"Do Democrats even care?" It's a fair question -- and the editors at the Wall Street Journal aren't the only ones asking it. Here we are, in the middle of one of the greatest crises in American history, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) swooped into town to demand new curtains for the Kennedy Center. The $35 million for the performing arts hub is just one of the shockers in the House's 1,100-page virus relief counterproposal, which proves there will never be a shortage of one thing in D.C. -- pork peddlers.
Before Pelosi showed up, Americans were finally getting a good look at what the two sides can accomplish when they work together. Hours away from a Senate deal that would put real relief into families' hands, that goodwill vanished in a cloud of sleazy opportunism. "[We were] all zeroing in on what looked like... a done deal," Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) shook his head. "That's what disappoints me about this place," he told listeners on "Washington Watch" Monday. "We could have gotten this across the finish line," but Pelosi "wanted to commandeer the process."
Suddenly, Democrats were insisting on a whole laundry list of concessions on everything from climate change to abortion and sanctuary cities -- nothing, Braun argued, that had anything to do with saving lives or the economy. And this is all going on, he lamented, during a "bona fide effort to tamp this virus down." While the rest of the country is sitting at home, anxiously waiting for help and direction, Democratic leaders are hijacking the relief money desperately needed by hospitals, families, and small businesses. Why? Because their concern isn't helping this nation. It's advancing extremism -- no matter the cost.