America is very lucky, we will not add a constitutional crisis to our health crisis and our economic crisis. 
But by continuing his dead-end campaign, Bernie Sanders gave us a little preview of what the weeks ahead might look like. If he continues to persist, there may be more instances where governors show that they can do what they will with the timing of elections, the courts be damned. Instances that—I promise you—the biggest chief executive of them all will be watching.
Our democracy looks pretty safe but if someone insists on actually exercising it, the jig will be up and it will be all his fault, Bernie! I imagine Last also blames Hillary Clinton's defeat on women's suffrage -- if they'd never had the vote, she'd never have been in a position to lose.

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