- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 31, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went on “State of the Union” on CNN and railed against President Donald Trump for — her word — fiddling around while people died of the new coronavirus.

The only fiddler here is Pelosi.

But in classic redirect fashion, this is what she said on CNN, Breitbart reported: “I don’t know what the scientists said to him; when did this president know about this, and what did he know? What did he know and when did he know it? That’s for an after-action review. But as the president fiddles, people are dying.”

That’s a galling statement if ever there was one.

How convenient of Pelosi to forget her last-minute swoop to destroy a bipartisan stimulus bill with a version of her own, a 1,400-page one that contained all kinds of Democrat, leftist wish-list items — all kinds of special interest provisions that wouldn’t last past the laughs of legislators if they were presented by themselves. Like what? Like mandated environmental rules akin to socialist Green New Deal policies. Like funding nods at labor union causes. Like financial rescues for the flailing, failing U.S. Postal Service. Like money for Planned Parenthood.

Her list of absurdities went on.

Republicans stopped some of her pork, albeit not all. And meanwhile, prepare for the Pelosi Pork Push, Part Two. At this very moment, Pelosi is no doubt preparing for a second legislative steamroll, using the coronavirus as a rally cry for quick passage.

“I think it’s very likely that the House, where the radicals are in control, would love to blackmail the country,” said Newt Gingrich, former House speaker, on a recent “Fox & Friends” appearance, reported by The Hill. “They’re salivating at the idea that they could produce a new bill with everything they’ve ever wanted in life and somehow blackmail the president into signing it.”

Quite right.

But Democrats ought to take note.

Americans are out of work, at home, quarantining and riding out the virus storm. But they’re not deaf. They’re not blind. And they’re certainly not stupid. They still follow the news — and think about the news. Recent polls show Trump still has the favor of the American people.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential front-runner, lurks in the background, awaiting his moment in the November election shiny sun. But that’s far from a given. Even with a tanking economy, it’s far from a given the American people would want a new face in the White House, particularly when it comes to a pick between one dubbed “businessman” who has a proven record of guiding the country first to a stellar economy and now, through troubled economic and health crisis times — and one dubbed “sleepy.”

Likely, November elections will hinge in at least some part on which party, which politician, which political leader displays the greatest level of compassion, concern and competence in these troubled coronavirus times.

And on that, one need only look to the pork. One need only look to the source of delay on getting stimulus cash into the hands of the American people.

Pelosi, with all her fiddling, isn’t doing her party’s pols or her party’s reputation any favors — or the American people, the ones suffering most.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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