The Elusive Obvious

WARNING! Politics, virus and Trump, O My!

There are many things in this world that I do not have the perspicacity to understand. One of these is the “obvious.” For many years it eluded me, ducking behind a bush or something whenever I had a clear view. It is still very furtive but at least I’ve made enough progress to know it’s there and that I should look for it.

Among the obvious things in our world right now is a virus. Ironic that the biggest most obvious thing is invisible but that’s the obvious for you. Yesterday I was stunned to see two particular photos in the news. One was voters in Wisconsin lined up to vote, each person standing 6 feet from the person in front of them. Why were they doing that? Why weren’t they doing what we do in Colorado — we mail in our ballots or drop them off at the county clerk’s office. We vote early (but not often as OFFAL would like you to believe). Voter turnout in my state is one of the highest (ha ha) in the country. But not Wisconsin. Because of the virus they pushed for mail in ballots, but lawsuits (perpetrated by Republicans) dashed the hopes of Wisconsin voters when the Supreme Court overturned an appellate court decision to allow them to vote by mail. NYT

OFFAL in a so-called press conference yesterday decried mail in voting as “corrupt.” He said that people should go to the polls and vote in person. He’s also said that if all the states allow mail in voting, the Republicans don’t have a chance in the upcoming election.

And he refuses to sign a bill allowing early voting and mail in voting for every state.

This is what we have for a president, a real lover of democracy, who doesn’t want people to vote. Of course, if people HAD voted in 2016 we might not have had the evil monster in the White House we have now. Remember, as you read this, that I used to be a Republican and I still think that — as a party — the Democrats are idiots. As individuals, however, Democrats are definitely NOT idiots whereas it seems only a very few Republicans, at this point, are not slavish toadies, servants to power, no longer free souls. They had the moment when they could have taken a very simple action to rid the world of this scourge, but they didn’t take it.

And then virus and photographs. The other was a picture of people in some Southern city lined up FOR BLOCKS to apply for unemployment insurance. Meanwhile, uh, virus and, uh, Internet. Unemployment is working hard to respond to this the mess, but it won’t happen overnight.

And OFFAL has fired the guy who was to oversee the disbursement of stimulus funds. I strongly advise NOT even bothering to check your account looking for that deposit. You might be unpleasantly surprised which is the same as disappointed.

If I were a more paranoid person I’d think it doesn’t really matter to this guy or the Supreme Court that people are in danger of contracting a virus that might, yeah, pass through them like a cloud but that might not. They are in even more danger of sharing it with others. It also doesn’t seem to matter that millions MORE people are going to be in dire financial straights before long because they can’t work, but that doesn’t mean that they should risk their lives for a job. It’s an unfair choice; it shouldn’t have to be a choice AT ALL.

That something like a virus has been politicized to the extent it has is amusing and egregious. Still, the states that have mandated people stay at home and that unnecessary businesses and school close have had success in doing this curve flattening thing that is a short-term, time-buying solution. But not every governor has given a “stay at home” order. I guess people are smart enough to do that on their own, but it’s difficult if you want to vote and can’t vote by mail or you need unemployment benefits, but you can’t apply online. Even a person as obtuse to the obvious as I am can see that.

Here is an interesting and persuasive factual piece on the benefits of “stay at home” orders. NPR

21 thoughts on “The Elusive Obvious

  1. And I’m worried about going to a doctor’s office today where I’ll be surprised if I see more than 3 people! I can’t give it to them, but I could pick it up while I’m gone. OFFAL has openly stated that vote by mail would mean the Dems win, which would be the end of the Republican party! Maybe it’s time for a new start to the party system, which was never envisioned by those who wrote the Constitution.

    • 😦 I’m sorry you have to go to the doc.

      Yeah, I don’t know about the 2 party system. Bernie is certainly throwing a spanner into the chance that we won’t have to deal with Trump any more. I would have a hard time voting for him. I think the “progressive” dems don’t realize how many people think they’re way off for this juncture in history. It’s just a mess.

