While the White House is working feverishly to thwart a full-blown medical crisis, Democrats and media figures are using the crisis to play politics.
It began last week in response to a White House request for a stimulus package to assist those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., responded with a bill that included an end-run around the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions.
That caught the attention of Sen. Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican and a strong pro-life proponent.
"While schools are closing and hospitals are gearing up, Speaker Pelosi is waging unnecessary culture wars. Speaker Pelosi should be fighting the coronavirus pandemic, not politicizing emergency funding by fighting against the bipartisan Hyde Amendment," Sasse said in a statement. "We need to be ramping up our diagnostic testing, not waging culture wars at the behest of Planned Parenthood. Good grief."
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, was more succinct: "Congress's coronavirus bill was supposed to be about saving lives — not taking them!" he said.
That was just the beginning. Matt Weidinger, a Rowe fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, observed that Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., demanded a string of other proposals to ostensibly address the outbreak. They included:
- Creating a new federal paid leave program
- Expanding food stamp benefits
- Providing enhanced unemployment insurance benefits
Democratic lawmakers have called for these proposals for decades without success. They saw this emergency as their chance.
If you thought that would have been the end of it, you'd be wrong.
Pennsylvania Democrat Sen. Bob Casey thought the outbreak was the ideal time to push his own pet agenda — gun control.
"Right now in America, it is easier to get an AR-15 than a test kit for COVID-19," he tweeted.
Bearing Arms editor Cam Edwards replied, "It's also easier to get heroin. What's your point, exactly?" Casey never responded.
Local government got in on the action also, beginning with Champaign, Ill. Its mayor, Deborah Frank Feinen, declared a citywide coronavirus emergency, even though Champaign hadn't experienced any coronavirus cases.
She drafted an executive order giving herself broad powers, that included, according to NBC affiliate WAND 17 News:
- Banning the sale of firearms and ammunition
- Banning the sale of alcohol
- Closing all bars, taverns, and liquor stores
But her dreams of making the college town a gun and alcohol-free zone were small fry as compared to those of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who leans heavily socialist. He wanted to use the crisis to turn his vision of an American socialist society into a reality.
The mayor called for the "nationalization of crucial factories and industries" in order to address the outbreak.
"This is a war-like situation. We're in a wartime scenario with a Mar-a-Lago attitude being used by the federal government, right? It's so laid back, and I don't understand it," de Blasio said Saturday on MSNBC's "AM Joy."
"And by the way, testing, how about ventilators? Where is the federal government making sure that our hospitals have the ventilators we're going to need? Where is the federal government when it comes to surgical masks, getting them distributed where they need?" he asked.
"This is a case for a nationalization, literally a nationalization of crucial factories and industries that could produce the medical supplies to prepare this country for what we need. Hand sanitizer, people are going crazy, I don't blame them, trying to get hand sanitizer."
USA Today columnist Jason Sattler suggested using the outbreak to get rid of President Trump. The Emoluments Clause didn't work; nor did the 25th Amendment; nor Russia, Russia, Russia; nor the Robert Muller investigation; not even Ukraine-gate. Maybe this would, he surmised.
"This crisis must burn into our souls the moral obligation we have to defeat this man. And based on the results of Tuesday night's primaries, which overwhelmingly swung for former Vice President Joe Biden, the path we will have to take to do this is becoming increasingly clear," he wrote.
"Those of us who hope to save this country must decide that we will not let anything get in the way of removing him from office — not even ourselves."
When Rahm Emanuel was President Obama's chief of staff, he remarked, "You never let a serious crisis go to waste." It appears that the entire Democratic Party has now adopted that maxim as their own.
After 9/11, a deeply divided nation came together as one to address international Islamic terrorism, and then-President George W. Bush's approval rating rose from the basement through the roof.
With this new crisis — one that can potentially claim more lives than 9/11 — it's time for the nation to cast differences aside and come together again to meet a new common enemy.
We did it before; it's time to do it again.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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