Who Knew? “October Surprise” is a Month-Long Event

Planning and Timing are Taking a Beating – Typical of 2020

October as a Mix of Surprise, Karma, and Unknowns to Come

We expect surprises, ambushes, and breaks of luck in any election October. But, boy did we get a full load this time around. And we are less than a week into it! What fun awaits us between now and the first Tuesday in November? Let’s take a fresh perspective on what we have on our plate so far.

Medical News, Social Responsibility (NOT), & Transparency (None)

The deliberate carelessness of Trump and company is finally catching up with them. Other sources will come, but the Court nominee unveiling is looking like a super spreader event. But we may never know, as it appears nothing like a serious round of contact tracing is happening. It blows the mind that the White House is STILL a study in disregard for basic health steps.

This administration continues to be the poster child for social irresponsibility. Blood has been on their hands for some time. Now it is getting closer to home for them. I confess to thinking it is about time for Karma to give them a can of whup-ass.

There are security risks from our adversaries should the US appear confused or weak. How the administration and doctors have conducted themselves so far do not give confidence. Already, no one has any real confidence of what is coming out of the White House or the medical team.

I am especially disappointed that the medical team so obviously was compromised. This does them, their profession, and our country no good. One remembers fondly Eisenhower directing, upon his heart attack, to tell everyone everything. Don’t let rumors and doubt arise for lack of candor, he said. A little hard to imagine Trump even thinking of that approach.

US Senate & Supreme Court Hearing

So far, two Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee are known to have the virus. More could be coming up, as the infection can run several days before showing up on a test. That is, of course, assuming they actually get tested. There is no way those exposed could go through the minimum quarantine and still make the scheduled nomination hearing. Tillis and Lee have said they will quarantine for 10 days. Not good enough.

Yet, what does McConnell tells his minions? To “exercise all due caution” and then to come to Washington for the scheduled hearings. These are people highly likely to already have been exposed. They will be getting on airplanes with the public and then assembling in a closed room. They will be with hundreds of people for many hours. Not to mention exposing everyone on their staffs.

There is zero reason to put everyone at such risk other than a blind push to get this done before NOV 3. Trump is likely to lose, and it will be harder still to get the votes, so drive on they will. This is a callous risk of lives for the wrong reasons. 1-2 honest Republican senators could stop this today, but the cupboard is bare.

You could almost accept the risk if this was to complete the COVID assistance bill. That the country desperately needs. But McConnell has zero interest in any Senate work besides the court nomination. This is a craven bunch that deserves to lose en masse. Fire them all, America.

Sexting and Campaigning are Not a Good Mix

Odds of the Senate turning over are pretty good but got less good in the last few days. The NC Democratic challenger to replace Tillis has been sexting with a married woman who is not his wife. He may still win – he has a pretty good lead – but it all is at risk.

In spite of this failure of judgment and character he is still a better choice than Tillis. But if he loses and if the Democrats do not carry the Senate because of it, I recommend a name change and relocating to a foreign country. He would never be forgiven.

If only these people thought about burner phones…. Sorry – did not mean to say that out loud.

Drop Boxes: The Herd is Thinned in Texas

The governor of Texas had “decreed” that in the interest of voting security pretty much every county in Texas would go down to 1 – yes, 1 – drop box for ballots. I lived in Texas for a while. The counties tend to be rather large. This is so obviously a voter suppression step.

One hopes that at least one court will call this out for what it is and stop what is supposed to have begun yesterday. These people really do have no shame.

It’s been a slow, sneaky trend, but Texas is slowly turning purple. If Latinix voting levels can be boosted and sustained, it’s a done deal. It will happen and when it does, the way Republicans have treated people in the Lone Star State will come to bear. They are looking at a stretch in the wilderness.

What All This Tells Us

As we go into the last 3 weeks of this election, all this makes a few things crystal clear.

  1. The Republican responses to the pandemic, especially at the top, show a breathtaking disregard for life. A disregard especially for their own supporters. Doubt that? Both Trump and one of the infected senators went to public events AFTER they knew they had a high risk exposure.
  2. The Republicans have shown themselves incapable of governing a large and diverse country.
  3. People can disagree on a lot of things, but they know abuse of power when they see it. The court nomination fiasco already turned off a lot of potential Trump voters. Sticking to the proposed schedule now will turn off more people yet. The Republican party is most likely to get the fate it deserves, up and down the ballot.
  4. At this point, a couple of decisions are needed from the Presidential Debate Commission. It should postpone or cancel the VP and remaining presidential debates. No one can have confidence in who has been exposed among Republicans. Apparently, no one is willing to enforce mask mandates at the debates, so call the darn things off. We know enough about both candidates by now.

28 days until the last vote is cast. Are you doing your part?

         Bill Clontz

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