Remember when Joe Biden called Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ lifting of the mask mandate “Neanderthal thinking”?
The president gave his State of the Union address on Tuesday while maskless in a maskless House chamber, and all of a sudden all the cool kids are going maskless. It’s a magical transformation that Democrats believe they have to do in order to maintain control of Congress after the midterm elections in November.
Unfortunately for them, it’s far too late.
Selling the mask as protection against the coronavirus lost its appeal shortly after DeSantis lifted Florida’s mask mandate a year ago. Since then, Democrats have been insisting they were “following the science” while the “science” — flawed and politicized and the entire rationale for masks, school closings, limiting restaurant seating, and other pandemic safety measures — began to unravel.
A nation itching for a return to normalcy and sensible health decisions became impatient with the Democrats trying to paint Republicans as “anti-science” because they ditched the masks months ago, and voters will penalize the president and his party for their stupidity and arrogance.
According to a recent poll by Monmouth University, 70% of Americans say it’s time for the country to move on from the pandemic, and a decreasing number of Americans support COVID-related mandates. President Biden’s approval ratings on handling COVID, once a strength, are also underwater, according to the poll, with 43% approving and 53% disapproving.
Less than a month after that poll was released, Biden’s polling firm, Impact Research, reportedly issued a memo to Democrats saying they should “take credit for ending the COVID crisis phase of the COVID war” and “stop talking about restrictions.”
“If we focus on how bad things still are and how much worse they could get, we set Democrats up as failures unable to navigate us through this,” Impact Research’s Molly Murphy and Brian Stryker wrote in the Feb. 24 memo, which was first published by Punchbowl News.
Democrats can’t retreat fast enough to get ahead of the wave that’s coming to engulf them. As far as the public can see, Democrats did little that was different from what the Trump administration was doing except spend an ungodly amount of money.
“When 99% of Americans can get vaccinated, we cause more harm than we prevent with voters by going into our third year talking about restrictions. And, if Democrats continue to hold a posture that prioritizes COVID precautions over learning how to live in a world where COVID exists, but does not dominate, they risk paying dearly for it in November.”
An incumbent Democratic governor in one of the bluest states in the union — Phil Murphy of New Jersey — came within an eyelash of losing to a relative political unknown named Jack Ciattarelli after spending his entire campaign bragging about how well he was “following the science” on the pandemic.
One year later, Democrats will face voters who aren’t likely to have forgotten who was forcing these restrictions down their throat, who was pushing them long after the restrictions lost their usefulness, and who is now trying to pretend they were acting in everyone’s interest.