President Biden is set tonight to hold his first address to the nation since entering the Oval Office, choosing the one-year anniversary of the nation’s lockdown for this inaugural event.
It might seem an odd date to celebrate — but while the pandemic has been tragic for many, let’s be honest, it has been good to Democrats, and especially to Joe Biden.
If not for COVID, Donald Trump still would be in the Oval Office, blue states still would face ruinous public employee contracts, the teachers unions would be fighting growing calls for school choice, the Green New Deal would be but a twinkle in the eye of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the left would be hysterically railing about Trump’s “children in cages,” and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) still would be the Senate’s minority (not its majority) leader, holding Sunday night press conferences to get attention.
My, how things have changed.
When the virus began its horrific march across our nation, the United States was enjoying one of the most prosperous moments in our history, and odds-makers were giving Trump his highest-ever chance of being reelected. Until the coronavirus hit, consumer sentiment was at one of its best levels in 25 years and, according to Gallup, 45 percent of Americans were satisfied with the direction of the country, the highest in 15 years and better than at any time during the Obama-Biden presidency.
For most Americans, life was good, and they were ready to credit the policies of Donald J. Trump.
But then the pandemic arrived on our shores. Trump, like many others in positions of authority, underestimated the virus and inadvisably tried to minimize its danger. Nonetheless, he quickly recruited a team to respond to the growing devastation, organized increased production and distribution of ventilators and protective equipment and, most important, launched Operation Warp Speed to find a vaccine.
Thanks to the almost miraculous success of that quest, infections and deaths are dropping fast and America will soon go back to work.
The pandemic destroyed lives, businesses, arts organizations, graduations, weddings, and the political career of Donald J. Trump.
At the same time, it gave new life to Joe Biden, an improbable presidential candidate initially greeted with tepid enthusiasm by almost all factions of his party. Most wondrous, it allowed the former vice president to hide out in his basement for weeks on end, practicing his “empathy.” The ability to plead safety and stay out of the limelight was a godsend for the 78-year-old Biden, whose memory lapses are worrisome and could have easily derailed his campaign.
Biden took few interviews, rarely mingled with the public and, overall, ran the most bizarre presidential campaign in our nation’s history. It was brilliant: The contest was not between Trump and Biden but was between Trump and non-Trump. And Trump lost.
Which brings us to today. COVID-19 is on the way out but, astonishingly, Democrats are loath to see it go.
Constant headlines in the liberal press alert us to new, scary variants, or rare side-effects that are meant to alarm us and keep us indoors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that oracular bunch that so badly bungled our response to the virus early on, decrees that even fully vaccinated people should not travel. Dr. Fauci just warned that the virus “may plateau again at an unacceptably high level.” And President Biden criticized governors who are lifting restrictions in their states as guilty of “Neanderthal thinking.”
Why is the left so afraid of success — of conquering COVID-19 and setting our country free?
Because Democrats are using COVID-19 to reorder our nation, and they are not yet done.
Consider the $1.9 trillion “relief” bill that Biden jackhammered through Congress without one Republican vote. He sold it as essential to the economy’s recovery, but it is not. Buoyant job creation, retail sales, industrial production and housing numbers are all signs that consumers, sitting on an estimated $2 trillion in savings, are ready to spend.
Based on recent data, the Atlanta Fed GDP indicator of growth is now above 8 percent for the first quarter of 2021.
The economy does not need $2 trillion more in “stimulus” on top of the $3 trillion already allocated, of which $1 trillion has not even been spent. It needs reopening. Travel, hospitality, entertainment — all industries that employ low-income Americans — need to come back, and are on the verge of doing so.
The gargantuan American Rescue Plan, which spews out checks to 85 percent of all Americans, and not just people who have lost their jobs or businesses because of COVID-19, is meant to guarantee Democrats hold onto control of Congress in 2022. Their biggest argument for passage is that it is popular with the public. Yes, people love “free” money — why not?
But the bill is not all about buying votes. It is also about plugging the budget holes of Democratic-blue cities and states that are failing because of bad choices made over many years, and spewing tens of billions to big Democratic special-interest groups like the teachers unions.
Next up will be a $2 trillion infrastructure bill, which will spend heavily to promote green energy and other favored liberal causes. It will throw money at windmills and solar fields that will complement White House attacks on our oil and gas industry, one of America’s greatest competitive advantages, and raise our electricity costs.
Democrats are also working feverishly to make permanent the emergency measures taken during the COVID-19 pandemic to work around in-person voting — measures that helped them win in 2020.
Perhaps most important, Democrats don’t want to give up on the virus because they’re afraid that Biden will have to emerge from his new sanctuary in the White House and face the public without his teleprompter.
Twice now the White House has cut his video feed when he proposed taking unscripted questions. So far, he has broken with tradition by not holding a single press conference or giving a State of the Union address.
And the public is taking note. Already, according to one poll, half the nation doubts that Biden is “physically or mentally” fit to be president. Wait till the other half takes a closer look, too.
Published on The Hill