Did somebody think it was time to highlight the farce at the heart of the tragedy? Yesterday, when Mike Pence announced that we’d be soon hearing from the Dumbass Dauphin during the Daily Coronavirus Briefing and Shit Show Comedy Hour, I realized that no, I hadn’t yet seen it all, and yes, something these morons did could still surprise me. I hadn’t planned to watch the full briefing, as of course I never do – even the excerpts you see on the various cable news shows are just about enough to make my eyeballs burst – but now I was debating whether I should make an exception. It was bound to be fascinating, in the weird way that all such disasters caught on camera are fascinating, like in those YouTube videos of horrible catastrophes that you almost can’t bear to watch, but on the other hand are too compelling to pry your eyes from. You know the ones:
Did I want to stick around and see the inevitable?
No, I decided. It would be too much. I’d wait for the post-mortems.
And what post-mortems they were! For those who stuck around hoping to see something akin to a burning train plunging from a collapsing bridge into the raging river below, Jared did not disappoint. Standing there looking stiff, even for him, and making his pole-up-his-ass points in that odd, thin, reedy little voice of his, he spoke about his own central role in the Federal Government’s superb response to the crisis, and addressed with haughty dismissiveness the supposed shortages of PPEs, ventilators and so on that various State Governors had lately been bleating about. Of the federal emergency stockpile of medical supplies, Jared said:
The notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile. It’s not supposed to be states’ stockpiles that they then use.
With respect to the complaints from the Governors, he offered this:
Some governors you speak to, or senators, and they don’t know what’s in their state…Don’t ask us for things when you don’t know what you have in your own state. Just because you’re scared, you ask your medical professionals and they don’t know. You have to take inventory of what you have in your own state and then you have to be able to show that there’s a real need.
Uh-huh. Within a few hours the trending hashtag was #JaredKushnerForPrison, and news outlets like the Washington Post and the New York Times were printing headlines like this:
And those were the nice ones. Everyone’s a critic! Oh well. That kind of press never phased Papa Trump. Donald almost certainly thought that his son-in-law did a bang-up job, and beefed up morale a hell of a lot. If the lying liars at the Fake News establishments were determined not to take solace from this latest soothing demonstration of his administration’s firm hand on the tiller, well, fuck them as usual.
Jared’s wrong on the facts, naturally. The national emergency stockpile of medical supplies and equipment was in fact established specifically to respond to the shortfalls that were liable to hamstring individual States, should the worst sort of medical emergency occur. Like, say, a pandemic. It even says so on the official US Government website (or at least it did, before they hastily revised the blurb to conform to Jared’s assertions):
[The] Strategic National Stockpile is the nation’s largest supply of life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for use in a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out…When state, local, tribal, and territorial responders request federal assistance to support their response efforts, the stockpile ensures that the right medicines and supplies get to those who need them most during an emergency. Organized for scalable response to a variety of public health threats, this repository contains enough supplies to respond to multiple large-scale emergencies simultaneously.
Getting such things absolutely wrong, though, barely rates a mention with this crew. Nobody there could have expected anybody whose last name wasn’t Fauci, let alone dear, befuddled Jared, to get his facts straight. What was more noteworthy, and not just to the uninitiated, was Jared’s jarringly tone-deaf mode of expression, how he seemed not to have even the first understanding of how people feel at a time like this, and the way everything he said seemed to spring from a fundamental misunderstanding of how the United States is organized, and what the Federal Government is for. What did he mean by “it’s supposed to be our stockpile”? Who was the “our” in his scenario? The Feds? The Trump extended family? And who the hell chides desperate public servants, as they struggle to scrounge up whatever they can to maybe save a few more lives, that they shouldn’t come to him hat in hand until they have all their ducks in a row, and can back up their sob stories with proper itemized inventories? Just because you’re scared? He said that, no shit? Could he really be that misguided and emotionally distant? And what was with the dull affect? Didn’t he know where he was? Was he on drugs?
Maybe, but I have an alternate explanation. Now, hear me out. This isn’t just another utterly unfounded QAnon-style conspiracy theory. Well, yes it is, but anyway look carefully at this side-by-side comparison:
Straight up: would you, coming to this with no preconceptions, have picked the one on the left as the android? Doesn’t the one on the right look more synthetic, with its vacant stare, expressionless face, perfect Ken Doll hair, and empty, unfocussed eyes?
What if Jared, too, is a robot, just not quite as advanced as the latest Japanese models? Wouldn’t that explain a great many things? The way he sounds, for example – maybe the improved voice box doesn’t come until version 3.0. Then there’s the gestures, the uncanny way he cocks his head sometimes in mid-sentence – have a look at this, and tell me that the artificial Japanese newsreader doesn’t exhibit exactly the same traits and physical tics as Ivanka’s purportedly human husband:
I know, right?
This could be good news, when you think about it. If Jared really is just an animatronic puppet, then all those terrifying accounts of the Kushner Kid elbowing his way into the policy process, and taking charge of the White House pandemic response team, are nothing but disinformation fed to credulous reporters! The saps fell for the cover story! It’s diabolically ingenious, no? Throw the Kushner 5000zx out there. Then blame the android. Beautiful! Not that they’re doing such a great job behind the scenes while the dummy takes the fall, but at least Jared’s not in charge!
That’s just got to be right.
Not to sink even deeper into the fever swamp, but I’ve got my suspicions about Pence, too.