Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Mitt Romney Day 2020: Coronavirus Calvinball

Jerry Stratton, June 2, 2020

Since 2011, June 2 has been Mitt Romney’s Day, a day to celebrate the pundit or politician whose one-sided rules most illuminate the entitlement of the anointed. Many have compared their rules to Calvinball. Like Calvinball, each rule changes as soon as the rule might apply to the people making them. Like Calvinball, the rules are only meant to apply to other people. The rules are for the rest of us, not for the politicians and pundits who make them up, whether they’re real laws that never get applied to politicians, or modicums of behavior that never get applied to the pundit and beltway class.

And it betrays our low class to comment on the hypocrisy of the rules they expect to apply only to people other than themselves.

To fully understand the Mitt Romney’s Day award, you should read Thomas Sowell, and watch what the politicians and pundits do vs. what they tell the rest of us to do.

The last-minute competition for the award this year was intense as April and May wound their way toward the June 2 deadline. And this year the rules that the beltway class created are as dangerous as they are ridiculous. To further emphasize the class divide, the dangers are so blatant that, rather than creating rules and then changing them, they’ve literally created two parallel sets of rules. They’ve exempted themselves while endangering the rest of us.

Earlier, I thought that the beltway class wanted people to dismantle their life’s work to enter politics. In the wake of the shutdown it seems that they just want to dismantle everyone’s life’s work, and take their lives in the process if they can get away with it. So far, New York Governor Cuomo and Pennsylvania Health Secretary Levine have gotten away with it.

Politicians told us that that we needed to be ruled because otherwise we’d kill grandma… while literally killing grandma. Cuomo justified his hypocrisy because, well, old people die—without acknowledging that they were dying because he forced nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients. Pennsylvania’s Health Secretary took their own mother out of her nursing home before forcing the home to accept COVID-19 patients.

Everywhere, politicians shut down our jobs… but still insisted on getting paid themselves. If that means raising our property taxes after shutting down our ability to pay them, that’s a price they’re willing to make us pay. In any normal year, that would be award-winning material.

The press want to shame us for not wearing masks… while not wearing masks. Politicians order us to wear masks… but don’t wear them themselves.

The press and the politicians told us not to name this virus like we named the Spanish Flu or Lyme Disease or Ebola. Then called it the European virus.

Governor Whitmer’s “Stay home, stay safe” orders included a ban on going to vacation homes. But her husband very likely went to their vacation home anyway, and later “jokingly” tried to use his influence as the governor’s husband to get his boat out of dock early. Media fact checkers, writing about it, said, sure, there’s evidence this happened. But we’re going to rate it false anyway.

That’s a lot of competition. But the winner of the 2020 Mitt Romney’s Day Award is…

Facebook Karen.

In March you joined the call to shut down in order to give hospitals time to ramp up to fight the virus. You neglected to mention that the reason hospitals weren’t ready were the insane government policies that forbid the building of hospitals, and forbid hospitals to build more beds. Certificate of need laws that both forbid buying extra equipment to prepare for crises at the state level, and, at a national level, discouraged hospitals from buying extra equipment to prepare for crises.

Because of certificate-of-need laws in states such as Michigan, and Obamacare’s punitive taxes on equipment such as ventilators, hospitals weren’t ready for a crisis. They needed time to get ready. So we shut down our economy—food distribution, jobs, manufacturing, everything we need to get through a crisis in the long-term—in order to give hospitals time to get ready in the short term.

Like a paratrooper jumping out of an aircraft, we were told to wait to open our economy until we were clear of the plane’s wake.

We shut down people’s jobs, their livelihoods, their families and community, all on the promise that we’d start it all back up again as soon as we’d flattened the curve.

A month later, you changed your mind. You decided that we needed to shut down until there was no virus. In other words, rather than waiting to open our parachute until we were clear of the aircraft, you decided we needed to wait until we touched ground.

Backed by governors, government workers, and pundits who were not themselves shut down, you filled Facebook with memes deriding other people’s lives as “just economics”.

You asked us to imagine all the lives we’d save if we merely waited until touching ground to open our parachute.

In March, you derided people as stupid for wearing professionally-made masks that might have slowed the spread of the virus. In May, you called people selfish for not wearing home-made masks that did little if any good and probably worsened people’s health.

You also called them selfish for wanting to be free to go back to their doctors for critical health checkups and followups. They had accepted the risk to their lives dutifully, if not with some justified trepidation—it’s hard not to feel some fear when your very life is deemed non-essential—when the shutdown was meant to be a short-term measure. These were your friends, or at least, they thought you were their friend. You dismissed their real health fears and accused them of just wanting to go out to McDonald’s or Cracker Barrel.

Congratulations, Karen. In a year marked by Extreme Calvinball politics, you were the worst. The deadly effects—the riots, the suicides, all of the illnesses worsened or undetected—caused by shutting down lives, food distribution, and all the interrelated parts of our economy that support the services and products we need in a crisis, will be felt for months, if not years. You win the Mitt Romney’s Day Award for 2020. Display it proudly.

And when your grandchildren ask what you did during the Chinese Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020, you can look in their eyes and say:

“I shoveled shit on Facebook.”

In response to June 2: Mitt Romney’s Day: “Onward my brave Morons! Let this be known forever as Mitt Romney’s Day!”

  1. <- Mitt Romney Day 2015