Projection is a powerful phenomenon, and the American people have been subject to a perfectly cynical display of psychological projection from Democrats this week as the increasing likelihood that the party in power is going to endure a stinging censure from the voters on November 4.
Democrats have spent the better part of the week insisting that Republicans who have urged the president to take stronger measures to contain Ebola in the United States, which he did on Friday with the creation of a federal Ebola response coordinator, are stoking unwarranted fears among the public. At the same time, liberals do not see a contradiction in their behavior when they make the dubious claim that the only reason why there is an Ebola threat to America today is because of Republicans and their pathological attachment to budget cuts.
Last weekend, as the left franticly scrambled for a way to shield the president from criticism after Ebola broke out in the United States despite the assurances of federal authorities that such an eventuality was unlikely, liberals began to ring their favorite bell about reduced federal spending being responsible for this crisis, as well as all other human ills. An authoritative voice joined the chorus last Sunday when National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins told The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein that the world would have cured Ebola today but for cuts to his agency’s budget.
Collins did not assign blame to one political party or the other, but the message had been perfectly received by partisan operatives on the left. “Gee, thanks Republicans,” Democratic strategist Paul Begala barked in reaction to the article. He was merely the vanguard of a pageant of liberal critics who emerged certain that this deadly hemorrhagic fever ravaging West Africa and now spreading across the globe was essentially a Republican plot.
Collins’ quote to Stein coincided coincidentally with the release of a ham-handed 60-second web ad from a progressive organization which directly blamed Republicans for the spread of Ebola.
“On many levels, this line of attack is absurd,” The Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler sighed.
Obama’s Republican predecessor oversaw big increases in public-health sector spending, and both Democrats and Republicans in recent years have broadly supported efforts to rein in federal spending. Sequestration resulted from a bipartisan agreement. In some years, Congress has allocated more money for NIH and CDC than the Obama administration requested.
The beleaguered fact checker awarded the group who released the ad with Four Pinocchios, signifying that even an objective observer inclined to charitably interpret the ad could not find one element of truth to it.
Even those ostensibly nonpartisan actors who insist that Republicans stood in the way of a life-saving vaccine are on the receiving end of a rebuke from their more honest colleagues. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the lead researcher on the NIH’s effort to develop an Ebola vaccine, told Time Magazine reporters in early October that there is no vaccine today because, intuitively, “there was no disease around.” For the deliberately obtuse, he called this condition “obvious.” Today, Fauci reiterated his objection to his director’s divisive and baseless claim unequivocally in an interview with Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd.
Only a desperate partisan would embrace the routine and cynical pleas from an agency head for more funding as the gospel truth, but such is the dire state of Democratic political prospects.
Naturally, the legs having been ripped out from under this reckless attack on Republicans’ integrity amid a health emergency, you would expect those Democrats with some self-respect to abandon it, right? Not so fast.
“President Barack Obama is preparing to ask Congress for additional funds to combat Ebola, a move that could shift some political pressure from the White House to lawmakers in the last two weeks before midterm elections,” Bloomberg Politics reporter Jonathan Allen reported on Saturday. “While the move is unlikely to end criticism of Obama for a faltering response to the first U.S. cases, it could give him and his fellow Democrats a new talking point: that Republicans aren’t willing to pay to fight Ebola.”
The hollow, vicious, empty assault on the GOP and their supposed attachment to cruel austerity is simply too delicious to let go, so Democrats must create the conditions whereby it could become true enough to repeat with a straight face.
It is no wonder then why Democrats, according to the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Annenberg poll, enjoy a 10-point lead only among “low information voters.”
This post has been updated since its original publication.