by Jeffrey A. Rendall
Lay the groundwork. According to the Wiktionary, the phrase is a verb which means, “To create a foundation; to provide the basics or fundamentals… (Example) The introductory mathematics courses will lay the groundwork for all your subsequent engineering studies.”
We all do it — lay the groundwork, that is. It’s what planning people do, prepare for the future. With all the recent establishment news media fixation on the Chinese Communist Party (or Wuhan, whichever you prefer) virus, there’s been a heck of a lot of chatter about organization and speed and whether the Trump administration acted quickly enough in the beginning to stem the spread of the twenty-first century plague in the United States. Liberal talkers and Democrats have made much hay over purported delays in the federal government’s efforts to deal with the budding outbreak in February and March.
“Look what was happening in Italy!” they complain now. “Based on the lockdowns in that country, Trump should’ve ordered everyone to stay holed up tight in their houses rather than continuing to socially mingle and get everyone infected! He’s got blood on his hands, something he and his supporters will live with for the rest of their lives!”
While the administration isn’t completely blameless — critics are a dime a dozen — it will be months and years before all of this is sorted out and sifted through to see where the facts lead, if the truth even exists at all. The president is no doubt receiving conflicting advice from a plethora of sources and everyone pretends to know what’s best to deal with the countless contingencies. But the COVID-19 panic has most definitely been a learn-as-you-go situation if there ever was one. And by most objective measures, Trump has done a stellar job of handling it. He’s first and foremost a leader and a manager, and this is what leaders and managers are born to do.
It simply wasn’t possible to lay the groundwork here, though. It’s like Nostradamus predicting the end of the world centuries after he lived, having himself persevered through outbreaks of plague which killed his first wife and children. Each of us would do just as well mounting a dartboard and tossing darts at dates listed on the thing and that’s about as close as we’ll come to guessing when the next virus scare will show up (or more aptly, when China’s commie leaders will release their next artificially concocted world pandemic).
If anyone knows differently, please enlighten us — hopefully with enough advance warning the folks who design for such occurrences will stockpile the necessary medicines and treatments. And if no one gets it right, then we’ll realize the (lack of) value of such prognostications.
For their part, Democrats aren’t waiting to lay the groundwork for their next political moves. It was revealed last week that Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff are establishing a commission to investigate the Trump administration’s coronavirus response. And party members are already setting up either to steal this year’s election — or alternately, provide themselves plenty of excuses and rationales should President Trump win another term. Unsurprisingly, many of their schemes focus on voter fraud and vote-by-mail initiatives.
Kevin Freking, Colleen Long and Nicholas Riccardi reported for the Associated Press, “With another economic rescue package in the works, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she wants money to give more voters the chance to cast their ballot by mail, an option that would allow people to vote without the concern over the safety of polling places.
“But Trump opposes voting by mail and is leading Republicans in a battle to limit its use, arguing that it would encourage fraud and lead to so many people voting that his party could not win.
“But the 2020 presidential election is creeping ever closer, and there are no signs yet of the pandemic abating, nor any word on when Americans on orders to stay home can resume normal life, so lawmakers are trying to figure out how to allow for voting in a world where face-to-face contact causes anxiety at the least and possibly sickness and death.”
There are many things at play here, first and foremost is Democrats using the COVID-19 panic to attempt to modify tried-and-true proven practices in the blink of an eye rather than enacting them into law by the constitutional process. It’s only natural that Democrats want to expand the franchise to ensure as many human beings as possible are eligible to vote. Abolishing voter ID or instituting same-day registration, for instance, would virtually guarantee illegal aliens sign up by the tractor trailer load — or, as was the case in Nevada, the bus full (from union dominated casinos).
If liberals are hot for background checks for firearms purchases, why do they get so animated and upset whenever responsible conservatives work to certify only citizens can vote?
While it’s true the election is “creeping ever closer” as the AP reporters indicate, Election Day is still seven months away with plenty of time for medical teams to deal with the coronavirus outbreak and to ensure elections and voting are conducted in completely safe environments. Heck, if Costco can achieve social distancing by constructing virus-proof (bulletproof?) glass to shield its employees from the buying public, why couldn’t similar tactics be used at local precincts?
Additional federal money might be in order to help states implement virus-wary guidelines, but again, there are over 200 days until the election. Why risk mass voter fraud to fashion a hasty solution to a likely non-existent problem? What evidence does Pelosi offer to suggest people couldn’t already vote by absentee ballot or other legitimate means? Any objective observer would concede voting isn’t difficult to do if a person is inspired enough to accomplish it. The truth is, a citizen should care enough to go to the trouble of either heading to a sterilized and sanitary polling place — or at least bother to request an absentee ballot in time to cast it.
Why is this even in question? Why is Pelosi making a big stink out of vote-by-mail if individual states opt for other methods? If you can make an appointment to get a driver’s license, how about designating a voting “time window”? Couldn’t it work?
