John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Partisanship is alive

Posted on March 23, 2020
Partisanship is alive.

Long live partisanship.

The coronavirus hasn’t unified the country as well as many had hoped.

I am ok with that.

Senate Democrats objected to an economic stimulus package because it didn’t contain many of
their pet theories on how to fix America.

That’s bad for the markets, but probably good for the Republic in the long run.

Voters will get a chance to decide whether they want the Minority Party to stay the Minority
Party in the Upper Chamber. My guess is that they will.

I get nervous when partisanship is shouted down and humiliated and told to shut up, especially
in a crisis.

That’s what happened in China, and we will never know the full truth of what happened in

That’s what happened in the United States in the aftermath of 9/11. We made some really
good decisions at the September 11th attacks, but we made some really bad ones too.

I am comfortable that the Democrats continue to attack the President. I think their attacks are
unfair, unjustified and at times irresponsible. But that's ok.  The more partisan the Democrats get, the more President’s approval ratings inch

I am comfortable that some think this whole lock-down thing is ridiculous.

We need to have a more fulsome debate about shutting down the economy. And no, I don’t
trust Larry Hogan or Gavin Newsome or even St. Andrew Cuomo to make all the decisions for
me and my 401K.

Plunging our country into a Depression on purpose to save lives is a serious business. We should
have a better debate over the long-term ramifications of these decisions.

And FYI, America as a whole is not Italy. Nor is it China.

We have different population densities, different histories, different mentalities, different

I am even comfortable with the fact Anthony Fauci and President Trump disagree and disagree

Fauci is a smart guy and he has been around the block a few times. Trump is a stable genius
who somehow was able to get himself elected President.

The President has to think about everything. Fauci only has to think about killing the virus.

The President is going to say things that the Fauci strongly disagrees with, like calling this the
Chinese flu. Fauci is going to advocate things like shutting down all domestic flights, which I
hope the President resists.

Governing is all about making choices.

And sometimes, the government makes choices that many of us strongly disagree with.

In a democracy (or representative Republic, if you will), the people have a voice and that voice
demands to be heard.

In China, there is one voice that matters, no matter how incompetent or wrong.

In America, there are many voices, many of which are incompetent and wrong.

But the theory is that out of many voices, we get conventional wisdom that guides us on a
better path than if we just march lock-step with our infallible leader.

There is no such thing as an infallible leader.

We have two crises, one crisis that was predictable and another that was completely

The predictable crisis was the pandemic.

We all knew this was coming, and it has exposed some of our weaknesses as a society.

The fact that nobody saves us for a rainy day. The fact that our hospitals are at such capacity
that they can’t handle a twenty percent increase in patients, despite the fact that everybody
knew a pandemic was coming. The fact that no matter how much we plan for things, we still
are shocked when the shit hits the fan.

This crisis will induce some needed changes in our society.

We need to create public hospitals that are fully funded by the government.

We need to house the homeless. They are going to be wiped out by this virus if we don’t take
care of them now. It’s hard to shelter in place if you don’t have shelter.

Retail is still important. So are grocery stores. But they are going to change fundamentally.

We need a strategic reserve of toilet paper.

I am sure there will be other changes that flow from the pandemic and our response to it.

One thing I know for sure.

Our democracy is alive and well. We all have opinions and we should feel like we can express
them without fear of reprisal from the government. Or from our “friends” on Facebook.

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