By The Signal Editorial Board
There’s a meme circulating, showing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It says: “Impeached Trump for withholding aid to Ukraine. Withholds aid to the U.S.”
Such memes often lack context, and engage in hyperbole or blatant untruths. But the thing with this one is, it’s got a disgusting, truthful irony to it.
Just months after the politically motivated impeachment of President Trump, Pelosi tried to turn the coronavirus aid package into a liberal shopping spree, blocking the bill for days, when time was of the essence.
As of this writing, it appears the $2 trillion aid package is finally headed toward congressional approval and a signature from Trump. But that didn’t happen before Democrats, led by Pelosi, tried to cram the bill full of “progressive” agenda items that had nothing to do with the pandemic.
After much haggling, it appears we ended up with a bill that will aid the unemployed, help small businesses with payroll and help large business in the most affected industries. A bill that will give money to hospitals and pay for much-needed masks, ventilators and temporary hospitals.
It’s a relief bill for the effects of the coronavirus, as it should be. But Pelosi and her political thugs tried to bastardize it into something it shouldn’t be.
The Senate had been working out the details, with the goal of a true bipartisan bill to help the American people. They were close to a deal. Then Pelosi flew into town and blew it up.
Why? To quote House Majority whip James Clyburn, D-South Carolina: “This is a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”
Pelosi and Co. were kids in a candy store, stuffing the bill with pet initiatives unrelated to the coronavirus.
They were adhering to “Rahm’s Rule,” named for Rahm Emanuel, former Democratic mayor of Chicago: “Never let a serious crisis go to waste.”
Smelling opportunity, Pelosi’s posse tried to insert these, among other things, into the bill, according to multiple media accounts: $1 billion for Amtrak; suspension of enforcement on various immigration laws; $600 million for migrant and refugee assistance; $300 million for PBS; incentives for alternative energy; increased emission standards for airlines; $50 million for museums and libraries; wiping out U.S. Postal Service debt; national vote-by-mail and same-day voter registration; $35 million for the Kennedy Center; requiring diversity on corporate boards; student loan forgiveness; subsidized union retirement plans; amnesty for 800,000 DACA aliens; increased bargaining power for unions; $9.5 billion for colleges and universities; and, $100 million to juvenile justice programs.
Yes, there is more, but you get the idea. This, while most of the nation is staying at home, millions are out of work and we’re standing in line looking for food, toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
All the while, delaying aid to doctors, nurses, unemployed workers and closed businesses. That’s right, while the entire economy was collapsing, Pelosi was extorting Republicans and all Americans so she can achieve her “vision” of how the world should be.
It backfired. As of this writing, the bill had moved from the Senate to the House without most of Pelosi’s wish list. But not before Congress wasted precious time while millions suffered.
It was politics at its most cynical worst. And that’s saying something.