Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters as President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial shifts to questions from senators, a pivotal juncture as Republicans lack the votes to block witnesses and face a potential setback in their hope of ending the trial with a quick acquittal, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
As the Wuhan virus pandemic looks to reach its peak in the next week, at least in places like New York, Democrats are shifting strategies to try to blame anyone but China. Namely, they are laying the groundwork to accuse the President of not doing enough to fight the virus.
What this manifests itself as is clips like this, in which the media offer no push back to what’s actually be asked.
Gov. Inslee: "To say we are a backup … can you imagine if Franklin Roosevelt said, 'I'll be right behind you Connecticut; good luck building those battleships'?" pic.twitter.com/BHqI3YkYxd
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) April 5, 2020
The federal government is currently doing everything possible to fight this virus. What Trump was actually saying in his comment about being a backup is that states have to manage the resources they have and that they are the front line in this fight. We are a federalist system and if the feds simply hand out resources like candy to every governor who demands it, it’ll cause a shortage for other states that haven’t bit hit as hard yet. New York, despite looking to have flattened the curve, still has a surplus of ventilators. Inslee’s state is on the other side of the curve as well, at least via current data (secondary outbreaks are always possible), but he continues to posit that Trump isn’t doing enough. It’s nonsense.
Point being, Trump is right that states have to take the lead in procurement and propagating lockdowns. It’s the best way to promote accountability and ensure that certain states aren’t favored to the detriment of others. Separation of power into multiple localities has always been the best way to manage government. Overburdensome, tyrannical centralization is not the answer.
Democrats apparently think it is, though. Here’s Chuck Schumer basically begging for Trump to become a dictator.
.@SenSchumer: “We need the president to invoke the Defense Production Act … And the DPA allows a military leader, the military, to take over the factories and supply chains and then the same person can distribute the materials, the PPEs, the ventilators, the masks." pic.twitter.com/dE0QfjPnRK
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) April 5, 2020
Schumer wants the military to take over factories and supply chains? How is that going to produce one more mask or ventilator?
The answer is that it won’t. Companies are already producing at max capacity because they have every incentive to do so. Anyone who can pump out medical supplies right now is getting showered with money. The only issue to deal with is who they are selling to. Perhaps the President should bar companies like 3M from continuing to sell overseas until we pass the peak? But that’s not the same as nationalizing factories via a military takeover.
Honestly, I don’t think Schumer’s demands have anything to do with efficiency or ability. It’s simply bait. He wants Trump to overreach here. Can you imagine the Congressional investigations surrounding a presidential-ordered military takeover of private businesses? Any such move would produce a target-rich environment to claim all kinds of misdeeds occurred. That’s what Democrats really want here. They want the President to sign his own death warrant by doing things that would clearly run up against serious constitutional questions. None of these demands are being made in good faith.
Further, the calls for a federal lockdown are also just another attempt to shift responsibility so Trump can be blamed later for the results. These governors, who normally want to exert their independence at all costs, need a scapegoat for the economic devastation they are causing. Trump should be careful to not play into their hands. Military takeovers and total centralization are the enemies of success here, on multiple fronts.