Last week, Republicans joined Democrats — and in some cases got in front of them — in calling for direct payments to Americans to help cope with the economic fallout from the pandemic. The Trump administration, after laboring for years to repeal Obamacare, said it was considering creating a special enrollment period for the program due to the coronavirus. When Donald Trump himself suggested the government could take equity stakes in private companies that receive federal aid, it was a Democratic governor, Colorado’s Jared Polis, who accused the president of being a socialist.
The immediate effects of the pandemic on blurring the parties’ ideological distinctions have been acute — and the virus’ toll still remains far from reaching its peak.
“It’s crazy,” said Kelly Dietrich, founder of the National Democratic Training Committee, which trains candidates across the country. “Up is down, north is south.”…
And former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said “some of the issues that are being proposed and voted on now are going to become the norm in our political system, both with Republicans and Democrats.”
He predicted that new normal including paid sick leave, and even guaranteed income of some kind. “In other words,” Richardson said, “the era of big government is back, and both parties are going to embrace it to resolve problems. And [the change] is caused by the virus.”