“They x-rayed my brain, but didn’t find anything.”
-Dizzy Dean after being hit in the head by an errant throw
That’s because, to put it quite bluntly, they are dead. Dead of Covid-19, the source of the greatest health care crisis the world has seen in a century. You would have to be a bigger cynic than I to believe that the President’s indifference to this crisis is a perverse form of voter suppression, but the fact of the matter is that the earliest impact, and the most deaths, occurred in the blue Northeastern states, which Trump apparently does not regard as part of his constituency. Despite the economic collapse mostly due to the virus, the overwhelming support for addressing racial injustice, the conflagrations destroying the Western forests and the willful ignorance of the Great Leader about the effects of climate change, the guy still has a chance to be re-elected, mostly because of the anachronistic quirks of the Electoral College. Go figure.
Now we will have a monumental fight to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court at warp speed through any means Malleable Mitch can muster, dancing past his prior position that the new president should pick a nominee in an election year. The battle will focus to a great extent on abortion, with one of the early favorites being a staunchly Catholic woman professor at Notre Dame Law School who has written frequently about her disdain for Roe v. Wade.
At least she is not hypocritical; she is the mother of seven (though two are adopted) and hews closely to the Constitutional views of her late mentor, Antonin Scalia, for whom she once served as law clerk. Once again, Republicans will prove that they care more for the unborn than the living as a Trump-appointed justice is likely to join the other Court conservatives in trashing the Affordable Care Act and leaving many of the recently unemployed and those with pre-existing conditions with, you guessed it, nothing.
Of course, one of Trump’s chief campaign promises was that he would replace the Affordable Care Act with “something terrific” within two weeks (that’s two weeks) of assuming the Presidency. Well, we are still waiting for a plan, any plan, to fulfill this Trumpian trope. Trump, however, never one to own up to a falsehood, told Fox News’ Chris Wallace in an interview that aired on July 19, “[w]e’re signing a health-care plan within two weeks, a full and complete health-care plan.” Surprise! Yes, that deadline has also been breached. So much for helping the working folks who still form the core of his support.
No matter what happens to the nomination, one person is sure to lose. Maine Senator Susan Collins, on the verge of paying the price for her support of Brett Kavanaugh, has gone on record as saying that the winner of the Presidential election should pick the nominee. If she follows her usual pattern of talking sense and voting nonsense in line with her party, her faltering support with women in Maine will plummet even further. But, if she follows her supposed principles, her conservative support will dissipate, and she will lose anyway. In any case, Mainers deserve a lot better.
So, here we are in the final weeks of the campaign that will lead to a conclusion that may not be determined for weeks or months. In true American style, lawsuits will fly, and, regardless of the ultimate result, the country will suffer. At that point we can only follow the sage advice of Will Rogers: “[i]f you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.”