Our children are all grown and long gone from our house. With the way out of control coronavirus pandemic, like many these days we spend our time with kids via the phone or Zoom. We have come up with a little game we play between ourselves. We don’t have an official name for it.
Since the beginning of the pandemic and the horrible response from the president across the whole country and by individual Republican governors we seem to have a section our conversations that goes sort of like this:
Me: boy, did you hear what my goofy governor did last week?
Daughter: Oh yeah, well here ’what’s been going on down here …………
Me: Reynolds is going to force the schools to open in the middle of the pandemic!
Daughter: So is our governor! Seven hours a day, five days a week. He doesn’t expect anything will happen…….
Now for clarity the governors that we are talking about are Iowa’s Governor Kim Reynolds (who I often refer to as “Branstad’s revenge”), Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona.
So we often spend 5 to 10 minutes discussing which of these esteemed (sarcasm for the humor impaired) governors made a statement or action that was a definite blow to the people of their state. While the competition is stiff, I can proudly say that Reynolds is holding her own against a couple of real Trump followers.
One of the main aspects of this competition seems to be which governor can show the most reality to Donald Trump no matter the consequence to the people of his or her state. For instance if you remember back around early May the big question of the day was what states would open and to what degree?
In Arizona, Ducey was proceeding cautiously with opening until his state had a visit from the Trump himself. Next day Ducey did a 180* about face and said “let’s open up everything.” As most know the downside of that decision was disastrous s coronavirus cases and deaths skyrocketed.
Kim Reynolds in her turn went for what seemed like more cautious openings. In reality she had most of the state open in 2 weeks with the expected big raises in cases and deaths. Kevin Stitt down in Oklahoma tried to win this round by not only opening his state but proudly being a guest of honor at Trump’s big failure in Tulsa at the end of May. State even won the prize of a case of coronavirus for his efforts.
There is no scoring in our little game. After all, we are all kind of loyal to our governor’s stupidity. In the round described above I would have to give the trophy to Arizona’s Ducey just for the incredible change of direction and the massive aftermath his decision had.
Kevin Stitt’s doing nothing about the Trump rally and then getting the coronavirus were both true gamer moves in an attempt to prove how incapable he is. Reynolds really didn’t step up to the plate in that round, although her treatment of workers in meat plants before and during this period was simply outstanding for its stupidity and incompetence. Boy what a stupid policy.
Recently the competition has shifted to who can screw up schools the worst. Remember that back in March all 50 states quickly shut down schools when the number of cases were less than 100,000 and closing places where large groups of people – and yes human children and teachers are people – was the only real sane policy to follow.
Now as cases will be nearing 7 million by Labor Day and deaths will be closing in on 200,000, our governors seem to be fighting to see which of them can force school openings that will do the most damage. Kim Reynolds has seemed to decided that she is an Emperor in Iowa on this issue. She brooks not a discouraging word in her mission to get those schools open and make her Leader (Trump) happy. Reynolds is pushing hard to force all students physically into class rooms. In our little game, this may be a winning strategy.
Down in Oklahoma schools have already opened. In an unusual move there has been a student who knowingly went to school after testing positive for coronavirus.
Out in Arizona, Governor Ducey seems to be wobbling badly on this. He is taking advice from the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction that has caused him to back off on the big psh to open schools. Looks like Ducey may just cede the school opening competition to Reynolds and Stitt.
We are not playing this for fun and it is not a game. It is our version of gallows humor. We have a grave danger let loose in our society by Donald Trump’s refusal to do his job. Throughout the country we have really bad governors who are emulating Trump. Our three governors are three of those, although not the worst. This is a truly grave, life and death situation.
As schools open we will see steep rises in infections and in deaths. The worst of the consequences could still be avoided with some common sense decisions. But these are republican governors we are talking about and they are much more concerned about loyalty to ideology and Trump that they are to real solutions.
You must vote as if your life and the lives of loved ones depend on it, because they do.