Beneath Pitifulness

Falling through the universe at the speed of life

By David Glenn Cox

I’ve seen a lot of rumors flying, in one the Democrats were opposed to sending cash to strapped Americans. Another rumor said, they weren’t going to assist anyone earning less than $42,000 per year.  But the point of the plan is not to save us but to save them, but to do that they have to save us. This is how banks fail when their customers go broke. Forcing twenty-five to thirty percent of the workforce into default starts a giant Indiana Jones ball a rolling. Twenty-five percent which can’t pay their rent. Twenty-five percent which can’t pay their cars notes. During the 2008 financial crisis, GM had thirty thousand cars a month coming off lease and nowhere to sell them. GM didn’t go broke; GM’s customers went broke.

The housing crisis lost or foreclosed on twelve million homes over several years. To shock the system with two or three times that number in a matter of months is like the corona virus itself, it would force the financial system to collapse. During the Great Depression Brooklyn suspended evictions because they were overwhelmed.

My father told the story of the landlady begging for the rent, taking fifty cents on a five-dollar bill. Everyone was in the same boat, if you evicted your tenant you might never find a better one. If you evicted them, the neighbors might break all the windows in retaliation and as a warning. Just as the evicted in the mortgage crises smashed walls and left the water running. Taking everything a person owns and throwing them into poverty has a negative effect on the social contract.

During the Great Depression there were food riots. Regular ordinary citizens spontaneously attacked and looted grocery stores picking them clean before the cops could arrive. It becomes not a matter of us and them as much as them and us. Don’t think they don’t know it. Already the orange one talks of patriotism and World War II and all of us pulling together. And to a degree it’s justified, what else can you do?

Well, you can hold a press conference every day. You can show the world your competence by displaying your incompetence. By feeding your experts across the stage in a volume over quality display large in claims and small in specifics. If you repeat the same facts over and over the base will believe you when you say, I didn’t drop the ball. A made for TV spectacular, Donald J. Trump and the excuse time players. The orange one has yet to understand or maybe is incapable of understanding the difference between leadership and salesmanship. The Cheeto is a huckster and a con man, he can tell you about the dangers of shooting pool in River City but can’t teach you to play a trombone.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Lincoln requested every book on war in the Library of Congress and then read them. “Hello, Library of Congress? Do you have a historical comic book section?” The orange one wanted to be President. He wanted to be the biggest big shot in all big shotdom. He wanted parades and salutes and the big, big, biggest crowds ever. Now he stands exposed, naked as a jaybird. Uniquely unqualified and incapable of leadership. The storm is upon us and Captain Queeg is dithering, it’s time for someone to take the wheel.

Rand Paul takes leadership to a whole new level, going about his normal day after being tested for Corona virus. A workout at the gym and a quick swim and now four Republicans are in quarantine and thanks to Senator Rand Paul many more may soon follow. While in quarantine they cannot vote, so for today at least, Democrats control the Senate. But where oh where is Joe Biden? If you claim leadership as your long suite shouldn’t you at least show up once in a while. Bernie Sanders is raising money for disaster relief but Joe? We don’t know, maybe he’s on a mountain top high the Himalayas or maybe he’s on a submarine at the bottom of the ocean. In either case it’s a bad look to disappear in a time of crisis. Leadership is a talent, not a commodity.

The markets are in freefall due to uncertainty, but there is nothing which can be done about that as each card is played in its own time.

“This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself–nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Act fast, act with determination and don’t worry about blame. The American public had to endure three years of Herbert Hoover’s inaction before FDR and a willing Congress rebuilt America in 200 days.

We face Pearl Harbor, the crash of 29 and 9-11, all rolled into one. A time of anxiety and fear for all Americans from school children to senior citizens. “We’re acting as a backstop to the states” – The orange one

“I think the federal government should order factories to manufacture masks, gowns, ventilators, the essential medical equipment that is going to make the difference between life and death,” – NY Governor Andrew Cuomo

Do you see the problem?

“The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that’s what an army is–a mob; they don’t fight with courage that’s born in them, but with courage that’s borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any MAN at the head of it is BENEATH pitifulness.”– Mark Twain

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