Friday, 12 March 2021 12:12

OPINION: Betting on competence

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Democrats are about to try something radical. They are going to run on competence instead of ideology or demagoguery.

Joe Biden told the American people he would pass a COVID recovery act and get more than 100 million people vaccinated in the first 100 days of his presidency. They recovery act passed this weekend and we are on schedule to vaccinate 200 million before his hundred days is up. 

What a difference a president and Senate makes. 

In North Carolina, Roy Cooper is getting credit for vaccine distribution. Bloomberg wrote an article crediting North Carolina for getting the vaccine distributed equally across racial lines. The state is making a concerted effort to get minority populations that are disproportionally impacted by the disease vaccinated in rural and low-wealth counties. Overall, about 17% of the state has received a first dose so far and the state ranks 12th in the nation in efficiency. 

Meanwhile, conservatives are screaming about the mask mandate and the violation of their rights. They are demanding schools open NOW but complaining that the governor added teachers to essential workers, making them eligible for a shot NOW. Republicans are not going to be happy without a raging ego-maniac in the White House or incompetence in the Governor’s Mansion. 

Conservatives in North Carolina keep pointing to South Carolina, Georgia and Florida as states we need to follow. All three lag North Carolina in vaccine distribution, but lead North Carolina in COVID cases and deaths. South Carolina is 18th in the nation in deaths per million while we are at 39th. Florida’s governor is in hot water for prioritizing vaccines for his well-heeled donors. Georgia is 49th in distribution. If only we had somebody like Dan Forest or Pat McCrory, we could be sucking wind with these states, too. 

Democrats believe in governing. Republicans believe government can’t do anything right. In a crisis, we need Democrats governing. They’ve been stepping into clean up GOP messes since the Great Depression. Barack Obama had to deal with Bush’s Great Recession and now Joe Biden has to deal with the incompetence of the Trump administration. Democrats are hoping that 2022 doesn’t end up like 2010. Republicans are counting on continued division and voter suppression to give them a shot messing things up again.

Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of Before beginning PoliticsNC, Mills spent 20 years as a political and public affairs consultant.