Of Naked Emperors and Aristotelian Logic

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Of Naked Emperors

Pollyanna once remarked, “Dad, just out of curiosity, I spent a while looking at internet pornography, and you know what? A lot of people have a vastly overrated estimate of the attractiveness of their naked bodies.”

Trump’s Five O’Clock Follies expose his naked soul, and the sight is not pretty. As Politico informs us, The briefings aren’t working: Trump’s approval rating takes a dip: Views of Trump’s coronavirus response are now breaking down along familiar lines of polarization.

You can see it graphically in the image above, from this morning at fivethirtyeight.com. Fivethirtyeight.com weights its polls. Realclearpolitics.com, which just does a running arithmetic average of recent polls, shows Trump approval under water today by 8.5 percent, with 43.4 percent favorable and 51.9 percent unfavorable. It also shows Trump losing to Biden in Florida (very close) as well as Wisconsin and Pennsylvania (not quite so close).

Easter bunny

Aristotelian Logic

As the man said, a thing is either A or it is not A.

So … Trump will either try to open the economy too early, contrary to expert medical advice, or he will listen to medical advice rather than his all-knowing gut, and only urge reopening when it is prudent to do so.

We know what his instinct is, and we know that he came damn close to doing the Easter Rebirth Thing. We can also be pretty confident that his desperation is rising, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, as the Five O’clock Follies make him look worse and worse. We know that he and his economic cronies are beginning to talk up an early economic reopening. And, if there comes a time when, in his reptilian mind, he sees the need to balance additional deaths versus perceived enhanced prospects of reelection, we can be pretty sure which choice he will make in a New York minute.

I don’t know which way he will ultimately go. If I were a betting man, I would bet some spare cash that he will fire Fauci and try to reopen the economy too early.

YOU ARE THERE: History in the Making

Further to the topic of my last post, see Susan B. Glasser, The Trump O’Clock Follies: The President’s mendacious nightly press briefings on the coronavirus will go down in history for their monumental flimflammery:

During the Vietnam War, the United States had the Five O’Clock Follies, nightly briefings at which American military leaders claimed, citing a variety of bogus statistics, half-truths, and misleading reports from the front, to be winning a war that they were, in fact, losing. Richard Pyle, the Associated Press’s Saigon bureau chief, called the press conferences “the longest-playing tragicomedy in Southeast Asia’s theater of the absurd,” which, minus the “Southeast Asia” part, is not a bad description of the scene currently playing out each evening in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, in the White House. We now have the Trump Follies, the nightly briefings at which President Trump has lied and bragged, lamented and equivocated, about the global pandemicthat poses an existential threat to his Presidency. Just as the Vietnam briefings became a standard by which the erosion of government credibility could be measured then, historians of the future will consult the record of Trump’s mendacious, misleading press conferences as an example of a tragic failure of leadership at such a critical moment.