One of the most interesting things about politics is that the entire scene can change in one day. In regards to the virus, that happened on Monday, yesterday.
We went from the first stage of the crisis, the medical response, to the second stage, the race to reopen the country. This happened as coordinated actions from liberal Democrat governors on the east and west coasts, in the west the so-called “Western Pact,” sought to usurp federal power on the reopening of their states to normal business and lifestyles.
President Trump, at Monday’s press briefing, called his power in this area “total.” Thus, you see the conflict.
Both the administration and these governors are now racing to see who will get the political credit for the reopening. In a nationwide election year whomever can restore America to some type of normalcy will reap the political rewards and both sides know it. It’s also apparent in politics that there is nothing like potentially stealing a march on your opponent to motivate a politician to action.
The coastal liberal governors were not the first to act on a reopening. Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott has made a commitment to start to reopen his state in May. Georgia GOP Governor Brian Kemp reopened his beaches. Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis is talking about reopening his schools in May.
Monday’s move by the Western Pact and the eastern liberal governors will embolden Democrat legislators in Texas, Georgia, and Florida to challenge their Republican governors on their plans. Not because their states could gain from a more prudent approach. But to steal the political rewards.
The starting gun that prompted the coastal governors to act had nothing to do with public health or economic factors. They saw the president’s increasing poll numbers and acted as avaricious politicians. They want some of the spoils of the president’s virus victory regardless of the effect on the nation.
So for good or ill, the race is on. George Jones, call your office. After Monday’s developments, the reopening will happen sooner rather than later.