      • I just saw that Bernie is suspending his campaign this morning. That will change the equation — but I do hope that everybody who wants to will be able to vote by mail in November!

  2. Our Florida unemployment system is a mess. Known fact. And now our governor realizes how much of mess it is. Those people in the photo were probably lined up to pick up paper applications to file for unemployment. I think the mindset that everyone can file online is ridiculous and, again, our governor realizes that now. So many flaws in so many things are now becoming apparent. Helluva time to find out, isn’t it?

  3. Well said, Martha, especially the “evil monster” part. So many unthinkable things going on; if this was fiction (if only!), I certainly wouldn’t want to read the book…

  4. I used to be a Republican too! Then I migrated to Libertarianism before my eventual slide to the left. The party is SO FAR from what it was in the ’80s when I believed in the conservative platform featuring less government intervention.

    • It’s an amazing shift from less government toward totalitarianism. My personal leaning is toward anarchy… Well because I wanna be anarchy, but that’s another song, OOPS, story.

  5. As you probably know voting in Australia is compulsory so of course we allow postal voting. It used to be only available to people who were sick, unable to go the polls or out of their electorate on election day. In recent times we’ve had something called pre-poll voting too where you can go to a designated office to cast your vote ahead of the election. I think in a country where voting is not compulsory and where it seems that a lot of people have trouble accessing the polls both of these ideas should be a must. I used o belong to our Liberal (conservative) party but became disillusioned years ago. Now I vote for whichever party has the policies that seem to benefit the everyday working people, elderly and disadvantaged. I don’t believe you should vote for a party just because you think the leader is nice.
    Regarding queues for benefits, we have had that too. A lot of our system is online but the huge number of applicants basically broke the government website and the call centres were also unable to keep up. Calling them usually meant a long wait on the phone before this happened. The government decided to ease the system by deciding that people currently on benefits did not have to do their fortnightly reporting in for a month to allow time to process all the newly unemployed. We have stimulus packages and increases in welfare payments coming online so things could be worse although there are many that are not eligible. It seems odd to me that they find the money to do this now when they have been steadfastly refusing to increase benefits for job seekers which are well below the poverty level having not been increased in 25 years. I can only hope that this will make them realise how hard it has been to live on it up to now.

    • I vote for the person I believe is going to provide the best leadership. That hasn’t always been pleasant for me, either because some times (as in the last presidential election) I didn’t really “like” either candidate. I hope your government is more stable going through this than ours appears to be. 😦

      • We are not in an election year at least although some people are concerned that the government has suspended parliament meeting for the next few months.

    • Voting here in the US is far from compulsory. They go to great lengths to discourage us from voting – mythical stories of fraud resulting in new regulations, failing to get absentee ballots to the people who request them, closing of polling sites and limiting them where people of color might vote, and covering elections as if they were horse races, rather than discussing issues. That way we’ll either choose not to vote because we’ve been convinced it is too onerous or it won’t make a difference, or encouraged to vote for the perceived leader so we can feel like we’re on the Winning Team.

      • Well said. I would just add that when the question of compulsory voting comes up the protest that compulsory voting violates our individual rights. People believe that, too.

  6. Those in power will always ask for a stronger mandate in the times of dire…sad to say, it’s the same everywhere else. 😔

  7. We are in a very “red” state and we are doing absentee ballots. The governor has now lifted the restrictions on the absentee ballots so that anyone who wants to can vote by mail. A smart move but that is so far only for our Primary… we’ll see how it plays out for the general election. The option for some employers to “furlough” employees is now available. They continue to get health benefits and are also eligible for unemployment – which will have to be used for the employee contribution of health ins. and for living expenses. Not ideal. I liked Bernie but I think Biden can appeal to the middle majority – the ones who switch from party to party. And I think he is more palatable than Bernie to the left leaning GOP voters. Not all Republicans are under the thrall of the orange one.

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