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OpinionColumnistsMichael Dobie

A Bob Dylan parody for our coronavirus times

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., in the Oval Office of the White House on Tuesday. Credit: AP/Evan Vucci

Ballad of a Thin Man

(with apologies to Bob Dylan, and the immortal Mr. Jones)

You walk into the room briefing papers in your hand
You don’t want to read them because that’s just not your brand
You try hard to be convincing but you don't understand
Why you’re not getting a polling bump
Because something is happening here but you don't know what it is
Do you, Mr. Trump?


You look at reporters and you say, “You’re all just fake news.”
And somebody speaks back to you and says, “Well, that’s just not true.”
And you say, "What's not?" and someone says, "Everything you say and do."
And you say, "Oh my God, why are you such a hump?"
But something is happening and you don't know what it is
Do you, Mr. Trump?


You sit in the White House and you watch the TV
You pay sharp attention to every bobblehead you see
You start making phone calls for an hour, or maybe three
Looking for some advice on which you can jump
But something is happening here and you don't know what it is
Do you, Mr. Trump?


You say the governor’s trouble until you say you like him a lot
You say it’s all under control when anyone can see that it’s not
You say there’s lots of tests out there and the virus is just a plot
Until everyone is confused, even the ump
And something is happening here but you don't know what it is
Do you, Mr. Trump?


You talk of disinfectants, injections and UV light
You look at the good doctors and you say, “You know that I’m right.”
You miss their reaction, their eyes all filled with fright
As you pitch dispensing bleach with a nasal pump
And you know something is happening but you don't know what it is
Do you, Mr. Trump?


Your vice president walks the ward without wearing a mask
People scream, “Is following guidelines really too much to ask?”
“Give me a break,” you say, “as to this particular task,
I do it, too, why are you such a grump?”
But you know something's happening and you don't know what it is
Do you, Mr. Trump?


Well, you walk into the room like a king without a crown
You’ve been tweeting all day trying to tear lots of people down
The nation wants a leader but polling says most see a clown
That come November they might want to dump
'Cause something is happening and you don't know what it is
Do you, Mr. Trump?


Michael Dobie is a member of Newsday's editorial board.

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