Confessions of a Condor: Bo explains the GDP

Judge Mark J. Plawecki

Lawn signs seen September 5 in the Republican stronghold of Sanilac County, Michigan: Any functioning Adult 2020; Trump – Worst Ever; YOU’RE IN A CULT 2020

Voting has begun. The first absentee ballots were mailed September 4 from the various North Carolina county clerks. Experts say this election promises to be one long, drawn-out affair. Of course, experts say a lot of things and some of them sometimes can even turn out to be true.

Except for within his small circle of friends, Condor’s close colleague Boethius has been particularly quiet this year. Bo stunned my predecessor (the exhausted born again Tigers fan) Spartacus and me on March 31 when, observing the GOP Florida governor’s refusal to close his state’s beaches to ward off a pandemic, he issued his first ever political Guarantee: that Mr. Trump would lose reelection in the fall. Good thing he didn’t specify a date, since few believe, whatever the vote totals are on November 3, that Mr. Trump will readily concede defeat. As virtually all his supporters know, this coming election will be rigged, but only if the unthinkable happens and their champion comes up on the electoral college shy end of 270.

Bo was so sure of his Guarantee he proceeded to make separate (modest) wagers with three notable Detroit area attorneys – one who normally votes Democratic, one who typically casts her ballots for Republicans, and a third who is a political appointee of both Democratic and Republican governors. The latter admittedly hedged his bet, wagering only that Mr. Trump will lose by less than five percentage points in the nationwide popular vote. Bo is predicting (though not guaranteeing) a landslide approaching 1932 proportions. That was the year GOP incumbent Herbert C. Hoover, a profoundly decent man, was humiliated, in the midst of the Great Depression, by a 57.4% to 39.7% margin, by Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt, who eventually (and very adroitly) got himself reelected a record three more times.

On June 18, Bo stepped out of his coronavirus hibernation and issued a Declaration: “I will no longer make the Earth is round claim that Trump’s is the stupidest and most corrupt administration in American History. I shall henceforth argue that it is both more stupid and corrupt than the first forty-four U.S. presidential administrations COMBINED.”

Not normally prone to hyperbole, Bo certainly bit off more than he could chew with this pronouncement. How would one even begin to calculate such colossal failure? Sparty and I could see maybe the worst 15 or 20 combined, perhaps even 25, but all 44? That statement is unprovable, and, frankly, hardly worthy of such a renowned sage.

Undaunted, however, and not quite finished, Boethius came back on August 20, the day we closed on our first second home, with a conclusory Proclamation completing the unintended trilogy. Bo drew inspiration from the 1874 midterm GOP election slogan referencing the Civil War – “ Maybe not every Democrat was a rebel, but every rebel was a Democrat.”

Bo’s updated Proclamation (the “P” of his GDP): “Not every Sixth Extinctionist is a 2020 Trump supporter, but every 2020 Trump supporter is a Sixth Extinctionist.”

Bo was then astonished to learn, six years after Elizabeth Kolbert’s Pulitzer Prize winning tome “The Sixth Extinction – An Unnatural History” was released, popularizing the long known scientific concept, that there were still millennial lawyers in Michigan unfamiliar with the term. Basically, there have been five mass extinctions of species within the past 445 million years; we are currently in the midst of a sixth one. The only novelty of the sixth is that the previous five were caused by natural events (i.e. glaciation; asteroid hitting Earth) and the present one is entirely caused by one species – homo sapiens. Species are currently disappearing at 1,000 to 10,000 times the normal background rate, though homo sapiens remain largely, and remarkably, unconcerned.

Unfortunately for it, however, global temperatures have soared so much in the past few decades that this species’ very survival is now, as I write this column, not only very much uncertain, but actually quite unlikely.

So when the award winning journalists and historians (liberals!) daily served to us by Morning Joe continue to criticize Mr. Trump’s actions as president, they fail to address the larger point. Yes, American democracy may be totally at risk, and yes the Constitution may be in tatters (it’s even reported that on days Trump commits three constitutional violations his supporters receive a small order of curly fries not just from Arby’s but at any participating slave wage providing fast food restaurant).

Mr. Trump’s detractors, including Boethius, unfairly malign the man. He is performing the job of president as well as any sociopath could reasonably be expected to do. Arguably the best essay written during his time in office was penned in 2018 by Yale history professor Timothy Snyder (“God Is a Russian”) which states succinctly, and delves precisely, into what American society has degenerated.
We have a cabinet where each member thirsts mainly to outcriminal all the others and an EPA which has or is in the process of rolling back 100 air and water regulations so that corporate polluters can have no checks on continuing to poison all life, particularly of the most poor and vulnerable. We are now almost safely assured that the few future generations left will spend the lion’s share of their time heaping curse after curse upon us, today’s living adults.

Jan Zalasiewicz, the world’s preeminent stratigrapher, is head of the Anthropocene Working Group (the committee to rename the current epoch in which we find ourselves). He predicts that, as humans exit the stage, the world is likely to be dominated by giant rats. If this is to be the case, then Condor finds it highly appropriate that the seminal figure in Earth’s transformation be one Donald J. Trump, the perfect representative of late 20th and early 21st Century America’s prime contribution to her native planet.


Mark J. Plawecki is chief judge of the 20th District Court. The author of “Notes from Outside the Truman Show,” Plawecki is currently conducting research for his next project, a study of U.S. political history.


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