TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: On Saturday, former President Barack Obama went golfing at the Robert Trent Jones country club in suburban Virginia. He’s a member there. Obama was driven to the course about 40 miles from his house in the District of Columbia by a government chauffeur. Here’s a picture of it, from Politico:
Obama is clearly enjoying himself. Why wouldn’t he be? It’s beautiful out on the links, and airy. You’ll notice there aren’t many people around. That’s because both Virginia and Washington, DC are still under quarantine. Everyone else is locked at home, as they have been for more than a month. Not former President Obama. For him, golfing at Robert Trent Jones was an essential activity.
Two days later, the beleaguered residents of Washington, DC began to receive a public service announcement on their phones. The message had been recorded at the request of the DC government by Barack Obama’s wife, the former First Lady. Here’s what it said:
Michelle Obama: “Remember, we urge you to stay home except if you need essential healthcare, essential food or supplies or to go to your essential job.”
Stay home — except for essential healthcare, essential food or essential jobs. That’s Michelle Obama’s message. It didn’t occur to her that those standards might also apply to her own family. That’s why she didn’t mention essential golf games.
That doesn’t seem to occur to anyone in power. A few weeks ago, Lori Lightfoot, the mayor of Chicago, was caught getting her hair done, at a time when Chicago had closed salons to mere civilians. Lightfoot’ s stylist ratted her out on Facebook. The mayor’s excuse? Quote: “I’m the public face of this city. I’m on national media and I’m out in the public eye.” In other words, “I’m far more important than you are. Shut up.”
Across the country, our leaders are making a mockery of the quarantines they so enthusiastically enforce. They have no intention of abiding by the restrictions they impose on their citizens. They have no interest in any scientific development — and increasingly, there are many of them — that challenges the wisdom of their lockdowns. Day by day, evidence accumulates that mass quarantines aren’t achieving what politicians claimed they would. Huge numbers of people have been infected anyway. Far fewer of them are dying than we expected. Our political leaders pretend as if none of this is happening.
Just yesterday, Maine governor Janet Mills extended her state’s lockdown into the indefinite future. She commanded citizens to remain in their homes, except for essential activities and quote, “occasional grocery shopping.” She prohibited bars, and restaurants, and summer camps, and some state parks from opening. She made it illegal for hotels to book guests, even for future stays. She canceled every summer festival in the state. She told every church to keep its doors locked, ensuring that many of them will go defunct and disappear forever. And she told the people of Maine to change their personal lives, including in the most intimate ways. “No shaking hands,” the governor ordered, with great emphasis. Thanks to Janet Mills’ decisions, Maine will never be the same place again. These restrictions are all necessary, Mills explained, thanks to the extreme and unusual peril Maine faces:
“I want to be clear: We are not out of the woods yet, and likely will not be for some time.”
“Not out of the woods yet.” Bracing words. Sounds like something Churchill might have said during the Blitz. So what exactly do Janet Mills’ “woods” look like? At the very moment she spoke, a grand total of 33 people were being treated in Maine hospitals for the Wuhan Coronavirus. Thirty three people. Out of a population of more than 1.3 million. Over the full course of this entire epidemic, just 51 people in the state of Maine have died from the virus.
Meanwhile, directly because of Mills’ lockdowns, more than 10 percent of Maine’s population is now unemployed. Businesses are failing all over the state. A forecast produced by Oxford Economics predicts that Maine will be hit harder and longer by the lockdowns that any other state in the country. Is this is proportionate response? No. It’s vandalism. Mill’s speechwriter worked hard to make her reckless policies sound poetic:
"People who now are staying apart, so that some day we can be together again.”
“Someday, we can be together again.” Thanks, governor. Appreciate your kindness. So how long will that be, until “we can be together again”? Mills, who is clearly deeply enjoying her newfound power, didn’t specify. There’s quote “no timeline” for that. “Things will not be normal soon,” she warned. “We are inventing a new normal.”
You may be wondering: Where exactly does Janet Mills derive the power to invent a quote “new normal” for 1.3 million people — to remake human society in whatever way she likes? Mills didn’t explain that, either. Instead, the governor read a selection from a 31-year-old novelist called Veronica Roth. Roth wrote that quote, “gritting your teeth through pain,” is part of the quote, “slow walk toward a better life.”
Deep thoughts with Janet Mills. A “slow walk toward a better life.” That’s what Janet Mills is promising. But wait. Wasn’t this supposed to be about a public health emergency, the latest epidemiology — science? That was last month. Now it’s about quote, “a better life.”
People in power abuse their power. That may be the lesson here. The arrival of a terrifying new virus from China gave our leaders more power than anyone has ever had in the history of this country. Six weeks ago, America was something resembling an imperfect democracy. We had an election on the horizon that were were paying attention to. Andrew Cuomo was considered a thuggish, faintly corrupt regional leader. Suddenly, everything changed. This is now an oligarchy, managed by bureaucrats and tech moguls, none of whom are accountable to voters. Our leaders are making decisions that will affect your family forever, with virtually no oversight or accountability. Of course they love it. We shouldn’t be surprised they don’t want it to end. Jeff Bezos has made billions of dollars since the lockdown began. How shocked are you that his personal newspaper, the Washington Post, is arguing at the highest possible volume that the lockdowns must continue? Not very. They all feel that way. This is the best thing that’s ever happened to them. It’s their chance.
Let’s say you once tried to run the country, but on two separate occasions, voters rejected you. They disliked you and your program so much that they elected a casino owner from reality television instead. You’d probably be stung by that, and bitter. Then one day, you wake up and the country is in chaos. Normal life has been suspended. It’s the perfect opportunity to impose your will on a paralyzed nation. You’d seize that opportunity. And she has:
Hillary Clinton: every form of health care should continue to be available, including reproductive health care (edit) and eventually and quickly, I hope, it gets us to universal health care... This would be a terrible crisis to waste as the old saying goes.
More abortion! Medicare for all! That’s the necessary response to the Wuhan Coronavirus, Hillary declares. Every politician has an ideological wishlist. Usually it’s filled with strange and unlikely ideas that, under normal circumstance, are kept in check by voters, who as a group instinctively distrust ideology. Not now. Nobody cares what voters think anymore. It’s time to govern without limits. Watch disgraced New York mayor Bill DeBlasio explain that, as a matter of public health or something, we need more quote, “inclusion and equity:”
DE BLASIO: This city was written off more times than I can count. This city came back stronger every time. Now we’re going to come back stronger and fairer (edit) immediate actions the city government needs to take and build out as part of the bigger vision, is a city task force on racial inclusion and equity. (edit) focusing on the disparities we’re seeing already, making sure that we are addressing structural racism that is obviously present in the realities we’re facing with this disease.
This pandemic is about “structural racism,” Bill DeBlasio tells us. Bet you didn’t know that. You assumed it was a virus. Confused? DeBlasio doesn’t care what you think. Like all our leaders, from now on, he plans to do exactly what he wants.