Speak softly and carry a big stick. You will go far.
President Theodore Roosevelt
President Theodore Roosevelt adopted a foreign policy based on the principle that courtesy and military might were the keys to successful international relations. While Mr. Roosevelt cited an African proverb as the source of this philosophy it more or less mirrored the supposed character of “real gentlemen” raised in the period between in the latter half of the 19th Century and the early part of the 20th Century. The philosophy was based upon five principles:
Allow others to save face in defeat
I don’t know whether Mr. Roosevelt followed these principles in his personal life but most biographers and commentators suggest that he did. And while I did not know Mr. Roosevelt, I did know scores of ranchers, cattlemen and cowboys (including my father-in-law) who epitomized that philosophy of life. They were the best friends and the worst enemies to ever have.
But this isn’t about righteous, principled men; this is about big talking politicians who routinely fail to perform even the simplest tasks. People like Govs. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), Phil Murphy (D-NJ), Tom Wolf (PA), Gavin Newsom (D_CA) and Kretchen Whitmer (D-MI) all of whom forced nursing homes to admit active COVID patients resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of elderly persons. People like Gov. John Kitzhaber who refused to use the federal system or any other off-the-shelf software to implement Obamacare in Oregon saying that he had a better way which promptly wasted nearly $300 Million of taxpayer money and, to this date, has never registered anybody on line. Or one of the morons on the Portland City Commission who similarly eschewed using available billing programs for the city’s water and sewer system because they had a better way which promptly collapsed taking with it the historical billing records including amounts then owing the city. Or Gov. Kate Brown’s inability to manage delivery of unemployment compensation to those displaced by the COVID pandemic. Or . . . oh, hell, how many days are there in a year, how many years in a decade, there’s at least that many and more.
While most of the boneheaded inabilities to accomplish the simplest tasks are just about money, we are now in a situation where incompetence is costing people their lives – costing lives as described above in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and California by incompetent politicians. And what did they all have in common? They all thought they had a better idea, That being elected to a public office somehow imbues them with knowledge and skills that they never had before, never trained for, and frankly never sought help for. Their only skills was how to give speeches that promised the world on somebody else’s dime and for which they could rest assured they would never be held to account.
And the latest evidence is right before us and is costing lives once again. Saturday’s edition of The Wall Street Journal (January 2, 2021) carried an article regarding the distribution of the newly approved and highly effective CORONA virus vaccines:
“Three weeks into the most ambitious vaccination campaign in modern U.S. history, far fewer people than expected are being immunized against Covid-19, as the process moves slower than officials had projected and has been beset by confusion and disorganization in many states.
“As a result, the federal government came nowhere close to vaccinating 20 million people by the end of 2020, as it had promised.
“Of the more than 12 million doses of vaccines from Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. with BioNTech SE that have been shipped, only 2.8 million have been administered, according to federal figures.”
And in Oregon, KTVB reports:
PORTLAND, Ore. — New numbers from the Oregon Health Authority show the state has delivered 187,575 doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines but just 38,698 doses have been administered as of Dec. 31.
“It’s not easy because we’re, it’s almost like building the ship as we’re going down the stream,” said Dr. Joe Sullivan with the Oregon Health Authority.
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“But, a new report by Bloomberg, shows Oregon once again near the bottom of the list when it comes to administering the vaccine.”
I would normally say that is embarrassing but it happens so routinely with state governments (and the federal government too) that it is to be expected because of gross incompetence – particularly in those states run by Democrats. It’s not like they didn’t know this was coming. We have known since before Thanksgiving that Pfizer and Moderna had both successfully completed their trials and were petitioning the FDA for authority to begin distribution and had plans in place to move them expeditiously from labs to regional (state) distribution points. And yet nothing was done by these states to prepare. We knew that there were going to be millions of doses of these vaccines available almost instantly and yet nothing was done by these states to prepare for the administration of the drugs.
And there are two reasons for this. First, most of these governors can’t organize a grocery shopping list but think they are capable of creating “the best” plan for distribution. Second, and most important, is they spent their time worrying about whether President Donald Trump might benefit from an efficient roll out, and the “political correctness” of their distribution plans – teachers, medical personnel, first responders, prisoners, etc. rather than developing a plan to treat those most vulnerable to death if they are infected by the virus. Please note that the teachers unions along with other public employee unions are the financial arm of the Democrat Party – you know, just in case you’ve been wondering why they come first at the expense of the most vulnerable.
Here, let me help them with that quandary. You’re using the wrong metric you morons. It’s not about who might be exposed to infection; it’s about who might die if infected. Look, a teacher is in no more danger of contracting COVID in the classroom that (s)he is in a grocery store –maybe even less so. And more importantly if a teacher is infected and (s)he is under the age of 60, her chances of dying are no greater than if (s)he had been infected at the grocery store. And just as importantly, the children in the classroom are even less at risk of contracting and/or dying of COVID. That’s what the science says.
At one time, there was some degree of competency ingrained in the electoral process. People were measured in part by what they had learned and/or accomplished in life prior to running for public office. That is no longer true. People with virtually no practical skills routinely spend their lifetime in public office – or running for public office. Just as a reminder, Sara Innarone was polling ahead of Mayor Ted Wheeler just weeks before the 2020 election for Portland mayor. Ms. Innarone was a “community activist”, a socialist and an Antifa candidate – the clear definition of incompetent in terms of performing the ministerial roles of mayor – she had not an iota of training or experience in managing complex organizations. No, identity politics has supplanted experience and competence and when elected these politicians rule with identity politics first and foremost in their minds because there is nothing else in their minds – empty headed marionettes chanting the same baloney talking points. It’s not so much that these inept politicians cannot gather competent managers about them; it is that even when they gather them they provide a series of unintelligible goals that ignore what should be the real purpose of the program – inoculating the most vulnerable.
People are dying out there. You chose to ignore that fact when you ordered nursing homes containing the most vulnerable to admit those most infectious. Are you now going to ignore the most vulnerable again in order to inoculate people who have no greater need for protection than the average citizen first?
And for each of you reading this column, it isn’t good enough to just nod your head in concurrence, you need to phone your governor and demand to know why (s)he is ignoring those most likely to die from COVID to curry favor with those who are at no more risk than the average citizen.