Insufferable Grifter Tries to Dunk, Gets Nowhere Near the Rim

AP Photo/Eric Gay

The word “grifter” gets thrown around a lot. I’ve been accused of overusing it, specifically in relation to Lin Wood recently, but since he’s now flailing about and claiming that John Roberts made a secret phone call plotting to steal the election from Trump, perhaps I can be granted a reprieve.

Regardless, I believe there’s one group of people we can all agree epitomize the word, and that would be the crowd over at The Bulwark. So let’s hug it out and make fun of this insufferable grifter who decided to dig up an old tweet by Bethany Mandel in an attempt to dunk on it. I use the word “attempt.” because he ends up looking like an eight- year-old trying to posterize someone on a ten-foot rim.

The worst arguments regarding the pandemic (but really, anything) are emotional arguments which try to make definitive connections where none clearly exist. For example, if lock downs worked at the level Sykes is suggesting here, why are California and New York, which have been locked down since March, seeing bigger spikes that most red states that don’t have lock downs? New York is outpacing Florida in cases and hospitalizations right now. How can that be, when DeSantis isn’t giving stay at home orders and canceling outdoor dining? How can states that have had mask mandates for nine months be doing so badly?

Of course, the next retort is always “well, people just aren’t following the guidelines or lock downs, and masks would work!” That’s another emotional argument that lacks evidence. I live in a red state that has a mask mandate. You know what I see? Everyone wearing a mask. I might see one or two people a day without a mask, and it’s usually someone at a gas station just forgetting to throw one on before going inside. At the grocery stores, in retail stores, and walking into restaurants, I never see someone mask-less. Now, I know that’s anecdotal, but it matters because mitigation is not an all or nothing game. Even if I assume an adherence rate of only 80%, you should see still some major reduction in spread due. Instead, we see spikes going higher, as more mask wearing and lock downs occur. What should that tell even the most incapable of thinkers, i.e. Sykes? It should tell him that his gotcha attempt is nonsensical.

I hate to break this to Sykes and others, but sometimes life doesn’t offer a perfect solution. Certainly, government rarely does. Some of the most locked-down countries in the world are now seeing their biggest spikes of the virus yet. The most locked-down parts of this country are seeing their biggest spikes yet. There are two obvious reasons for this. Less spread occurs when people are spaced out, specifically outside the home in outdoor environments. When you tell people to stay home, they spread the virus to one another. They then spread the virus to people at places like the grocery store, because you have to go get food, no matter how strict a lock down is. The vectors for spread become very tight, defined, and efficient. Masks also become a net-negative in many situations, because they promote less social-distancing and are usually low-quality, resulting in them just become petri dishes for spread.

Recognizing those factors means recognizing that our “experts” and the government aren’t always right. Sykes, given his political shift, can’t do that while Trump is still in office, because the orange man must always be bad. Instead, you get these ridiculous arguments pretending that there was some silver bullet back in May, when there never was.

But grifters gonna grift.

(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)