February 11, 2020

JUST IN TIME FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE: Biden 2020: A Pre-Post Mortem. “Perhaps nothing during this primary season will give me greater pleasure than to write Joe Biden’s political obituary, and I might not have to wait long to do it, if recent caucus results, poll numbers, debate performances, and fundraising troubles are anything to go by. My, that’s an awful lot to go by, isn’t it?”

And for our PJMedia/Townhall VIP members: Coronavirus, Xi Jinping, and the Mandate of Heaven.

Xi has kept a low profile during the outbreak, perhaps wanting not to be seen as the symbol of Beijing’s troubles in dealing with it. But in a country where nearly one-third of the people are under some kind of quarantine, a leader has to… well, get out and lead if he’s going to be considered worthy of the title. Perhaps that why Xi just made what’s been a “rare appearance” in recent weeks, today at a Beijing medical center. His face covered in a mask (we’ll get to that momentarily), Xi had his temperature taken and urged “more decisive measures” to combat the virus.

According to Western suckups like Thomas Friedman, Xi’s ability to decisively move his authoritarian government is a big bonus for Getting Stuff Done. When the CCP says “Jump,” the country shouts “How high?” That is, that’s how it looks if you’re a comfy Westerner suffering from a common mental condition known as Authoritarian Envy. The truth of the matter is that the CCP is so thoroughly corrupt that Xi’s decisive measures aren’t measuring up — and some of the most “decisive” are mostly just for show. Business Insider reported today that “China is sending trucks to spray bleach on entire cities as the country struggles to contain the Wuhan coronavirus,” but it’s actually a PR stunt to make people feel like decisive action is being taken. The story notes that “health experts say these public displays of germ-busting are probably not doing much to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, and that the disinfection should instead target specific spots, like emergency rooms, and communal surfaces in hospitals.”

Probably, but the people can’t see that happening on a mass scale. Some of Xi’s most decisive actions look less like the effective handling of a deadly outbreak, and more like hurried construction of Potemkin villages.

The whole thing is just for members, and if you’ve been thinking of joining please use that VODKAPUNDIT promo code for a nice little discount.

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