He’ll get bored.
I’m bored of him already – his infantile speech, his lack of curiosity, his practiced reality-show squint, imitating an adult with normal thinking patterns.
Imagine how bored he will be, after people explain stuff to him.
“Sir, this is the rule.”
“Mr. President, yes, the Senate can actually do that.”
“Yes, those lawyers do have a legal right to question you about your holdings.”
This is a guy who stood in front of adoring multitudes out there and pounded one fist into his palm and said he’d like to punch somebody right in the face.
Not that easy, in reality.
In a brilliant column, David Brooks described the man’s statements as “usually just a symbolic assault in some dominance-submission male rivalry game.”
How did he get this way?
“Now vee may perhaps to begin. Yes?” – Philip Roth, “Portnoy’s Complaint.”
I say it was some father issue.
Or something at boarding school.
This is a troubled human being. But a strange minority coalition saw the candidate in its own personal fun-house mirror and put its money and fears and superstitions and prejudices on this lumbering figure. Diamond Jim.
Most likely, soon he will say, “Who needs this?”
:Eighteen months,.I keep telling my friends
The real question is, how does it end?
It could be impeachment -- the old John McCain making one more mission for his country.
But boredom, confinement, anxiety, fear, could lead to resignation: I’m outta here.
Then there is the Big Mac Theory.
I’m not a betting man. Won’t even place a two-dollar bet in the pressbox at the Derby. Long story.
But I’m curious about the odds of him lasting in office.
Last November, I found some odds on-line from the British bookies (some people will bet on anything.)
The odds were 3-1 or 6-1 that the new guy would not last four years. Might have been wishful thinking.
However, my cursory glimpse at the current web discloses no new odds. Why is that? Better to wager on soccer – when will Chelsea lose? Important stuff like that.
I’m in denial, or withdrawal.
I can’t take cable news anymore. I put on the stereo and listen to the great Terrance McKnight on WQXR-FM.
I’m reading Dickens’ “A Child’s History of England,” refreshing my views of Richard III and Henry VIII and Oliver Cromwell. (Dickens called him “A most intolerable ruffian, a disgrace to human nature, and a blot of blood and grease upon the History of England") Fair and balanced.
You’ve heard of “Waiting for Godot?”
I’m waiting for Céspedes.
Meantime, the best people I know are talking about not taking this foolishness lying down.
My wife is reading the Times, learning stuff on the tube. Making a plan. Fight back. Right on.
I read the great piece by Jelani Cobb in the current New Yorker: “The Return of Civil Disobedience.”
I remember how good people forced Johnson to slink away from a run in 1968.
Nixon finally got found out in 1974.
I give this guy eighteen months.
Then we get a nice, normal guy like Pence.
Measuring Covid Deaths, by David Leonhardt. July 17, 2023. NYT online.
The United States has reached a milestone in the long struggle against Covid: The total number of Americans dying each day — from any cause — is no longer historically abnormal….
After three horrific years, in which Covid has killed more than one million Americans and transformed parts of daily life, the virus has turned into an ordinary illness.
The progress stems mostly from three factors:
First, about three-quarters of U.S. adults have received at least one vaccine shot.
Second, more than three-quarters of Americans have been infected with Covid, providing natural immunity from future symptoms. (About 97 percent of adults fall into at least one of those first two categories.)
Third, post-infection treatments like Paxlovid, which can reduce the severity of symptoms, became widely available last year.
“Nearly every death is preventable,” Dr. Ashish Jha, who was until recently President Biden’s top Covid adviser, told me. “We are at a point where almost everybody who’s up to date on their vaccines and gets treated if they have Covid, they rarely end up in the hospital, they almost never die.”
That is also true for most high-risk people, Jha pointed out, including older adults — like his parents, who are in their 80s — and people whose immune systems are compromised. “Even for most — not all but most —immuno-compromised people, vaccines are actually still quite effective at preventing against serious illness,” he said. “There has been a lot of bad information out there that somehow if you’re immuno-compromised that vaccines don’t work.”
That excess deaths have fallen close to zero helps make this point: If Covid were still a dire threat to large numbers of people, that would show up in the data.
One point of confusion, I think, has been the way that many Americans — including we in the media — have talked about the immuno-compromised. They are a more diverse group than casual discussion often imagines.
Most immuno-compromised people are at little additional risk from Covid — even people with serious conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or a history of many cancers. A much smaller group, such as people who have received kidney transplants or are undergoing active chemotherapy, face higher risks.
Covid’s toll, to be clear, has not fallen to zero. The C.D.C.’s main Covid webpage estimates that about 80 people per day have been dying from the virus in recent weeks, which is equal to about 1 percent of overall daily deaths.
The official number is probably an exaggeration because it includes some people who had virus when they died even though it was not the underlying cause of death. Other C.D.C. data suggests that almost one-third of official recent Covid deaths have fallen into this category. A study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases came to similar conclusions.
Dr. Shira Doron, the chief infection control officer at Tufts Medicine in Massachusetts, told me that “age is clearly the most substantial risk factor.” Covid’s victims are both older and disproportionately unvaccinated. Given the politics of vaccination, the recent victims are also disproportionately
Republican and white.
Each of these deaths is a tragedy. The deaths that were preventable — because somebody had not received available vaccines and treatments — seem particularly tragic. (Here’s a Times guide to help you think about when to get your next booster shot.)
From the great Maureen Dowd:
As I write this, I’m in a deserted newsroom in The Times’s D.C. office. After working at home for two years during Covid, I was elated to get back, so I could wander around and pick up the latest scoop.
But in the last year, there has been only a smattering of people whenever I’m here, with row upon row of empty desks. Sometimes a larger group gets lured in for a meeting with a platter of bagels."
--- Dowd writes about the lost world of journalists clustered in newsrooms at all hours, smoking, drinking, gossipping, making phone calls, typing, editing.
"Putting out the paper," we called it.
Much more than nostalgia.