RON SCHALOW: The Dogs That Didn’t Bark In The Night — Or Bay In The Day

A virus is raging across China and it’s on a collision course with Donald Trump. As the North Dakota Young Republicans often opine, “Hmmmm.” They really know how to rile the base.

But the thought of a Trump versus deadly virus showdown didn’t scare our guys. Not in the least. What good does it do to bark at a near-certain trainwreck?

Maybe someone could have thrown the switch and diverted one of the trains to a different track. Maybe Rin Tin Tin. Lassie would have pulled the lever with her teeth as the fancy show dogs watched the imminent crash developing from the grooming table.

Donald Trump lied about the readiness of the federal government and then lied some more when the coronavirus was found in the United States. There are hundreds of Trump lies in the COVID-19 category. He even lied about his lies.

That’s what compulsive liars do. They lie.

Beta dogs prostrate themselves before powerful liars.

Our North Dakota representatives? Not a snort. Not a “sigh and groan.” Not even a head tilt.

The big dogs, namely Gov. Doug Burgum, Sens.John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, Congressman Kelly Armstrong and canines of lesser distinction in the Legislature and Bastiat kookery, should have been howling and going berserk as if an army of grenade-toting mail carriers had been dispatched to level the joint.

Well, perhaps not the Legislature. Let’s not deceive ourselves.

I don’t recall even a mournful whine of acceptance or a low-pitched growl. I heard obedient silence.

All four, Hoeven, Burgum, Armstrong and Cramer, trust information that has fermented in the skull of Donald Trump over the silly scientists over at the CDC.

“I trust President Undertow more than any stupid science geeks. And Fauci can go to hell.”

I hope at least one or two of them feel humiliated for pandering to the people who Trump lies to for sport, but I doubt it. Burgum and Hoeven spent part of May 13 personally stroking Trump’s ego and listening credulously to his lies. It was an embarrassing spectacle.

Also on the May 13, a CNN poll told us this: “84 percent of Republicans said they trusted the information they received from President Trump about the virus, just 72 percent said the same about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while just 61 percent said the same about (Dr. Anthony) Fauci.”

Don’t wave any fire sticks at them.

Yet, who wouldn’t believe the uneducated politically biased opinion of a sociopathic narcissist over the scientific understanding of viruses accrued over the course of human history?

Most of us, by a large margin.

Many pandemic plans have been written and the first step is containment. But Trump didn’t “read” any of the strategies produced by the Obama administration, the Bushites, the World Health Organization, the CDC, the National Institute of Health, or any written instructions involving “experts” or “scientists.”

He treats knowledge like it was a salad.

A large pack of mutts did bark — mostly doctors, scientists and assorted experts, some for years. A few Republican and Democratic politicians woofed at Trump, but he was busy with more pressing matters than pandemic preparation.

Virus nerds were freaking out in December.

CDC head, Dr. Robert Redfield, informed the National Security Council on Jan. 2 of what the CDC believed to be a novel coronavirus.

Researchers at university labs — notably the University of Washington — “began developing a test for the never-before-seen virus after keying into early reports in December that a mysterious type of pneumonia had emerged in China,” according to Kaiser Health News.

When the novel coronavirus was discovered in the U.S., as anticipated, the keenly inept president decided he was simply a “cheerleader” and the new virus was allowed to run wild like cage-free children.

And then it was too late. America is now No. 1 in virus cases and deaths, plus the economy is nearing a depression. The feeble U.S. response in all metrics is truly Trumpian in scope.

Trump likes to brag about how his travel restrictions “saved a lot of lives,” a claim that grew to “probably tens of thousands” and “hundreds of thousands.” But even his one contribution of any scale was a lie.

The government has known for years that even actual travel “bans” only serve to delay the spread by days or several weeks. The Trump “restrictions” only delayed Trump.

The Bush-era pandemic playbook states as much, as does the CATO Institute, as does the WHO, as do many scientific studies.

And even if an ill-informed leader insists on trying to stop travel, it doesn’t mean the leader is done squelching a pandemic. Our president forgot to follow through and shanked a proper response into the deep rough. He also forgot to leave the White House when he abdicated his responsibilities.

Trump wanted the job. He just doesn’t care for the work, or the learning, or the constant paying attention. His brain wasn’t built to serve a president. Too many parts have atrophied or simply died off in defeat.

Of course, China deserves blame, but we had advance warning, enough to possibly contain and suppress an outbreak. Not easily, but a normal president might have pulled it off and not have been forced to close the entire country.

Trump called in Jared.

Yet, no statesman from North Dakota stood up to Trump and stated the obvious: “Our president is a liar who doesn’t know how to Google.”

No effort was made to save the country from catastrophe or to warn our citizens to take personal precautions.

Mr. McChicken Goes To Washington.

Evidently, some dogs are more protective than others.

And some who went mute were Democrats. “Of course Trump is telling us the truth. Why do you ask?” Others pointed out that they had witnessed neighborhood cat races that were more organized but didn’t want to make a fuss.

Now, President Trump wants people to think it’s safe out there and if it isn’t, blame your governor.

“The virus going around the West Wing was planted by Barack Obama. What an asshole, huh? Can you believe that Kenyan? Evidence? ‘Course, three minutes to Wapner.’ I have to go. Get out of my way, Redfield.”

As is always the case, the poorest will want to eat, and they’ll be encouraged to do dangerous jobs that involve interaction with a large number of people.

Luckily, for a good share of us, it’s not even a decision.

Charles Ingalls, who built a little house on the prairie, took the riskiest underground blasting job possible to earn a modest bonus. Can you imagine drilling a hole into solid marble by gripping the drilling steel shaft with both hands while another fellow, also at his wit’s end, takes whacks at the dull end with a large sledgehammer?

Has Trump raked a leaf?

The president has lied his way through every inch of this catastrophic disaster. If he hadn’t failed at the beginning, the middle and whatever this is, the country would be in exceedingly better shape.

Yet, Republicans lawmakers are split on whether to believe the Tilt-A-Whirl operator or science. QAnon, OAN, Alec Jones, Rush — or fact. That old conundrum.

Trump and his sycophants are playing a very dangerous game by politicizing facemasks and urging governors to violate rules made by the liar’s own administration.

By my count, one of our ranking North Dakota public servants is parroting Trump’s purely political “denial of science” rhetoric. He appears to enjoy defending the idiocy.

The second fellow will be along shortly. He’s busy being disgruntled about earlier events.

“Will someone in the fake news report it? I doubt it. Will they write cover stories about our eye contact? Of course not. I’m just a lowly country lawyer from North Dakota. Go Bison. Woo. Why is AOL getting 24/7 national coverage and I can’t get CNN to slam my hand in a car door? These impeachment deals are very rare. So far.”

The other two might not rush into the stubby arms of Stuart Varney every time a new lie is added to the roster, but they will go along with President George Costanza.

And praise Donald. Bring him lemon frosting and red potatoes sliced into long thin freedom fries. Smile knowingly when Don says he has no time to watch television. Don’t arch either eyebrow when he claims to have an Oscar due to his performance as Sidney Poitier in 1963 hit motion picture “Lilies of the Field.”

“I had to play him a little older than my real self due to my youth. It’s a tough business. They used to call it Hollywood. Has anyone mentioned Obamagate, yet? It’s not going to work with everyone, but it tests well with real Americans. I mean, who ‘didn’t’ think I was probably a Russian knuckleball? I wasn’t sure.”

Yes, yes, we know, only sissies wear masks but don’t assume everyone is worried about looking tough in front of the other guys.

“You picked me and I’m the stupid one?” — DDT

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