Democrats’ Endless ‘State of Emergency’ Is Why They’re About to Get Walloped

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·4 min read
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Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty

It has been said that you should never let a crisis go to waste, but what do you do when Donald Trump is out of office (and suspended from Facebook) and the news slows to a crawl?

Invent an emergency, of course!

When Trump was in office, COVID-19 was a crisis and every unmasked presidential appearance all but an act of potential genocide. With Biden, it’s time to turn the page, even as the death count has mounted.

With Trump sidelined, for now, and Biden plummeting in the polls, Democrats and the liberal media have returned again and again to the manufactured emergency to try and control the narrative. Remember the Georgia voting law (ridiculously called Jim Crow 2.0)? How about the viral images of border agents whipping Haitians seeking asylum? (After the agents’ actions were condemned by Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, it turned out they were merely split horse reins.) Or how about one from the Trump era that is relevant again: Russia paying bonuses for dead American troops? (There seems to be no evidence this happened.)

Meanwhile, real emergencies like the border, Afghanistan, crime, and inflation were downplayed by the Biden administration and the MSM… until ignoring these problems became impossible.

Biden and Democrats Should Be Absolutely Terrified by New Poll Numbers

“All the mistakes of the mainstream media, and CNN in particular, seem to go in one direction. Are we expected to believe that this is all some sort of random coincidence?” a conservative student asked CNN’s chief media correspondent Brian Stelter during a conference at the University of Chicago a few weeks ago.

Another student asked journalist Anne Applebaum, “Do you think the media acted inappropriately when they instantly dismissed Hunter Biden’s laptop as Russian disinformation? What can we learn from that and ensuring what we label as disinformation is truly disinformation and not reality?” Her reply, that Hunter’s laptop was “totally irrelevant,” struck me as dismissive.

After being exposed to years of liberal media bias, technology gave people on the right an option to tune out the mainstream media in favor of watching an alternative media (sometimes, including an alternative reality). Meanwhile, just as the MSM (see NBC’s The Apprentice and cable news empty podium shots) helped boost Donald Trump, they are however inadvertently doing the same for his would-be successor.

Last April, 60 Minutes’ botched hit gave Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis more conservative street cred and publicity than he could have earned on his own. One year later, DeSantis’ steady rise may constitute the newest “emergency,” with some warning that he’s even more dangerous than Trump. Some prominent media and political figures said the same thing about Ted Cruz.

Ron DeSantis Isn’t a Tough Guy. He’s Just Another Cowardly Bully.

After years of being told that Trump was a unique threat to American democracy that justified a popular front to oppose him, the goal posts are moving again.

Take for example, New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait, who previously suggested that it’s “plausible” Trump has been a Russian asset since 1987. During a recent episode of the Bulwark podcast, Chait cited DeSantis’ Obama-era book, Dreams From Our Founding Fathers, as evidence that DeSantis isn’t committed to democracy.

“[T]he fact that DeSantis… wrote a book arguing over and over that redistribution is the biggest threat to the Constitution… tells you an enormous amount of his actual principles and his disposition toward democracy,” Chait told Bulwark podcast host Charlie Sykes.

This deserves an explainer: According to Chait, American conservatives have always believed that the New Deal was unconstitutional and that redistribution is the biggest threat to liberty. And because redistribution can be enacted via the democratic process, Chait surmises that conservatives don’t like democracy.

In fairness, DeSantis’ behavior has raised legitimate questions about his temperament and fitness, from threatening local superintendents and school board members following the CDC’s new Delta variant guidance to warring with cruise ship companies over COVID protocols to retaliating against Disney for opposing his Parental Rights in Education (aka “Don’t Say Gay”) bill.

But the suggestion that opposing the forced redistribution of income renders one’s commitment to democracy in question would write nearly every mainstream conservative out of the “pro-democracy” coalition. This feels like a bait-and-switch. It’s going to be hard for me to come to terms with the notion that DeSantis is an illiberal monster, when I’m not even sure how I would measure up to Chait’s standards.

With Republicans and their media machine going off the deep end since 2016, there was a prime opportunity for Democrats and the mainstream media to provide a stark contrast. They could be serious, judicious, honest, fair, and… normal. They could earn back our trust.

Instead, they played the same old games. They were sloppy. They exaggerated. They tried to run up the score. They took cheap shots. They hyped things for short-term attention (much of which later ended up to be premature or false).

The problem is that when everything’s an emergency, nothing’s an emergency. I’m afraid that Democrats and their allies in the liberal media have not even begun learning this lesson.

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