Open Thread for Tuesday, June 30, 2020


This shouldn’t be too hard. I could mine stuff that’s happened since my last post. It’s been a busy few days. We brought my parents down to their house at the beach a couple of days ago, and before that I was busy trying to get work done so I could do this. We’ll be back soon. Want to be away well before the Fourth:

  1. Hey, at least Henry showed himself wearing a mask — This is about the governor you people elected actually appearing, briefly, wearing a mask at his Friday briefing. And I want to thank him for that. I’ve long said if he would do that, it would be at least half the battle — it would show seriousness. And I guess if you’re Henry, and you’ve tied yourself and your everlasting reputation to Donald Trump, it took guts to do it. Of course, he won’t do the other half. The headline in the P&C says, “McMaster urges South Carolinians to ‘follow the rules’ and wear masks, but won’t mandate it.” A better way to write that hed would have been, “McMaster urges South Carolinians to ‘follow the rules’ and wear masks, but won’t make it an actual, you know, RULE”…
  2. Way to go, Mr. Clyburn! — As long as I’m handing out plaudits on the mask issue (and I’m particularly touchy on this issue today, since I’m at a place filled from people all over this country, none of them wearing masks) I need to send a big cheer to Jim Clyburn. He won’t recognize committee members who are big-enough idiots to show up at a meeting without face coverings. If only he could permanently ban them from Congress for such behavior. Anyway, this is the best thing Jim has done since he saved my main man Joe — and therefore the country — back in February. Nothing’s as great as that, but this is pretty good…
  3. Rabid bobcat found in Lexington County — Good thing I’m not there today — although this was way far from my neighborhood. I mean, seriously — don’t we have enough problems right now without bobcats going rabid on us? This probably wouldn’t have happened if the bobcat had been wearing a mask, right? The good news is that no people were exposed. The bad news is that apparently, several dogs were.
  4. Trump Got Written Briefing in February on Possible Russian Bounties, Officials Say — OK, there’s where you went wrong. You put it in writing. You know he doesn’t read; it would cut into his busy TV-watching schedule. This allows him to use the classic, “I have plausible deniability because everybody knows I’m an idiot” defense. Well, not exactly a classic, since no previous president could have used it. But it’s what we’ve come to expect the last three years or so.
  5. Fauci Warns U.S. Could Hit 100,000 Daily Cases — Completely credible, given recent numbers here in SC. It’s little wonder, then, that…
  6. E.U. Formalizes Reopening, Barring Travelers From U.S. — They’re desperate for tourist revenue over in the Old Country, but not desperate enough to let us crazy yahoos in.
  7. The End of the Alan Brady Show — OK, I know it sort of demeans Carl Reiner to reduce him to that one small role on one TV show he created, but that’s how I was introduced to him as a kid, and if he had never played anyone else, he’d still have been a genius. You kids would know him as the old guy in “Ocean’s 11”

9 thoughts on “Open Thread for Tuesday, June 30, 2020

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    By the way, if you don’t read anything above, at least watch the Alan Brady clip.

    It’s hilarious if you’ve already seen it, but I don’t think that’s necessary.

    The setup is this: Laura (Mary Tyler Moore) had been on national television (I think a game show), and had inadvertently revealed that her husband Rob’s boss, the temperamental and vain star Alan Brady, was bald. And she is showing up at his office to apologize.

    It’s one of the most brilliant bits ever on television…

  2. Leon

    Brad, when you say “you people” to whom are you referring? I always get a little suspicious when someone uses that term. Often times it appears to be a derogatory term. It is harder to determine the tone when it is the written word. By the way, I would very much be in favor of a mask mandate for South Carolina. Governor McMaster says the mandate would not be enforceable but are jaywalking or speeding violations enforceable? Most of the time, apparently not. Both of those violations are rampant in South Carolina. However, a law is a law and I am sure that more people would follow mandates if they were written into law. McMaster’s reasoning for not making wearing a mask a mandate is just plain wrong. Oh, silly too.

    Do you really think that Jim Clyburn has that much influence over the African-American vote in South Carolina? I know he likes to think he does and every election where his endorsement is awaited with baited breath only reinforces his perceived “standing”. Of course, this is aided by the media which runs stories ad nauseum on speculation of whether Clyburn will endorse a candidate and then on whom he will endorse. I say that African-Americans in South Carolina would have voted in similar numbers for your “main man Joe” without Clyburn’s endorsement. Biden’s association with President Obama would have convinced those voters to choose the former Vice President. As for me, I don’t have a main man. In 2016 I voted 3rd party and if I can find a 3rd party candidate I like this year I will again. Otherwise, for the first time in my life I will not vote for President. Two straight general elections and three sorry candidates (Trump twice, Clinton, and Biden) to show for them. Surely, our nation can and must do better.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Actually, I was kind of kidding. When I said “you people,” I sort of expected most of my readers to say, “I didn’t vote for him!”

      Of course, most of my readers drifted away over the last few days when I didn’t post, which tends to happen.

