You know, there is an easy way to find out if someone cares more about people or political power: if the news is good, are they celebrating or attacking our victories together?
Recently, my Kentucky Republican counterpart Mac Brown penned a pathetically desperate attack on Governor Andy Beshear. I suppose it’s no surprise, but it’s disappointing and sad to the people of Kentucky who deserve better.
While ignoring his own party’s failures and the growing dangerous threat, Brown unfortunately made it clear that they will not be part of the solution going forward. Republicans, consumed with bitterness over losing an election in 2019, spent most of the last year engaging in small-scale partisan attacks rather than actually helping the Kentucky people when they got the chance.
Republicans turned down $ 240 million as direct aid to small businesses and nonprofits that have been hurt by the pandemic just so they could keep moving a topic of conversation instead of helping.
Governor Beshear:Kentucky is open and our economy is showing record breaking dynamics
Republicans opposed teacher pay increases while shouting about “reopening schools” that never closed. Since the pandemic in March 2020, our schools have been open and our teachers are teaching. When it comes to personal learning, only Governor Beshear has taken the necessary steps to do it safely by promoting vaccinations for teachers to limit the spread of the virus in our classrooms and advising school districts on positivity rates to keep it low.
When it comes to unemployment, we need to make it clear that it was the Republicans who broke the system. Their repeated cuts in the labor exchange left it understaffed and without funding. Then, when the federal government continued to change its unemployment insurance guidelines, it was Governor Beshear – not the Republicans – who added increased and special payments to those who did not qualify for the federal programs or who got stuck on state regulations.
While federal and state Republicans tweet, take selfies, thrash, and whine – while suggesting absolutely nothing of their own – Beshear has led. Period.
It occurred when the federal government let us down in 2020.
A governor is elected to rule, and that is exactly what Beshear did. Kentucky has outperformed its neighbors on nearly every metric when it comes to protecting our employees. At the same time, we outperform the same neighbors in terms of economic success.
Dealing with the pandemic:Why Kentucky fared better than most of its neighbors
So, if Mac Brown or other Republicans want to take out credit, keep in mind that they did not lead during this pandemic. They just tweeted, whined and complained, and then ignored laws that would actually help the Kentuckers. When sick, depressed, and even dying, Kentuckians were given opportunities to help, they simply said no.
Unless they really support the Kentuckers, put their phones down and worry about their next press release, Republicans don’t deserve credit for a single positive metric that our Commonwealth currently has. They continue to do what Republicans have done for decades, taking credit for work they never did and believing that we are too ignorant to know they are lying.
We know better.
Colmon Elridge is the chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party.