On the few occasions the administration has trotted out this gambit, events have always intervened — a fresh scandal, an errant tweet, some children getting put in cages, the president insulting a foreign leader, a new mass shooting, a “riot,” an invading “caravan,” golf, you name it. The truth is, you can't really name a week after anything any more, but I'm going to try anyway. Even if it's just in hindsight. I'm declaring the past seven days as “Irony Week.”
Let's begin with Major League Baseball, which, after much wrangling with players, management, and owners, finally came up with a plan for a much-shortened, 60-game season. All the players would be regularly tested. Games would be played in empty stadiums. Sure, teams would be flying all over the country and maybe walking through airports and staying in hotels, but hey, it's going to be great. Baseball is back, baby! (Except Canada won't let teams play in Toronto's stadium, because Americans are kinda, well, not welcome to fly into anywhere these days.)
That plan lasted five days before a dozen members of the Florida (duh) Marlins came down with the virus. Several games were canceled, but MLB officials said the season would go on. Because, surely, this won't happen again. Play ball!
Things were a little better over in the NBA, where teams deemed worthy of playoff contention were put into a “bubble” at Walt Disney World in Orlando to finish the season that was aborted in March. Players and officials are not allowed into the outside world: no travel, no airports, no chance of the disease wrecking the season. Except for when, oops, the league let L.A. Clippers guard Lou Williams leave the bubble to attend a funeral in Atlanta and Lou decided he needed some wings from the Magic City strip club before returning. Which is pretty much peak-NBA.
Williams got a 10-day quarantine, and surely nothing like that will ever happen again. Ever. But just to be safe, the NBA should go ahead and construct a strip club at Walt Disney World. Call it the Magic Kinkdom. Or is that taken?
National COVID expert Deborah Birx was in Nashville this week. You may know Dr. Birx as the “scarf lady” because of her seemingly boundless stash of neck-wraps, which she uses to cover her face when the president says something stupid about COVID. I kid. Anyway, the good doctor was in Tennessee to urge mayors to mandate the wearing of masks in their cities because (after weeks of push-back) the Trump administration has finally recognized what their own Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been saying for weeks: Masks help flatten the curve and control the spread of COVID.
Standing next to her on the podium was our own Governor Bill Lee, who at that very moment could have backed up Birx' suggestion to the mayors of his state. But he didn't because he's a right-wing ideologue who thinks people should be able to decide for themselves whether or not to wear masks in public. You might say he's pro-choice when it comes to masks. And you might say he's an idiot.
Speaking of … You may have missed Tennessee state Senator Frank Nicely's attempt at Twitter humor this week. He went after the Lincoln Project, a group of Republicans opposed to Trump's re-election. “The only thing you have in common with Lincoln," Nicely wrote, "is the make of the car in the parking lot …” Semi-solid dad-joke burn.
I wondered if Nicely had a history with the Lincoln Project, so I googled “Nicely, Lincoln” and the first articles to come up were about Nicely claiming that Abraham Lincoln liked cock-fighting. Turns out that Nicely is a big fan of forcing roosters to claw each other to death with razor-like spurs and cited Lincoln as a co-cock-fighting cognoscenti. All I can say is that if you google yourself and the first reference is to “cock-fighting,” you've got problems. Also, for the record, Nicely lied. Lincoln wasn't into cock-fighting.
Other short takes from Irony Week: Arkansas state senator, homophobe, and COVID hoaxer Jason Rapert came down with a serious case of the virus this week. Hopefully, he'll have some nice LGBTQ nurses and doctors in the hospital with him to help him recover from the hoax.
Billionaire creep Elon Musk, whose wealth has gone up $46 billion in the past four months, often with help from state and federal incentives, tweeted that “another government stimulus package is not in the best interests of the American people.”
And the CDC, which had sensible guidelines in place for when schools should reopen, was forced by the administration to issue a boilerplate statement urging the nation's schools to reopen, no matter what. Another once-respected federal agency gutted and turned into a political tool. Remember that National Weather Service map with Trump's sharpie-drawn hurricane path? Yeah, like that.
Finally, Irony Week would not be complete without pointing out the strange phenomenon of a president who felt it necessary to spend time in three television interviews bragging about how he “aced” a dementia test.
Man. Woman. Person. Camera. TV. Irony.