☕️ Coffee & Covid ☙ Sunday, September 4, 2022 ☙ CORRECTIONS 🦠
A tale of two rallies; we're off the map but that's encouraging; six boosters a year; and 'flattening the curve' catches up with Ozzies.
Happy Sunday, C&C Supporters! Your private edition this morning includes: a tale of two rallies; an essay on how off the map things are these days and why that is ultimately encouraging; booster windows shortened to two-months; and Australians pay the price for flattening the curve.
🗞*COVID NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
🔥 A president and a former senator both held rallies in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania this week, to generate enthusiasm for the midterm elections. This twitterer clipped a short video from both rallies as a kind of ‘compare and contrast:’
See any differences?
Trump’s rally proves he hasn’t lost any support after all the anti-MAGA chatter and the criminal investigation. But Biden’s “rally” is embarrassingly pathetic. I’m pretty sure that’s a high-school gym; those look like collapsed bleachers pushed against the wall. Sitting presidents should not be holding rallies in high school gyms. If you can’t fill half a stadium, you shouldn’t do it, full stop.
It’s especially telling because a rally is where Biden should be at his best; man of the people, ordinary Joe, doing what he does best — connecting with the folks. That’s his schtick. But the stiff, robot-arm movements and staccato delivery failed to elevate Biden’s … presence. Without the marine guard bookends and the hellish red backlighting, Biden looks alone, small, and weak; he lacks ‘gravitas.’
Biden’s flaccid performance is a great example for today’s essay.
🔥 Yesterday, while I was reviewing a new crop of articles about the Biden Hate Speech, it occurred to me how ‘off the map’ we’ve been since the pandemic started in early 2020. What I mean is, we’re living through a time without any meaningful historical comparison to give us context, analogical periods that could help us compare and distinguish, that might even let us predict where things are going.
That’s that we humans do; that’s why we study history in the first place. You know the old saw, those who don’t study history are doomed to be tormented by hair sniffers, or get a bat up their nightdress, or something bad like that. But there’s not a lot of good history to guide us through the present occupation; certainly not any similar examples in AMERICAN history.
That lack of historical samples makes it kind of hard for people like me who have to comment on all this stuff and think of smart things to say. In order to say SOMETHING, we’re left stretching for historical comparisons that might not be entirely accurate.
For example, there’ve been a lot of comparisons between current events in the U.S. and 1930’s Nazi Germany. The Reichstag fire has been endlessly compared to the January 6th riot at the Capitol, to the point it’s almost a cliché. If I had a commemorative quarter for every meme comparing Joe Biden to Hitler this week I could give up law and write the blog full-time.
But as I said a couple days ago, the comparison between Biden and Hitler isn’t just inelegant, it’s wildly inaccurate. In a bizarre and paradoxical way, comparing him to Hitler almost credits Biden too much. It’s painful writing something that sounds like it’s complimentary to Hitler, that’s certainly not what I mean. But we can acknowledge that Hitler was a popular leader in Germany who knew how to draw a decent crowd and bang out a speech.
That’s why I started today’s post with the two-rallies comparison. Absent the theatrical stage lighting and official trappings, it is painfully obvious that Joe lacks any of the personal dynamism or rhetorical skill of any great speaker, but especially Hitler. Hitler could really deliver a speech; Joe can really mangle a speech. Hitler could draw huge crowds; a huge crowd stayed home from Biden’s rally.