Empowering America to Death

by on May 11, 2020 · 1 comment

in San Diego, Under the Perfect Sun

The American Legislative Exchange Council’s Agenda is on Full Display

It’s easy to stay outraged these days, whether it’s reading about the COVID-19-infected leader of the “ReOpen NC” protests whining about her “rights” being violated by quarantine, the “COVID Mary” of Louisville being arrested after going to the grocery store while knowingly infected, or the knucklehead owner of the Orange County bar who defied state pandemic restrictions, opened up, and told the TV news that everyone would be OK because, “on a sunny day like this, I don’t feel like anybody’s at risk.”

At present, it appears there is an endless well of dangerous idiocy.

And when you watch the Trump Administration ignoring their own guidelines as White House aides get sick and the national response slides into a chaotic patchwork quilt of ineffective policies, one might just conclude that we are dealing with a tragic case of national incompetence.

That, however, would be a mistake.  What we are witnessing is not just a pathetic clown show brought to you by the Trump circus, it is an orchestrated strategy.

Mitchell McConnell is not just blowing smoke when, as I noted a couple of weeks ago, he railed against the prospect of “blue state bailouts.” He is simply advocating for the kind of policy that the American right is systematically pushing at every level.  As David Armiak and Alex Kotch of the Center for Media and Democracy recently reported, “a powerful corporate lobby front group, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is playing a leading role in the right-wing movement to push for early reopening of the economy amidst the coronavirus pandemic.”

What Armiak and Kotch reveal is that while the wing nuts and rightwing extremists occupy the spotlight, the more important players behind the scenes are folks aligned with a far-flung network of corporate operatives, free market think tanks, the usual foot soldiers of  Charles Koch, and people with ties to the Trump Administration itself. Their “Save Our Country Coalition” is part of ALEC’s aggressive push to rapidly reopen the country against both the wishes of a sizable majority of Americans and the advice of public health experts.

Their goal? It’s the same stale laundry list of anti-government clichés with the predictable go-to solutions of “incentivizing the rapid rebuilding of our economy through proven formulas: tax cuts, deregulation, and lawsuit reform.” The source of their urgency is that they, perhaps more than many progressives now, see that the current moment is imperiling their interests because it calls for a bold, big government response that is an existential threat to everything the ‘starve the beast’ crowd loves.

Perhaps those who serve the interests of American oligarchy know that if we had a massive concerted Federal response which stopped doling out billions to the millionaires and corporations and started taxing the economic elite and delivering aid to everyday Americans that helped them stay healthy, fed, housed and hopeful, they might actually appreciate it.  Indeed, what would be a dream for millions of Americans is their nightmare.

Thus, for the folks who helped bring you Donald Trump, the national response to the COVID-19 crisis that you might be seeing as an ongoing dumpster fire, getting smellier by the moment, is a miracle of good libertarian governance.

As the ALEC email to supporters crowed:

This is the first time in our country’s history that during a global crisis the U.S. has used a decentralized response that empowers states to act.  At ALEC we know that one size does not fit all.  In the past we have seen big government approaches that don’t meet the people’s needs — but we are not seeing that today.  Although it may be a foreign concept, empowering our states to respond appropriately matches the principles our country was founded on.

You may have been yearning for the kind of response that FDR brought to the last Great Depression, but all that New Deal stuff simply didn’t meet “the people’s needs,” according to ALEC.  All that oppressive big government left us with a nasty legacy of effective legislative action, workers’ rights, Social Security, and the antiquated, dangerous notion that sometimes we actually ARE in this together.  That won’t happen this time, though, not if ALEC has its way.

So be of good cheer, Dear Reader.  As you watch the death toll rise, the unemployment numbers skyrocket, and the lines of cars at food banks stretch for miles, you’ll be safe from big government.  Our “decentralized response” is hard at work, and it just might “empower” you to death.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

sealintheSelkirks May 15, 2020 at 3:39 am

Despite penalties in place for violating the order and prohibiting restaurants from offering dine-in services until May 26, C&C Coffee and Kitchen owner April Arellano expressed no remorse.

Note: This is from a friend in Colorado talking about the restaurant that opened for Mother’s Day:

…about how this virus can spread in confined spaces, there is no way in hell I’m going to a restaurant for the foreseeable future. We have just passed 1000 deaths in CO, so the real number of cases is closer to 100,000 not the woeful under-count of 20,000. And that’s assuming the death count is accurate, which it most likely isn’t.

Without a hell of a lot more testing and contact-tracing, there’s no way the economy is coming back any time soon, and if anything we are in danger of another spike in infections.

Personally I think she is entirely correct.

I for one am listening to my retired Biologist neighbor, my ex-Biology teacher oldest surfer friend, and what I’m reading from the infectious disease specialists, virologists, pandemic researchers, the docs & RNs, you know… the people that KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT without having a political ideology clouding the issue. Singapore tried this, they had to re-shut down. Hong Kong tried this and THEY had to shut back down. Both those countries were completely on top of testing, tracking, and a quarantine that people in this country cannot possibly comprehend.

This is how Class War works. Because the wealthy who bought and paid for the politicians in government that own all the corporations and banks are certainly very well protected in their fortified compounds…need to make more profit. Jeff Bezos, Mr. Amazon.com with his own private mouthpiece the Washington Post newspaper and the richest man in the country, made how many more billions the last two months? He definitely is NOT on your side, folks, no more than Trump is. There are countries that are banning people from the US…

Read these and weep:

Pandemic expert: ‘Recognize that your leaders have made a terrible decision’
Whistleblower warns of ‘darkest winter in modern history’ if COVID-19 response doesn’t improve
Terminal Conditions
Sweden never shut down, now its death rate AND its economy are worse than its neighbors

To those that are thinking, and listening; Good luck. Truly. To the rest who aren’t…nature can fix stupid. And to those who own the dis-United States, there aren’t any words that I can write that will make any difference in your greed and hubris.



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