      As for Clyburn… If you follow that link where I say that, you’ll see that on primary night I said:

      Thank you, Jim Clyburn. The country owes you one. I think Joe would have won without your endorsement, but he wouldn’t have won like THIS.

      But I kept the wording thanking him, and here’s why.

      I didn’t fully realize that night just how big South Carolina’s influence would be. We quickly found out over the next few days, and in a week or two, it was all over. I hadn’t fully expected that. But the sheer size of Joe’s victory here caused all that persistent opposition out there to melt away.

      And as I said then and now, I think a portion of that blowout was due to Jim’s dramatic, last-minute endorsement. Joe could have won the SC primary without it. But Jim had an effect on the size of the win. And that’s how Joe won the whole nomination.

      So Jim Clyburn deserves credit for doing the exact right thing at the exact right moment, and having an excellent effect…

      1. Bart

        Democrat Primary results – 2020 Democrat Primary Results – 2016
        Biden – 48.4% Clinton – 76%
        Sanders – 19.9% Sanders – 26%
        Steyer – 11.3%
        Buttigieg – 8.2%
        Warren – 7.1%

        Just thought it was an interesting comparison since Clyburn endorsed Clinton in 2016 and we know the results of the general election in November, 2016. I guess I am trying to say that it was a foregone conclusion Biden would be the Democrat nominee before the final primary votes were counted. Same as in 2016 with Clinton. Even if all of the other hopefuls in 2020 other than Sanders were not in the primary, it is very likely the results would mirror 2016.

        The 800 pound gorilla in the room is Donald Trump and even with the early polls showing Biden with a commanding lead, the same scenario played out in 2016. The odds were 85% in favor of Clinton winning. As the saying goes in politics, things can change in a few days. The COVID-19 and high unemployment is a moment in time in politics. Come November if the economy is once again on the upswing and the virus is not as bad as it is now, voters who are upset with Trump will forget the past and make the choice to vote against Biden the way they did against Clinton.

        The other consideration to think about is that it is very likely the Trump supporters are once again being quiet and not responding to pollsters or not answering how they will vote. The enthusiasm factor for Biden is not high at all compared to the Trump voter enthusiasm. The GWB supporters who are actively supporting Biden is likely to have a negative impact and the once faithful GWB supporters will vote for Trump again or for the first time. Plus, who knows how the debates will influence voters if Biden doesn’t hold up well against Trump.

        History has a way of repeating itself. Taking a victory lap at this point is not a wise move.

        Very unique time in our country’s history. I just wish we had better choices in November other than Biden or Trump. Third party is about the only option for us who are no longer members or supporters of either party. That or a no vote for POTUS which is looking like a better option each day.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          I’m very glad we have Biden running. I wished he had been running in 2016. Better late than never.

          Would it be great if he were younger? Sure — if it would be possible for him to be the exact same person he is. But I doubt that. We really need someone who remembers when our politics were more rational. While I talk about it a lot, resume isn’t everything. It’s not just a matter of having held this or that job for x amount of time. It’s temperament. It’s perspective.

          Most of the huge crowd of people who ran for the Democratic nomination utterly lacked those things, whatever other fine qualities they may have possessed.

          I’m glad it’s Biden. He’s what the country needs now — someone who invokes the return of what we lost in 2016. I can’t wait to vote for him…

        2. bud

          We really do have a pretty crappy choice for POTUS. And I’m seeing more and more Leons and Barts. And it’s also true that Biden generates very little enthusiasm. But Trump is just such a dangerous man it is simply unthinkable to vote for a third party candidate. But it’s not just Trump, it’s the entire GOP. I’ve been watching a Netflix series about Hitler’s inner circle. And there was sooo much footage of brown shirt thugs marching around with tiki torches it gave me chills thinking about Trump’s response to Charlottesville. And for a further reminder of the risk we face, the actor who played Henrich Himmler had a stunning resemblance to Stephen Miller. This is not the time to mess around. A vote for Democratic candidates is the only real choice. So get out the nose holding apparatus and vote straight party Democratic ticket. It’s the only rational choice. Perhaps a Biden/Duckworth administration won’t be THAT bad.

          1. Ken

            Yes, the GOP — and its voters — are at the core of the problem. As the former editor-in-chief for Foreign Policy magazine put it in a recent article:
            “This is a Republican Party that has produced two presidents in the past fifty years who worked to undermine constitutional government and have faced impeachment. The GOP has also worked hard to rig the system in its favor. The party has promoted gerrymandering and voter suppression to help Republicans capture statehouses, and has cemented biases in the courts by appointing increasingly partisan, ill-qualified judges. Such power grabs have become an intrinsic part of the government failure we face today.”

            The article goes on to reference Alexander Hamilton on the threat demagoguery poses to democratic government:
            “a confusion of celebrity for leadership, fame for accomplishment, and popularity for genius has given us ‘a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune.’ Seizing the opportunity, unscrupulous ‘insolent men’ have pandered to the lowest common denominators of fear and greed to win power and exploit it for a small elite. November’s election is a judgment day for this nation’s form of republican government. Or else, only ‘civil commotion’ awaits us.”

            Words worth remembering this Independence Day.


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