Sunday, July 26, 2020

Death panels

Be careful what you wish for.  Back in 2008, vice-presidential candidate and scourge of wildlife Sarah Palin warned that the healthcare legislation being proposed by Barack Obama -- what would become the Affordable Care Act -- would necessarily lead to "death panels" rationing care and determining who would live or die.  And only twelve years later, here we are.  Starr County Memorial Hospital in Texas is so overrun with covid cases that it has formulated "critical care guidelines," i.e., triage.  This impoverished county had no cases at all for a while; now it has over seventeen hundred and people the doctors judge to be too sick will be sent home to die.  There are several reasons for this, but Obamacare isn't one.  For a start, somebody thought one hospital was perfectly adequate for a mostly-Latino population of 64,000.  Throw in a novel coronavirus, inadequate testing and a governor itching to get the economy back to "normal," and you have a real-life MASH episode. 

Texas isn't even the sickest state -- that would be California, followed by Florida.  They both surpassed New York yesterday.  More hospitals, healthcare professionals, testing stations, but there's no reason to think they won't soon have their own death panels.  The exceptional nation is exceptionally screwed. 

As in Weimar Republic-level screwed.  Elsewhere in Texas (Tyler), Congressional candidate Hank Gilbert held a rally today and his campaign manager was assaulted by supporters of the incumbent Louie Gohmert.  The purpose of the rally was to protest violence by organized storm troopers in Portland, violence which is threatened for other cities with Democratic mayors and/or significant non-white populations.  Only two years ago, this is not how legislators were chosen. 

Trump's faithful are going to get whiplash if he doesn't pick a position on China soon.  One minute he blames them for coronavirus, plays diplomatic tag with their consulates and accuses them of stealing our trade secrets.  The next minute he praises the wisdom of their prison camp solution to the Uighur question and flatters them by imitating their Hong Kong crackdown.  I'm starting to think  his supporters may not be politically serious people.  They wanted misogyny and racism and they got pandemic and unemployment with a side of blithering incompetence.  It must be like finding organic broccoli in your KFC bucket.

Am I hallucinating?  Chad Wolf turned up on Fox News to hint that it might be time to arrest the mayors of "Democrat run cities" for the crime of Who Cares, We'll Fill In the Charges Later, and Fox thoughtfully provided a map of these rogue cities with the names of their mayors.  (No phone numbers or pictures of families?  No wonder Trump prefers ONAN now.)  The map does not include Austin, Texas, where Garrett Foster was shot after being hit by a car.  Or Phoenix, where the Democratic Party headquarters was destroyed by arson.  Having the storm troopers as backup is energizing local police, who are beating and gassing everyone within reach. 

We can look forward to a hundred days of this.  Trump always wanted tanks on the streets, and it isn't even the Fourth of July. 


Post a Comment

<< Home