As in life, in politics, you should be careful what you ask for.
Some Democrat politicians appear hellbent on turning the 2020 election into a referendum on the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
They lash themselves to the splintered mast and accuse political enemies of being racist for uttering the place whence the pandemic emerged. They use the global crisis as a diversion to loot the federal treasury for expensive and unpopular proposals that could never survive an open political debate.
And they mock, distort or plain silence President Trump and the team of medical, scientific and economic experts he has assembled to combat this once-a-century calamity.
Meanwhile, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden — the party’s presumptive nominee to replace Mr. Trump — takes to the airwaves from his basement home-studio to berate President Trump.
On late-night comedy television, naturally.
“The president waited too long to start taking it seriously,” Mr. Biden complained this week — again, on late-night comedy television. From his basement home-studio.
“You know, all the way back in January, I went on in major newspapers saying that we got to get moving,” Mr. Biden spun. “This is a real problem. We know what’s coming.”
It is truly quite the contrast between Mr. Biden playing for sad laughs and Mr. Trump addressing the country from the White House surrounded by a phalanx of experts with which only the most ridiculously partisan hack would quibble.
Yet, here we are. This is the field on which Democrat politicians in Washington apparently want to wage the 2020 election.
In the first place, regular Americans of every political stripe see a crisis like this and simply want to find a constructive solution. They want government leaders to do what they need to do. They want their neighbors to do what they need to do. And they themselves want to do whatever they can do to get past the crisis.
It is precisely this kind of spirit that makes Americans the most generous people on earth. They see a disaster somewhere on the planet and they ask themselves: “What can I do to help?”
And they give. Generously.
Nothing is more disgusting than watching a bunch of politicians in Washington scrambling up the greasy pole in times of genuine crisis to score naked political points.
This is why the national political media has never been held in lower regard than it is today. Day after day watching live, televised briefings from the White House as government officials struggle to work through an epic crisis while reporters bleat on and on from the lazy bleachers about whether it would be racist if somebody called the coronavirus from China “Kung Flu.”
And, of course, the coronavirus political timeline. Who knew what when?
To be sure, this is a dangerous game for anybody to play.
As the Wuhan virus was marching across China, the World Health Organization soothed the world that it was nothing to fear. Officials all up and down the New York City government urged residents to party it up in Chinatown in order to show solidarity against the racists who were warning about this latest superbug from China.
What were Democrats in Washington doing? Oh right, they were hellbent on impeaching Mr. Trump on charges so ridiculous that even they knew he would never be convicted.
But it was politics over the pandemic for them. Just as it is today.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @charleshurt on Twitter.