Will coronavirus be the pièce de résistance of GOP’s socialist agenda?

Early in his presidency, Trump and his then-Democrat daughter, Ivanka — she recently became a “Trump Republican” — kicked off an event recognizing Women’s Health Week by promoting a few of Ivanka’s socialist feminist priorities. Unsurprisingly, many of the issues important to Trump and his daughter were some of the same ones Hillary Clinton included in her platform during her 2016 presidential campaign.

Tops on their list was government-guaranteed paid family leave.

Though clearly a far left, socialistic, big government, liberty-killing concept, Trump Republicans and their faux-conservative allies pretending to be a “firewall” against socialism have adopted Ivanka’s agenda and made paid family leave a top priority.

Following Donald Trump’s promise to pursue paid family leave in his Make Big Government Great Again 2018 State of the Union address, Marco Rubio and Ivanka introduced a “budget neutral” proposal to allow paid family leave recipients to “borrow” from their future Social Security benefits to pay for it.

In his 2019 State of the Union, Trump mentioned the issue again and bragged about how he was the first president to include paid family leave in his budget.

So much for “budget neutral” I guess. In response to his address, Sens. Mike Lee and Joni Ernst introduced the CRADLE Act, another plan tied to future Social Security benefits.

In his 2020 State of the Union — are you ready? — Trump promoted paid family leave again. However, this time he suggested that it could be paid for by allowing parents to use their child tax credits.

A few weeks before his 2020 address, Trump and the GOP negotiated a two-part omnibus spending bill with Democrats divided between Defense and Homeland Security, and the rest of the government. Seizing on the “desperation” of the moment, Democrats added a rider to the Defense bill providing twelve weeks of paid family leave for federal employees.

True to form, Trump and the GOP adopted Rahm Emanuel’s “never let a crisis go to waste” rule to sneak paid family leave in the omnibus. Unfortunately, it looks like they’re ready to rely on the rule again. Using the “crisis” of the coronavirus for cover, Trump and the GOP are preparing to take their socialist ambitions to the next level by expanding paid family leave, but with a twist.

In a meeting with Republican “leaders” yesterday, Trump threw his support behind the creation of government-mandated paid family leave AND/OR sick leave programs as part of an economic stimulus package to counter the economic impact of the coronavirus.

Economic stimulus? I thought this was the strongest economy in the history of all mankind.

Democrats are prepared to seize this opportunity to lay the groundwork for a permanent program. “We don’t want people to have to choose between a paycheck and preventing the spread of the disease,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, said Tuesday morning. “We’ve been talking about paid sick leave for years, and it’s really unfortunate that it takes a crisis like this to finally get the attention of the White House.”

Some of the Trump Republicans in attendance, many of whom are up for re-election, expressed “concern” about the proposal, but according to Sen. Ron Johnson, “…this is an extraordinary situation and we may need to take extraordinary measures, and President Trump is providing that leadership.”

Translation? We’ll pretend to be concerned, but later we’ll get together with Democrats to do it anyway when America isn’t looking.

In their lame attempt to hide their true motivations, Trump and the GOP have struggled to bridge the gap between faux conservatism and genuine socialism.

It looks like the coronavirus will be the pièce de résistance that bridges that gap.


David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds members of every political stripe accountable and promotes conservative principles over political parties.

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