This is about the coronavirus. This is specifically about the tens of thousands of Americans who will die of Covid-19 between now and January 20, when I devoutly hope that Joe Biden will be sworn in as President.
I need not summarize the Trump Administration’s response to this epidemic here. His Administration has done nothing useful to combat this plague, and Trump and his Administration have actively interfered with the states’ efforts to respond to it. And his party has stood firmly behind him in this.
Again, without going into details, it is generally accepted that fairly obvious interventions by the Federal government could have drastically reduced the American Covid-19 death toll, and still could reduce the death toll going forward. The problem is, quite simply, Trump. He refused, and continues to refuse, to do anything meaningful to combat this epidemic.
So, why is this rant about the Democrats?
There’s the simple question of whether Trump’s choice to not interfere as the coronavirus kills thousands of Americans each week is within the acceptable range of Presidential discretion with respect to conduct of the office, or whether it’s an intolerable dereliction of duty that our system of government should do its best to not allow.
If the latter, given that another 100,000 Americans could easily be killed by Covid-19 between now and January 20, shouldn’t we do what we can to try to rescue them before they die?
Finally, there’s the politics of it. More about that below.
With respect to point #1, I just can’t believe that anyone would find it remotely acceptable or tolerable for a President to pursue a course of action or inaction that would almost directly result in the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans unless (as in war) to prevent some greater disaster. (That ‘unless’ is clearly inapplicable here.)
But the Democrats are sitting there and tolerating it. By their inaction, they normalize and legitimize Trump’s inaction. Yes, they say it’s appalling, but by treating it as something that should be dealt with by the voters in November, they treat it as just another partisan policy difference, something that should be decided by the outcome of elections and partisan politics, rather than something that no Administration of either party should ever be allowed to do.
And with respect to point #2, yes, of course I feel that the Dems should do whatever they can to prevent those deaths before they happen. That means impeachment, and that’s exactly how they should couch it, too: impeachment as rescue mission. (Elevator pitch: “all we are saying is give Pence a chance.” Stop throwing things, dammit! ) If they need a particular high crime, call it dereliction of duty. (Metaphorical) abandonment of one’s post in a crisis. I’m not particular.
Of course it will almost certainly fail. But as the deaths continue to pile up - especially in the red states that didn’t get hit very hard in the spring - the fact that they tried is going to look better and better. As my wife’s late grandmother used to say, “I just do my best and let the Lord do the rest.” And with tens of thousands of lives at stake, how do you not try, even if you know there’s little chance of success? It’s not like they’re staking their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor; at most, they’re risking a modest political hit.
[OP continued below]