Even PA Democrats are Realizing that Gov. Wolf and Rachel Levine’s COVID-19 Mismanagement Could Cost Them Big in the 2020 Election
More and more Pennsylvania Democrats are waking up to the fact that the political mess that Gov. Tom Wolf and his transgender Secretary of Health, Rachel Levine, have made of the the state’s COVID-19 pandemic response could seriously hurt the party this year.
As noted here previously, from the get-go, many Pennsylvanians have been unhappy about Wolf’s unilateral power seizure and heavy-handed mandates – particularly rural and blue-collar Democrats and independents, who have been hit hardest by the economic lockdown.
Adding to this discomfort are the daily press briefings with Levine, who is celebrated by the cosmopolitan press and city Democrats for her gender identity switch, but which doesn’t play as well among normal people – both Democrats and independents.
A news story today in The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:
Pennsylvania Democrats have mostly supported Gov. Tom Wolf as Republicans in the state legislature push him to reopen parts of the economy more quickly, and even contemplated revoking his emergency powers.
But two months after Wolf ordered most of the state’s 12.8 million residents to stay at home and closed all businesses not deemed “life-sustaining,” some in his party are starting to show frustration with the coronavirus lockdowns — and with the governor.
The two top Democrats in the legislature wrote a letter to Wolf on Sunday praising his efforts to protect public health — but also encouraging him to consider permitting real estate activity to resume in a limited capacity. He did so this week.
On Tuesday, Philadelphia-area Democrats asked Wolf to consider allowing curbside pickup at all retail locations in the state. And a Democratic lawmaker from Montgomery County wrote a letter saying residents in her district “have not yet seen evidence that your administration recognizes and sympathizes with the added physical, emotional, and financial suffering they are facing as a result of our prolonged stay-at-home conditions, which I know you do.”
State Sen. Maria Collett, who wrote the letter to Wolf on Tuesday, said Wednesday that the administration has not communicated what steps it is taking to help the Philadelphia region reach the “yellow” phase of Wolf’s three-step reopening plan. Most businesses would be permitted to reopen at that point, with restrictions.
It takes reading between the lines, because the criticism from Democrats quoted in the article seems mild.
But notable is the fact that Democrats are desperately trying to make political gains over the COVID-19 pandemic, yet here they are starting to cede ground.
In politics, you don’t give ground when you believe your narrative is winning.
Democrats want to use the pandemic against the Trump administration, the insurgent #ReOpenPA movement, conservatives in general and elected Republicans in states like Georgia and Florida who haven’t given into wild fears or enacted draconian lockdowns as Gov. Wolf has.
And worse for them, the more conservative and rural Democrats are concerned about how PA Secretary of Health Rachel Levine, not exactly the picture of mental or physical health, has become the off-putting, incompetent and hypocritical face of the Democrat over-response to COVID-19.
Levine’s role in dictating the unnecessary lockdown policy that Wolf enacted has put the state on a lockdown that is not supported by the science. In fact, the studies Levine relied on have been proven to be fatally flawed.
Democrats are definitely worried that Gov. Wolf and Levine’s handling of the COVID-19 response could hurt them at the state level come Nov. 3, and in the presidential race, given Pennsylvania’s role as a key battleground state.
That worry appears to be justified.