Rachel Maddow is by far and away my favorite commentator on television. She is witty, sarcastic, and once she gets on a story, she’s like a Doberman with a pork chop bone. But since the crisis has worsened, it’s become difficult even to watch Rachel, as even she seems to find it hard to come up with uplifting stories. But tonight she had on an incredibly uplifting and positive segment, and to be honest, it pissed me off.
Her guest was Lt General Todd Semonite, and he is the commanding general for the Army Corps of Engineers. Semonite is every Americans image of a soldier, built like a brick wall, with an open, weathered face, short hair, and a confidence that can only come from a man who most definitely has his shit together. His boundless enthusiasm for the task at hand, any task at hand, made me expect him to end every sentence with a hearty OOH-RAH!
And positive he was. He damn near gushed like a school girl with a crush when he described how the corps of engineers has embedded management units in all 50 states, and how they are working in conjunction with state government as well as FEMA, to find and alter existing structures like Hotel rooms, dormitories, and office space into temporary hospital rooms. He went into easy to understand details about how different structures could be adapted for some uses, but not others. He enthused about how the Corps blueprints and plans were universal, and how rather than the Corps doing everything themselves, they consulted with state leaders, let the leaders coordinate with FEMA, and then used the Corps plans with local contractors to get the job done. His big surprise finish was in announcing that the next makeshift field hospital in Seattle would be in the underground areas of the home of the Seattle Seahawks. He smiled like a kid with a nickel when he said that one.
And the more that the good news poured out at me from the television set, the more
Semonite enthused over the Corps’ successes, the more it started to appear that there was at least some government plan in place to deal with at least one aspect of this crisis, the more and more pissed off I got. Because it became apparent to me just how much of our current crisis was totally and collectively unnecessary.
We fucking knew that this was coming. In the first two weeks, when the Covid-19 virus slipped through the half assed Chinese efforts to contain it, and spread like wildfire through the country, we knew that this was coming. When first South Korea, and then Japan, and then parts of Europe all started reporting confirmed cases of the corona-virus before it touched out shores, we knew this was coming.
The scientists and doctors were blunt in their assessments. Even before it was officially classified as an epidemic, experts were warning of a pandemic. Doctors trotted out charts and graphs, displaying growth projections, rate of spread assessments, infection curves, the whole nine yards. And they spoke plainly about just what and how much was going to be needed to deal with this crisis when it got here. When the virus got here, it wasn’t even reported here yet, and the doctors and scientists were telling us what we needed to do to prepare for the upcoming horror.
This is the audacity of mope. We had weeks to set up a national registry for critical machines and supplies, so that we could quickly get critical supplies to the places that had the most critical need, and we sat on our hands. We sat on our hands because Trump was too busy trying to convince Wall Street that a few Americans with a supercharged case of the flu was nothing for them to worry their pretty little heads over. We had weeks where those embedded Corps officers could have assisted state governments in scouting out likely prospects for conversion into field hospitals, but we did nothing because Trump’s tee time was more important.
This is the audacity of mope. When the situation in Washington state, the landing site for Covid-19 started to crater, one of the first things that Governor Jay Inslee did was to beg the government to turn loose the power of the Army Corps of Engineers to assist them in coming up with a short term field hospital solution. But Isnlee is a Democrat who ran for president, and trashed Trump, so fuck him. When the corona-virus cases in New York started to take off like that Tesla bound for Mars, both Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill DeBlasio begged Trump to send in the Army Corps of Engineers cavalry, to no avail. Both Senate as well as House leadership called for the president to unleash the untapped potential and ingenuity of the Army Corps of Engineers, but His Lowness was too busy with FUX and Friends.
Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled to death that at least one part of the federal government, FEMA, finally has its head out of it’s ass and is closing with the basic problem. And I’m doing my happy dance for the fact that General Semonite and the Corp of Engineers have finally, like the dogs of war, have been let slip to make up lost time, and are doing so brilliantly. But according to General Semonite, the turn time for an existing structure to a functional field hospital is 2-3 weeks. Imagine where we would be right now if General Semonite and his gung ho heroes had been set loose when the first dire warnings were sounded. And that’s what has me so pissed off that I can barely type. So much lost time, So much needless scrambling, misery and suffering. And all because of one ignorant, self indulgent moron. The Audacity Of Mope aka Donald Trump.
To know the future, look to the past.before the insanity of the 2020 election, relive the insanity of the 2016 GOP primary campaign, and the general election, to see how we got to where we are. Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange are available as e-books on Amazon, at the links above. Catch up before the upcoming release of the third book in the trilogy, President Evil III: All The Presidents Fen