In galling hypocrisy, Pat Powers fabricates political outrage at South Dakota Democrats for supposedly voting against coronavirus relief:
Check this out. You’re not hearing it from the mainstream media, but in the middle of a pandemic, yesterday South Dakota Democrats block voted against the Senate Resolution laying out the spending of federal funds for COVID relief in yesterday’s special session.
…All of the Senate’s Democrats voted against disbursing millions in federal grants for long term care facilities, small business, funds for non-profits, etcetera and so on.
But it wasn’t just Senate Democrats. After they got done rejecting the expenditures for affected people and organizations, then House Democrats turned right around and voted against it as well.
…After all the amendments were proposed and voted on by the body as a whole, Democrats simply voted against anyone receiving COVID relief.
Which kind of tells you that they’re more interested in blocking than actually helping [Pat Powers, “Democrats Block Vote NO on Covid Relief Resolution During Special Session,” Dakota War College, 2020.10.06].
GOP mouthpiece Powers here attempts to sound like he cares about coronavirus when it sounds like a convenient hammer with which to pound Democrats in front of inattentive voters. Yet this feigned concern comes after spending the entire pandemic essentially ignoring coronavirus in his blog posts.
As of this morning, I’ve tagged 388 posts with coronavirus since March. (This post will be #389.) Search coronavirus on Pat’s blog, dig past the press releases from his sponsors, and you find the only time Pat mentions coronavirus is when he wants to praise his party leaders and their do-nothing approach to the pandemic or criticize politicians he doesn’t like. In April, he expressed shock that GOP Senator Phil Jensen would campaign door-to-door—”the opposite of social distancing“. Yet in September, he promoted irrational anti-mask protests in his town and disdained Brookings’s sensible mask mandate. This month he belittled Democratic House candidate Becky Holtquist for calling on local businesses to “take responsibility for masking” and shopping at safer out-of-town stores. Pat attacked a Sioux Falls councilman for not jumping on Trump’s hydroxychloroquine bandwagon in April, but he reported nothing about the lack of scientific evidence for the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine against covid-19 at the time, and he certainly never followed up to discuss the swiftly accumulating evidence that hydroxychloroquine was a bad bet or South Dakota’s abandonment of its embarrassing gun-jumping “study” of Trump’s quack pills.
I’ve read and written a lot about the science, the spread of the disease in South Dakota, the philosophical implications of this public health crisis, and the personal and public policy actions necessary to check the pandemic and its economic impacts, all in an effort to help myself and my neighbors understand and intelligently confront this grave and monumental challenge. I read the Legislature’s proposal for spending the remaining 48% of the CARES Act dollars that Governor Noem hadn’t already burned up, saw that it was a craven surrender to unchecked and misfocused executive priorities, and recommended a plan to spend that $597 million on far more direct relief to our schools and South Dakotans suffering from covid-19.
Governor Kristi Noem was going to spend all $1.25 billion of the federal coronavirus relief funds however she wanted, including on national cable TV ads for herself and her 2024 name recognition, no matter how the Legislature voted last week. Democrats didn’t vote against helping people who are suffering from coronavirus; they simply declined to be part of the feckless Republican rubber stamp of Noem’s self-promotion and misappropriation of funds.
And even if the Legislature had been considering a real bill to provide real coronavirus relief, and even if South Dakota Democrats had the power to block such a bill, Pat Powers wouldn’t give a real damn. Pat and his pitiful party don’t want people and governments taking real action to protect South Dakotans from coronavirus and its social and economic impacts, because such real action requires listening to science and experts, spending money to help working people, and investing in public institutions. For Pat and the Trumpists, the GDP and ideology are far more important than human life.
Last week’s Special Session coronavirus spending resolution was a sham. It was toothless, gutless Governor-petting that put not one useful dime in any coronavirus-sufferer’s pocket. Any legislators’ refusal to put their names on such horsehockey is not an abdication of duty or a sign they don’t care about the challenges this state faces amidst this pandemic. Quite the contrary: it’s a statement that we should be using federal coronavirus relief dollars for real, targeted coronavirus relief.
And we don’t have to put up with lectures to the contrary from a SDGOP spin blogger who ignores coronavirus until it offers a partisan opportunity for himself and his sponsors.