Republican candidates for the Senate and House, who are likely to win anyway in November, have really jumped on the Ebola bandwagon lately. They recognize a hot-button issue when they see it — the news media seemed to have no other stories for a couple of weeks — and found every way possible to use it to their advantage.
(Whether they recognize how fleeting this advantage will be, I don’t know.)
Democrats, and liberal-biased media op-eds like this one, were quick to point out that it was the Republicans who forced a “defunding” of the CDC and NIH last year with the very poorly named “sequester”. That’s not true of course — both parties voted for the sequester cut and Obama signed on to the idea in 2011 — and, according to Pulitzer Prize winner Bob Woodward, it might have been Obama’s idea all along.
NIH officials blamed a lack of funding for the lack of an Ebola vaccine.
Of course, liberal voters will believe this and propagate it.
Conservatives, instead of arguing the truth that the sequester cuts to the CDC were a bipartisan deal, went into defense mode, listing the $25 million in bonuses paid to top health officials and $39 million in research grants “that could have gone to the Ebola vaccine”.
The Washington Free Beacon describes these research projects as “questionable research”. Notably, the numerous projects they list are pet peeves of Republicans in general, like helping people with AIDS, obesity research, encouraging youngsters to eat more fruits and vegetables, and studying “sexual minorities”. Any Republican candidate could list these studies and get a huge swell of support from his voter base, because (1) they believe the government shouldn’t be involved in our daily lives (unless it’s the Ebola vaccine they’re currently demanding from the government) and (2) science equals attack on religion.
Nevermind that only a handful of people outside Africa have Ebola (and only a few thousand IN Africa have died from it), while millions die every year from AIDS, and thousands in the U.S. die annually from obesity-related illnesses — and that people of color are disproportionately affected by these.
Governing is supposed to be the job of these Republicans and Democrats in office. But they’re posturing instead. They have an election coming up, so they’ll ride the Ebola train until it’s out of steam and then they’ll jump back on the Obamacare/Romneycare train, and most of all the Blame-the-Other-Side train.
The press, instead of using Editorial space to point out the hypocrisy of both sides and the failure inherent in our two-party system, fall in line and often do the attacking for the elected officials.
Here’s a poll question for you (choose only one answer):
Would you rather your elected representatives:
1. Closed up shop earlier than usual (this is what they did in September)
2. Point out the failings of the other party (this is what they’re doing now)
3. Say what you want to hear (this is what they think they’re doing)
4. Get together and solve the problem (this is what they almost never do)
What percentage of registered voters would choose #4? My bet is it would be a high percentage.