President Donald Trump speaks in the Brady press briefing room of the White House in Washington, Monday, March, 9, 2020, about the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
If you had “Democrats trash Trump for not being a dictator” on your 2020 bingo card, mark it now.
As the Wuhan virus pandemic continues, state and local governments are taking actions within their communities. We are seeing school closures, large gatherings being banned, and even some full-scale quarantine zones. All of this is happening to try to slow the spread of the disease, which is still largely a mystery in regards to just how deadly it is in a country like the United States.
You’d think all of that happening would be praiseworthy, as elected officials are using the proper channels to serve their citizens, but nah. Democrats are now bashing Trump for not declaring himself a dictator.
Why have an executive branch if it isn't willing lead at a time like this?
All of these decisions to cancel events, close schools or postpone opening days have been made by state, local and private sector leaders.
Why is everyone else leading, except for our President?
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) March 12, 2020
“Mr. Trump has essentially become a bystander as school superintendents, sports commissioners, college presidents, governors and business owners across the country take it upon themselves to shut down much of American life…”
— Erica L. Green (@EricaLG) March 13, 2020
Man, we went from “Trump is a fascist dictator” to “Trump is bad for not being a dictator” in record time.
The fact is, the President doesn’t have the authority to tell local cities they have to ban gatherings. To even attempt to do so would set an incredibly dangerous precedent, with the executive essentially having the power to ban public congregation, one of the fundamental rights protected by the Constitution. Federalism does not cease to exist because a bunch of people want to panic over a virus. In fact, federalism continues to be the best way to manage all this. Local officials making decisions tailored to their constituents is far more efficient than some top-down decree from the federal bureaucracy.
Here’s the truth. We have much less control over a lot of things in life than we like to admit. I’m even seeing some conservatives frame this issue as a matter of “leadership” instead of the obvious, which is that the federal government is always bloated, inefficient, and incapable of doing things particularly well. Heck, that reality is why I’m a conservative (along with being pro-life). There is no magic bullet here, only hard work and time. Trump trying to turn himself into a tyrant like FDR won’t help.
But what this latest nonsense does show is that Democrats will literally bash Trump for anything, and I mean absolutely anything.