Saying that politics is a dirty business is as obvious as saying water is wet or that fire is hot.
Still, it’s difficult to watch as Republicans try to make excuses for Donald Trump’s obvious massive failure to recognize the enormity of the threat that the coronavirus pandemic would pose to just about every facet of American life and to prepare and respond to it properly.
Even worse than the excuses for — and denials of — the president’s incompetence are the perverse attempts by top Republicans to try to blame their Democratic opponents for Trump’s own failures, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) tried to do today.
In an interview with right-wing radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt, McConnell attempted to excuse Trump’s ignorance and inaction at the very start of the global outbreak on Democrats because he believes that the president and his administration were distracted by the opposition party’s impeachment efforts.
Apparently, walking and chewing gum at the same time is no longer considered an essential requirement in the job description of the president of the United States.
“It came up while we were, you know, tied down in the impeachment trial,” McConnell told Hewitt. “And I think it diverted the attention of the government, because everything, every day was all about impeachment.”
McConnell is counting on the listeners of Hewitt’s program not being savvy enough to check their calendars to verify the timeline of events of both the warnings about the coronavirus, then just beginning to become a major problem in China, and the horribly truncated, witnessless Senate impeachment “trial.”
Luckily, countless social media political observers have access to both calendars and newsfeeds and can create memes like this one to show where the end of the impeachment trial on February 5th fits into the coronavirus timeline.
Hmmm, seems like more than a month transpired between the end of the impeachment trial and the point where the president actually began to take the COVID-19 epidemic seriously — a month in which Trump continued to deny facts, spread misinformation and false assurances, and failed to do anything whatsoever to prepare the federal government for a crisis he was specifically warned of at the beginning of the year and simply ignored.
The viral meme above doesn’t even list the multiple political rallies that Trump managed to fit into his busy golf schedule during the first months of the year.
McConnell’s perpetration of putrid political talking points to try to shift blame away from Trump and onto the Democrats ignores one glaring fact: if he himself hadn’t fixed the trial to prevent the testimony of first-person fact witnesses to the president’s impeachable behavior and suppressed the document requests made by Democrats, America might have had a leader in charge now who wasn’t dangerously unstable, dishonest, and self-interestedly crooked to help see his through this crisis.
Rather than blame the Democrats, McConnell has no one but himself to hold responsible for the sorry situation we now find ourselves enduring.
Original reporting by Felicia Sonmez at The Washington Post.