As I write, I’m sitting with my daughter while she zooms into fourth grade. We’re about 40 minutes into class time. It’s taken this long to take attendance amid the sounds of dogs barking, ambulances blaring and infants crying. It’s taken this long, because every detail of teaching more than thirty 9-year-olds is magnified many times over. (If you’ve never had to navigate Google Classroom, consider yourself lucky.) It’s a microcosm of the maddening complexity of life in the time of the novel coronavirus.
In normal times, Joe Biden’s speech Monday would have punctuated the end of the debate. We don’t live in normal times, however, so the “debate” goes on and on, long after facts are established, long after points are conclusively made. Such is the effect of a president holding himself above everything, especially the authority of the truth. Such is the effect of a Washington press corps unable or unwilling to act morally.
I logged on today to news of a young white militiaman who shot three people with a long gun last night in Kenosha, Wisconsin, killing two. The suspect, still at large, evidently clashed with protesters demonstrating against police violence. On Sunday, a white cop shot an unarmed Black man in the back seven times. The city, halfway between Milwaukee and Chicago, has since seen riots and fires set to property. Jacob Blake is paralyzed from the waist down, his family said. His sister, Letetra Widman, gave powerful remarks Tuesday: “When you say the name ‘Jacob Blake,’ make sure you say ‘father.’ Make sure you say ‘cousin.’ Make sure you say ‘son.’ Make sure you say ‘uncle.’ But most importantly, make sure you say ‘human.’ Let it marinate in your mouth, in your minds. A human life. … I don't want your pity. I want change.”
There’s still too much confusion over the president’s bond with white evangelical Protestants (WEPs). I suppose there will always be as long as outsiders presume that Donald Trump’s strongest supporters believe in loving thy neighbor as thyself. Once you see that WEPs do not apply the Golden Rule universally and unconditionally, things become clearer. Once this Christian concept is removed from the discussion, “paradoxes” melt into the air. What’s left is a natural alignment of political interests.
The Post’s George Will gave voice to an opinion I’ve heard a lot lately—Joe Biden’s victory over the president would mark the end of our “long national nightmare.” The thing about this opinion is that it sounds right. The other thing about this opinion is that sounding right makes it doubly wrong. The nightmare is not going to be over, and everyone thinking it’s going to be over will be complicit in its long-term viability.
Not long ago, heavily armed white men (and a handful of white women) stood on the steps of Michigan’s Capitol. They were protesting the governor’s lock down amid the spread of the new coronavirus. Gretchen Whitmer, they said, was infringing on their constitutional rights and liberties. They were showing they would not stand for it.
It’s hard to know where to begin discussing the president’s commutation of Roger Stone’s sentence. So let’s start with what it means. It’s not a pardon. Donald Trump’s goombah is still a felon convicted of witness tampering and lying to the US Congress. He plans to appeal the guilty verdict. “Commutation” merely means he won’t go to jail.
Newt Gingrich is usually, and rightly, blamed for destroying American politics, even more than Donald Trump. The former House Speaker didn’t go to Washington in the 1970s to strike deals. He went there to wage soft civil war against the United States.
Brian Stelter is CNN’s chief media reporter. His Sunday program, “Reliable Sources,” is probably as close to convention wisdom among members of the Washington press corps as one can get. On Thursday, he tweeted a video clip from John Berman’s show in which reporter Miguel Marquez started crying after reporting scenes from a Texas hospital that was full to bursting with patients suffering from the new coronavirus.
Are governors who rushed to re-open against the advice of public health experts guilty of negligent homicide?
I’m not sure why negligent homicide is not at the center of debate over the reopening of southern and plains states like Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma. I’m not sure why we are not discussing what these Republican governors knew, and when they knew it, as they rushed to reopen in the face of authorities saying it would lead quickly to eye-popping spikes in rates of coronavirus infection. So far, the debate seems centered on partisan politics, especially the president. That’s not where it ought to be, though.