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The Politics of Coronavirus

“When in doubt tell the truth. It will confound your enemies and astound your friends” ― Mark Twain

It looks like Majority Whip James Clyburn has let the political cat out of the bag. National Democrats have larded with ideological pork a massive $1.8 trillion dollar rescue plan brought forth to mitigate Coronavirus, stopping in its tracks a bill designed to stop the pandemic in its tracks.

“The Senate bill that Democrats stopped,” the New York Post notes, “would have given nearly every American $1,200, with $500 for every child. It would have allocated $250 billion for unemployment insurance, $350 for a small business loan program, more than $100 billion to hospitals, $11 billion towards vaccines, $4.5 more to the CDC, $20 billion to veterans’ healthcare, $12 billion for public education, another $10 billion to airports, and $5 billion to FEMA.”

These are all measures Democrats, more loudly here in Connecticut than elsewhere, have been clamoring for. Only last week New York Governor Andrew Cuomo bestowed a once in a lifetime compliment on the Democrat’s bête noir, President Donald Trump, because Trump, after a phone call from Cuomo, had quickly sent aide to New York, a Coronavirus hot spot. Cuomo tweeted, “the President is "fully engaged on trying to help New York" and "very creative and energetic." Never-Trumper Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar astounded her friends and confounded her enemies by tossing a similar compliment Trump’s way. “Politics aside,” Omar tweeted, “this [Trump’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak in the US] is incredible and the right response in this critical time.” Governor of Connecticut Ned Lamont is anxiously awaiting bailout cash from Trump. Lamont needs the bailout because he has diminished the flow of revenue to his state by closing down, through executive order, what he regards as “inessential” businesses in his state, a locution that begs the question: inessential to whom?

The Post has given us a pork inventory, along with a political rational to justify the larding. “This is a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision,” said Clyburn, and so Democrat leaders have restructured the mitigation bill; that is to say, they have added to the clean bill provisions that a) will not pass, and b) damage the rescue effort, perhaps irreparably, by delaying implementation of the rescue plan. The Democrat’s justification may remind people of their Law of Opposition stated with alarming brevity by Rham Emanuel: “Never let a crisis go to waste.” A corollary to Rham’s Law, the first casualty of which is the “truth” mentioned by Twain above, may be stated as briefly: If the crisis shows signs of mitigation, unmitigated it.”

Democrat Speaker of the US House Nancy Pelosi’s 1,400 page pork pie is full of indigestible ideological gristle. The sheer number of items in her bill that have nothing to do with mitigating Coronavirus, according to a partial listing in The Federalist, is mind-numbing. They include “’collective bargaining… for federal workers,’ a federal ‘study on climate mitigation efforts,’ tax credits for wind and solar energy, and demands that the airlines involved buy carbon credits ‘to fully offset [their] annual carbon emissions.’” The bill would enforce “’same day [voter] registration,’ national early voting and ‘grants for conducting’ election audits.” Pelosi’s venture into an ideological loud cuckoo land legislates “’funding standards for community newspapers’ retirement plans, cancels $10,000 off peoples’ college debts, and forces a $15 minimum wage and permanent paid leave on aid recipients. It awards more than $33 million to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ‘for necessary expenses to prevent, prepare for, and respond to Coronavirus,’ and $35 million to Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts,” in a craven effort, one supposes, to corral the “art vote.”

Some left of center news outlets suppose these absurd demands are designed to persuade Republicans in the U.S. Senate to take seriously some of the more extravagant demands made by U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and Company, but the wrench Pelosi has thrown into a humming bipartisan plan, awkwardly defended by U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, is more likely to prolong the healing process foreshadowed by the commendatory remarks cited above by Cuomo and Omar. If time is of the essence in combating Coronavirus, the essence of Pelosi’s political slapstick comedy may be to prolong a reasonable mitigation of the virus in the hope that nation’s economy, considerably invigorated by Trump’s economic attentions, may flatline before the next national elections.

At some point, Connecticut’s left of center media might want to ask the seven all-Democrat members of the state’s U.S. Congressional delegation whether they approve of Pelosi’s pork-filled, ideologically oriented, non-mitigation Coronavirus bill. No one should hold his breath waiting for an answer to the question.


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