Usually, when a CEO severely underperforms peers, he or she is fired or handed a gold watch and given a quick retirement party. In the Democratic Party, a rotten performance is a qualification for the presidency.
I'm referring to the bizarre infatuation inside Democratic circles with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a possible replacement for Joe Biden at the top of the ticket. Democratic operatives are increasingly nervous that the party has tethered itself to a fatally flawed nominee. Cuomo is now heralded as the sure bet to beat President Donald Trump this November.
The love affair began when Cuomo began holding nationally televised addresses on the state of affairs with the coronavirus in the Empire State. The media fawned: He is so eloquent, so smart, so charming, so factual. He is everything, they gushed, that Trump is not.
Except they forgot something. Cuomo has arguably the worst record of any governor in America, and his decade-long tenure as governor has driven the New York economy into a ditch.
No state has lost more people since 2010, the year Cuomo was first elected governor, than New York. More than 1.2 million more people have left the state than have moved there. Its economy might have fizzled as factories, businesses and capital have fled for lower tax climates. Even before the virus, downstate New York started to resemble the Rust Belt state of West Virginia.
The fiscal mismanagement of the state under Cuomo is legendary. New York spends almost twice as much per resident on state and local government services than Florida, even though the two states have roughly the same population size. By most standards, public services at half the cost are better in Florida. New York also has triple the debt burden as Florida.
Democrats seem to love the idea of making America look more like New York, but good luck convincing Middle America of that idea.
Then there is the governor's handling of the health emergency. This supposed stellar governor's policies didn't stop New York from having almost as many deaths as the other 49 states combined. His mishandling of the nursing homes allowed thousands of seniors to die. Two-thirds of the deaths in recent weeks have been in these senior centers. He isolated the seniors, so when they were on their deathbeds, they couldn't be with their loved ones.
Cuomo's most grievous error was keeping the New York subway open even as it became clear these trains were the single largest transmitters of the virus. The Big Apple would soon become the epicenter of the disease.
Still, the drumbeat for a Cuomo candidacy marches on. It is reminiscent of dreams liberals had in the 1980s of another New York governor becoming president: Mario Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo's father. That never panned out, but don't count out the ambitions of the son.
If Cuomo does end up crowbarring Biden out of the picture, the happiest guy in the country will be none other than Trump.
On March 24, President Donald Trump said he wanted the country and the economy "opened up and just raring to go by Easter."
Easter came and went. And Trump was mocked for being aspirational and unrealistic. Yet, with Ascension Thursday at hand, 40 days after Easter, the president seems to have been ahead of his time.
The country, as a whole, is, and has been, opening up. Sunday's New York Times reports that, for weeks now, more than two-thirds of the states have been relaxing restrictions as Trump had urged.
The reasons: weariness with the lockdown and sheltering in place, a growing belief that the worst of the pandemic is behind us and undeniably positive news from several fronts in the coronavirus war.
"New Cases in U.S. Slow," ran The New York Times top headline Sunday, adding the cautionary warning, "Posing Risks of Complacency."
The facts suggest a positive trend. The number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has been dropping for a month. The number of deaths has fallen from 2,200 a day in April to closer to 1,400 a day in mid-May. Several days last week recorded fewer than 1,000 deaths, an awful toll but a clear improvement over April.
As of Friday, the rate of new cases of the coronavirus was declining in 19 states and rising in only three. New Orleans and Detroit have seen sharp drops. The number of new cases in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island has dropped. New cases in Cass County, Indiana, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where meatpacking plants had seen outbreaks, have declined.
"On eight of the past nine days," said the Times, "there have been fewer deaths announced than there were seven days prior, indicating that the virus toll appears to be easing. More than half of the 24 counties that have recorded the most coronavirus deaths, including Oakland County, Mich., and Hartford County, Conn., are seeing sustained declines."
Still, the thrust of the Times article was about the new crisis we will be courting, should we try to resume normal activities too soon. Do that, says the Times, and we could easily forfeit all the progress we have made.
Message: Social distancing, sheltering in place, wearing masks, working at home -- the practices that broke the back of the pandemic -- should be sustained for those able to do so.
Clearly, the opening in many states has been driven by popular protest and public demand. Crowds have ignored social distancing to demonstrate for an end to the shutdown. Protesters have refused to wear masks and engaged in the time-honored practice since the '60s of civil defiance and disobedience.
The protesters seem to be saying: We deplore the losses and know the risks, but we cannot live our lives behind closed doors in our homes until the elites tell us, as though we were children, when we may go out in the yard.
Hence, the next question we are all likely to confront:
If there is a sudden resurgence of the coronavirus, a second wave, and the media elite and blue state governors demand a new shutdown, a new closure of beaches, parks, shops, restaurants and churches, will the people of this republic comply with those demands or defy them?
Will the nation answer back to the elites: We did that. We sheltered in place. We wore the masks. We socially distanced. We stayed in our homes. We stayed home from work. We have done all we were told to do to contain the virus. But, now, with the shutdown having put 36 million Americans on unemployment and sunk our GDP to Depression-era levels, we're going back to work.
The political divide has already begun to appear.
Among those making the case for ending the shutdown and reopening the country and economy will be Trump, red state governors like Ron DeSantis in Florida and Brian Kemp in Georgia, conservatives in Congress and populists.
