Well, it didn’t take long for partisan Democrats to blame the swine flu outbreak on the Republican Party.
Here’s the line: Since House Republicans all opposed the trillion-dollar-porkulus, which included funding for pandemic preparations, it’s all. Our. Fault.
When House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey, the Wisconsin Democrat who has long championed investment in pandemic preparation, included roughly $900 million for that purpose in this year’s emergency stimulus bill, he was ridiculed by conservative operatives and congressional Republicans.
Obey and other advocates for the spending argued, correctly, that a pandemic hitting in the midst of an economic downturn could turn a recession into something far worse — with workers ordered to remain in their homes, workplaces shuttered to avoid the spread of disease, transportation systems grinding to a halt and demand for emergency services and public health interventions skyrocketing. Indeed, they suggested, pandemic preparation was essential to any responsible plan for renewing the U.S. economy.
But former White House political czar Karl Rove and key congressional Republicans — led by Maine Senator Susan Collins — aggressively attacked the notion that there was a connection between pandemic preparation and economic recovery.
Now, as the World Health Organization says a deadly swine flu outbreak that apparently began in Mexico but has spread to the United States has the potential to develop into a pandemic, Obey’s attempt to secure the money seems eerily prescient.
And his partisan attacks on his efforts seem not just creepy, but dangerous.
So any natural disaster or bio-catastrophe that comes along, for which fiscal conservatives refused to support funding for in an economic recovery package, will now be all. Our. Fault.
And President Obama can once again invoke his time-tested alibi: He inherited the problem.
Don Surber properly calls this ploy what it is: A distraction.
“President Barack Obama has not yet chosen a surgeon general or the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His choice to run the Food and Drug Administration awaits confirmation,” Politico reported.
In all, 19 positions and the secretary are empty desks.
Maybe if Obama did something more than preen and pat himself on the back for his first 100 days in office, we would actually have a government that did more than just blame Republicans for all the troubles of the world.
Pssst. GOP-bashers, meet CHARLES “Flu pandemic funding = pork” SCHUMER.