GOP needs to rise above Trump in pandemic (Chris Coons & William Kristol)
News Journal column: A Democratic senator and a Republican columnist (turned anti-Trumper in 2016) team up on a supposedly unifying message: Deal with the coronavirus as well as possible – [verb?] an economic recovery as soon as possible – [reject] proposals in Congress that would set back these goals.
Too many members of Congress, following the lead of President Donald Trump, “continue to engage in coronavirus denialism” and “rush to embrace short-sighted and counterproductive policies that are particularly dangerous in the midst of a global pandemic.” The likely result would be losing “thousands of Americans” to the virus without getting the economy going.
Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell have “seemed to balk at providing financial assistance to states, even though “it is the states who have shown real leadership in fighting COVID-19” despite the evaporation of their revenues.
And McConnell is pushing for giving businesses immunity from lawsuits, perhaps as a condition for appropriating funds for the states. Meanwhile, some Republican governors have said that employees refusing to return to work might lose their unemployment benefits. “In other words: No liability at all for businesses, absolute liability for workers.” How offensive, “no wonder the polls show support for democratic capitalism failing.”
Republicans don’t want to “provide funding” for the postal service, either, due to Trump’s obsession with sticking it to Jeff Bezos, even though “the postal service has profited significantly from Amazon’s business." And they don’t want to fund safe and secure elections due to fears (unsupported by evidence) that “making it easier to vote absentee or by mail will help the other party.”
Call for action: “Responsible Republicans” should ignore all this and “join with Democrats in advancing legislation in this crisis that good for our country. Let’s get through this crisis responsibly, and then the two of us can get back to arguing again!”
OK, we give up. What exactly are Sen. Coons & Mr. Kristol proposing to bring about “an economic recovery as soon as possible,” aside from staying home and enacting more spending programs that will cause the national debt to skyrocket? This is basically a recipe for disaster.