The proponents of a second shutdown will be liberal governors and mayors, the mainstream media and the Nancy Pelosi wing of Congress.
It should not go unmentioned that the latter's political interests are best served the longer the shutdown endures and the worse the economic situation on Nov. 3. If the economy has failed to begin a robust recovery by fall, the greater the odds that Joe Biden wins the White House.
Yet, even if the pandemic returns in the fall, the establishment cannot keep the country closed indefinitely.
Prediction: If the people conclude they have done all they can do to mitigate the suffering from a virus they cannot eradicate, they will resist the imposition of another shutdown, and the establishment will have neither the will nor ability to push them back into their homes.
Ultimately, the people will decide when this shutdown ends, and when a plurality so concludes, the elites will be swept aside.
Patrick J. Buchanan
Last Mother's Day weekend, my family defied government pandemania. We drove out east from Colorado Springs to the tiny town of Calhan for a lovely little hike in the purple-and-gold-hued Paint Mines archeological district. Unmasked, we basked in the sunshine, fresh air and freedom. The park was teeming with moms like me who put family bonding over "social distancing."
We were not alone -- and that was a glorious thing.
There is nothing public health fossil Dr. Anthony Fauci can do or say to stop me from making the best choices for my children's health, sanity and resilience. He appeared before the Senate on Tuesday to heckle states like Colorado not to get back to business -- back to life -- too soon and too quickly. "Needless suffering and death" will occur, he told The New York Times. "I think we better be careful (that) we are not cavalier in thinking that children are completely immune from the deleterious effects," he testified.
Irked by Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul's very necessary reminder that no federal infectious disease bureaucrat is the "end-all" decider of our fate, Fauci warned against reopening schools because children in New York are "presenting with COVID-19 who actually have a very strange inflammatory syndrome, very similar to Kawasaki syndrome."
How dare you accuse us parents of being "cavalier" with our children's health, Fauci, when you are scaring them with dubious, unverified claims connecting a few cases of an alleged mystery pediatric disease to the coronavirus?
How dare you toss around so cavalierly the uncorroborated specter of "Kawasaki syndrome" (a rare but treatable disease) while untold numbers among the 57 million K-12 students suffer from the effects of panic-induced anxiety, depression, phobias and isolation?
Here are some actual facts about Fauci's Kawasaki hype: Peer-reviewed studies over the last several years have identified multiple theories of the inflammatory disease's etiology, including genetic factors, environmental triggers, superantigens, bacterial infections and viruses. A blinded, case-control retrospective study on kids at Children's Hospital in Denver investigating whether one strain of human coronavirus infection was a factor among Kawasaki syndrome patients "failed to demonstrate an association." The Mayo Clinic diseases and conditions information website states that "scientists don't believe the disease is contagious from person to person." Moreover, the Mayo Clinic states: "Kawasaki disease is usually treatable, and most children recover from Kawasaki disease without serious problems."
The truth is that Fauci is misleading American families and educators through arrogant acts of both omission and commission. The Kawasaki lie is not his first or last lie. Before he embraced masks for all, he smugly dismissed the measure in March during a "60 Minutes" interview because it would "make people 'feel' a little bit better, and it might even block a droplet, but it's not providing the perfect protection people think that it is." Now, he says, face coverings must be a "should be a very regular part" of our daily lives
Dutiful reporters ignore the flip-flop, slavishly acting as stenographers for Fauci and the rest of the dishonest "deep state." "Masks are here to stay," The Washington Post Lifestyle section chirped last week. To which I say: Hell, no.
As a responsible parent and citizen, I will not let terror rule my children's lives. I speak from heart-wrenching personal experience over the past five years as my teenage daughter, already battling chronic pain and joint hypermobility requiring multiple surgeries, also suffered from severe clinical OCD that left her unable to do mundane things -- like use a public bathroom, eat out at a restaurant or ride in a crowded vehicle. She lost friends. She fell into depression. Her physical and emotional health deteriorated. She was homebound, helplessly trapped in the worst kind of self-imposed lockdown.
Thanks to a brilliant and effective doctor, she learned to confront her fears instead of cowering from them. She learned that avoiding risks at all costs carries its own unacceptable risks. Every member of my family benefited from embracing the exposure therapy ethos. We cannot hide from germs, people or adversity. My daughter has remained strong in the face of mass hysteria and refused to withdraw from the world -- working, seeing friends and living life.
As Dr. Judy Mikovits, author of "Plague of Corruption" and star of the documentary, "Plandemic," which social media platforms have banned everywhere, "Fear is a very powerful immune-suppressant." By holding our children hostage, federal scare-mongers with vested financial interests and ideological agendas are making our most precious and vulnerable members of the American family sick.
Here in Colorado Springs, two cadets at the Air Force Academy committed suicide while on extreme lockdown.
In Ohio last month, 12-year-old Hayden Hunstable committed suicide after suffering in a "perfect storm" of loneliness under quarantine, his family said. Isolation was a "hidden killer and equally as shocking and horrific as what is happening on the front lines of this disease."
Where is Fauci's concern for these invisible victims of the invisible enemy? He's apparently too busy preparing to jab a new generation of young guinea pigs with his BFF Bill Gates' shots. To which I again say: Hell, no.
Teaching your children to live rationally and fearlessly, through words and deeds, is the most potent vaccine we can give them.