Democrats’ motivations aren’t hard to decipher here. The first, as just outlined, is they want as many people voting as they can get their vote-harvesting machine-like hands on. The other is, less noticeably, that they’re laying the groundwork for a means to either contest the election results in court, or even worse, earn themselves a right to complain that the winners (hint: Donald Trump and a reelected GOP Senate majority and regained House advantage) is illegitimate because too many people didn’t vote because they were “afraid” of getting sick.
In-person voting has been around since the beginning of American democracy and there was always the chance that going to a polling station would expose anyone to contracting a flu virus or whatever other malady was circulating at the time. Yet it didn’t prevent civic-minded folks from performing their patriotic duty. Why is it so different now?
Again, making a huge leap of faith here, but by November Americans will have returned to their mass gatherings at places like political conventions (Democrats’ big fiesta is set for August now), the workplace, schools, houses of worship, malls, flea markets, farmers markets, sporting events, restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, amusement parks and (you name it here). Will international travel be restored by then too? Assuming people will embrace these activities like they did a month or so (or a little more in some cases) ago, why would voting be deemed different and especially dangerous in relation to everyday stuff? It just doesn’t make sense.
By the same token, it doesn’t seem plausible Pelosi and crew would mandate shopping by mail or outlaw buying or selling of consumer goods in retail outlets (even now you can still go to Home Depot and the auto repair shop, right?). Amazon may be doing banner business these days but many purchasers prefer to go to stores to examine merchandise rather than buy based on an internet description.
And couldn’t special health provisions and regulations be put in place at polling places? Couldn’t masks be provided to those who want them? And/or hand sanitizer in large enough quantities? How about asking for volunteers to regularly scrub the voting booths with virus killing cleaners? Heck, anyone who’s ever been onboard a cruise ship knows the crew sometimes requires you to take a dose of sanitizer before you enter the buffet line. Not a bad thing, especially if you’ve been one of the many, many unfortunate souls who’s gotten sick and quarantined in your room on a floating resort.
If this wasn’t sufficient, perhaps special accommodations could be arranged for mail-in balloting only by those in the highest risk categories — elderly Americans and/or those with special health considerations. Sweden has engendered much notice and praise (in some circles) for its refusal to order blanket quarantine restrictions as practically every other country on earth has done. Why would the United States need a one-size-fits-all mail-in prerequisite when it clearly isn’t called for in many parts of the country?
Why doesn’t the media do its job and probe Pelosi and other Democrats to explain the hypocrisy here? Why is voting treated differently than everything else in life? And where “early voting” is concerned, how much is too much? With the Democrat and Republican nominees already determined (not officially in the former’s case), should we allow voting today for November’s election?
Isn’t it time Democrats got past all the crapola about discrimination and voter fear of infection, etc. and confessed to their real aims?
Or are they simply terrified that the virtually invisible and otherwise feeble and incompetent Joe Biden will lose to Trump (and therefore drag all the party’s candidates down with him) and they’ll need to explain away another embarrassing failure? Emily Larsen and Naomi Lim reported at The Washington Examiner, “[T]he former vice president and Trump spoke on the phone on Monday.
‘We had a really wonderful, warm conversation,’ Trump said about the call in a press briefing later in the day. ‘He gave me his point of view, and I fully understood that. We just had a very friendly conversation. Lasted probably 15 minutes.’ He added: ‘I appreciate his calling.’
“The Biden campaign gave a similarly positive description of the call. ‘Vice President Biden and President Trump had a good call,’ deputy Biden campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said in a statement on Monday. ‘Biden shared several suggestions for actions the administration can take now to address the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and expressed his appreciation for the spirit of the American people in meeting the challenges facing the nation.’”
Trump’s too busy dealing with the multitudes of personnel working on COVID-19 to worry much about what Biden thinks, and besides, the 2009 “Swine flu” affliction was microscopic in comparison to the present circumstances. What value could Biden possibly add?
Democrats are setting up Biden’s coronavirus-forced sequester to serve as a pretext for why he’ll lose in November. Even pollsters are asking Democrats if they would prefer Andrew Cuomo to their would-be nominee (and about half said they would). Expect the media to soon start complaining that Biden is being robbed of the presidency (the polls all have him ahead at this point!) because he couldn’t campaign and do all the “normal” things candidates do.
Who knows, if they get desperate enough, Democrats might even accuse Trump of extending the federal stay-at-home voluntary guidelines to keep Biden locked away in Delaware instead of the campaign trail. Exasperated and frustrated people pull strange stunts. They’re running out of things to pin on Trump, so there isn’t much they can do but try and make the coronavirus stick to him (not literally!).
In these uncertain times, liberals are laying the groundwork for permanent change to the way America votes while also preparing justifications and excuses for their likely failure in this year’s elections. With Easter coming up and no end in sight to the coronavirus craziness, anything and everything is on the table in Democrat-land.
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Jeffrey Rendall is a senior contributor to ConservativeHQ.