The actions of the last few days may be even more important than many realize. Not the sweeping regulations, not the public opinion on the failed idea of open borders, but the exposure of the erroneous reputation of the Democratic Party as the party that cares. As the Senate fails yet again to pass the $2 trillion Coronavirus rescue bill, this saga is becoming an object lesson in how to lose your voter base for partisan politicking.
The Senate floor has become a bickering match both unseemly and unprecedented as Democrat senators, under the “leadership” of Chuck Schumer (D-NY), flout tradition and the well-being of the voting public in a thinly veiled attempt to stop President Trump from claiming what they see as a win.
A Ship of Fools?
Republican senators sought time to speak, only to have request after request rejected by Schumer. He was not interested in what they had to say, only in what he and his party would be offered. Perhaps the attitude of elected politicians in the chamber was best summarized by Senator John Neely Kennedy, the Louisiana Republican, who said:
“This country was founded by geniuses, but it’s being run by a bunch of idiots…
“You know what the American people are thinking right now? They’re thinking that the brain is an amazing organ. It starts working in a mother’s womb, and it doesn’t stop working ‘til you get elected to Congress.”
Democrats insist that the bill creates a $500 billion slush fund that would be administered in part by the Treasury Department. This particular wedge of cash is slated to fund programs for loans and loan guarantees. It is being painted as a bailout machine that could be open to abuse by the administration.
And Dems may, in part, be right. Such discretionary powers by the Treasury could be misused, but that’s not all the funding package contains. If this bill passes with the required 60 Senate votes, almost every adult in the United States will receive a $1,200 check, and most children will get $500. A sum of $350 billion is earmarked to assist small businesses meet payroll costs and a whole raft of other measures to help the economy bounce back.
And this may be the heart of the issue: This spending package could well swing the economy back to its former highs once the COVID-19 outbreak comes under control, which does not bode well for the Democrats’ 2020 election chances.
Reports are coming out fast and furious, confirmed by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), that the real holdup is because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refuses to stuff the bill with a raft of measures demanded by leading Democrats. According to Cotton, these demands include:
- Unprecedented collective bargaining powers for unions.
- Increased fuel emissions standards for airlines.
- Expansion of wind and solar tax credits.
None of these have anything to do with helping American families put food on the table or pay their rent during this national emergency. Nor do these measures help small businesses get back on their feet when the crisis inevitably passes.
The reality is that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has a bill of her own that she and Schumer are looking to pass, and nothing less will do. The Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act is more than 1,000 pages long and stuffed with almost every policy Democrats would have enacted had they won in 2016. It includes:
- Climate change studies for aviation.
- Canceling student debt.
- Mandatory diversity reports from every company that receives COVID-19 aid.
- And a whole lot more.
This is what the delay is all about, not worries about the potential that a large corporation might benefit in some way. It is nothing less than an effort to get every pet vanity project into law, and woe betide any American who gets in the Dems’ way.
Nothing New Under the Sun
Partisanship and petty politics are hardly new concepts. The latest escapades of Democratic senators may well cost them the public confidence and secure Trump another victory. But it is the ignominious legacy they leave behind that could haunt all who stand under their banner.
As the sixth king of Babylon, Hammurabi (1792-1750 BC), said, “We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” The theft taking place now is that of a brighter future for political gains today. And perhaps this is the real difference we are witnessing. King Hammurabi summed it up perfectly: “A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation.”
Read more from Mark Angelides.