Usually, I’m not surprised by hypocrisy and flip-flopping in politics, but I have to admit that this is a bit much.
After months, up to and including just the past few days, of Democrats claiming that anyone who wants to open schools wants children to die, they are suddenly doing an about face. Sen. Chuck Schumer took to the podium today to not only proclaim that schools should open, but he cited the economy as a reason they should do so.
Sen. Chuck Schumer: "If we don't open up the schools, you're going to hurt the economy significantly." pic.twitter.com/Ne5znhvk2y
— The Hill (@thehill) August 7, 2020
Here was my response.
These are the same people who have described Betsy Devos as the equivalent of a child murderer for saying the science supports opening schools. These are the same people who have accused Trump of putting the economy over people’s lives. Republicans in general have been savaged on CNN, MSNBC, etc. as not caring about teachers. We have to wait for a vaccine they’ve told us. Yet, here’s Schumer giving the exact same reason Trump has given in the recent past to open schools. Weird, right? When Trump said that, it was national news and spawned a dozen breathless editorials of condemnation. Schumer says the same thing and it’s shrugs all around.
He’s correct of course. You will further damage the economy if you keep schools closed. You will also damage students and parents in ways that can’t be measured by simple COVID risk analysis. These are things Republicans have been saying for months, and to be clear, nothing has fundamentally changed with the virus in the last week that makes it “safer” to re-open schools now.
Here’s a guess at what really happened.
The sudden U-turn from Cuomo and Schumer on school openings suggests the months-long Democrat position of banning children from going to school was a political disaster for them. https://t.co/GOPDyrcua3
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) August 7, 2020
It’s not just Schumer. In fact, Schumer appears to be responding to a decision by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to open schools state-wide in New York. Cuomo had previously, vehemently opposed re-opening schools, accusing Trump of “enabling” the coronavirus and slamming him for encouraging districts to plan to open up.
Every region is well below our COVID infection limit, therefore all school districts are authorized to open.
If the infection rate spikes, the guidance will change accordingly.
School districts are required to submit plans to NYS for review.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) August 7, 2020
To be clear, if the rates in New York are “well below” now, then the rates were below the threshold a month ago, as their trend lines have been basically flat after they let the virus run through their population, killing over 32,000 people. Given that, why did Cuomo and other Democrats not acknowledge that opening schools was probably the right move? Instead, with all the rhetorical venom they could muster, they did they opposite.
We know why. Democrats thought they could ride this train through November, causing enough pain to ensure Trump loses. Something must have changed. Either poll numbers or a general sense that they were losing the narrative battle on schools. Whatever it was, it should give everyone whiplash to witness it.