By John Daniel Davidson, The Federalist
One thing should be abundantly clear by now, after ten months of this pandemic: our political leaders hate us and they think we’re stupid. Nothing else can explain the blatant hypocrisy we’ve seen, mostly from Democrat governors and mayors who are eager to impose harsh lockdowns and strict rules for the public at large but then turn around and do whatever they please with their own families, friends, and cronies.
Examples abound, but this week brought a fresh spectacle of hypocrisy in the form of a nervous, patently disingenuous apology from California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who was caught dining at an opulent birthday dinner for a top California political operative at a fancy French restaurant in Napa earlier this month, in apparent violation of his own COVID-19 protocols.
The timing couldn’t have been worse. On Monday Newsom announced he was “pulling the emergency brake” on reopening his state amid a spike in COVID cases, dealing a crippling blow to shuttered businesses and out-of-work Californians who have been struggling for months under rolling lockdown orders.
Only after Newsom was widely criticized for his rank hypocrisy did he offer an attenuated mea culpa, explaining that upon his arrival he was surprised to find there were “just a few extra people” at the party, but quickly added it was an “outdoor restaurant” in Napa County, which has looser restrictions compared to other areas of the state. Blinking incessantly and smiling tightly, Newsom finally got around to saying, albeit in the passive voice, that “the spirit of what I’m preaching all the time was contradicted.” Indeed it was, governor.
Gov. Gavin Newsom apologizes for attending party at French Laundry: "We're all human. We all fall short sometimes." pic.twitter.com/GPegzxt0dl
— The Hill (@thehill) November 17, 2020
But then we come to find out this week that the dinner wasn’t outdoors at all. Pictures obtained by the Fox News affiliate in Los Angeles show Newsom and a bunch of others dining at the French Laundry restaurant in Yountville, California. They are obviously not outside, not social distancing, and not wearing masks.
The woman who took the photos told the Fox affiliate that Newsom was with a “very large group of people shoulder to shoulder,” and that she was “surprised because it didn’t look like he was uncomfortable being there until the very end, until people were looking at him and staring at him as he was leaving the room.”
EXCLUSIVE: We've obtained photos of Governor Gavin Newsom at the Napa dinner party he's in hot water over. The photos call into question just how outdoors the dinner was. A witness who took photos tells us his group was so loud, the sliding doors had to be closed. 10pm on @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/gtOVEwa864
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) November 18, 2020
But it doesn’t end there! On Wednesday, Politico reported that two top officials with the California Medical Association were among the guests at Newsom’s fancy birthday dinner.
You might think the state’s top medical lobbyists would think twice about flagrantly disregarding COVID guidelines, or even feign an apology like Newsom, but no. A spokesman for the CMA told Politico that “the dinner was held in accordance with state and county guidelines,” which prohibit more than three households from gathering privately—but do allow restaurants to seat people from more than three households together. See?
Apparently this is a pretty common attitude among California politicians and their lobbyist buddies. With much of their state locked down by government fiat, last week a bunch of state lawmakers and corporate lobbyists flew off to Hawaii for a five-day conference and schmooze-fest at an upscale Maui resort. Legislators and their families mingled with representatives of businesses and trade groups that paid thousands of dollars for access to the lawmakers in what has become an annual lobbying tradition—even during a global pandemic!
Dan Howle, chairman and executive director of the Independent Voter Project, which hosts the conference, didn’t apologize. He told the San Francisco Chronicle, “Somebody has to be first to say, ‘OK, we’re going to do a group event safely.’” Yes, Dan, somebody does has to be the first, and why shouldn’t it be a handful of powerful politicians and corporate lobbyists instead of, you know, ordinary people trying to salvage their businesses and visit their loved ones?
Lockdowns For Thee, But Not For Me
On and on it goes. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who issued a citywide stay-at-home order last week, defended her recent appearance at a massive street rally celebrating Biden’s apparent victory, where a mask-less Lightfoot addressed the crowd through a bullhorn.
.@chicagosmayor Lightfoot defends celebrating Biden’s Election Day in the streets despite her own rules against mass gatherings: "That crowd was gathered whether I was there or not." pic.twitter.com/MR81LnHfa7
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) November 13, 2020
When asked about the obvious double standard on MCNBC last week, Lightfoot was defensive, insisting that, “There are times when we do need to have relief and come together, and I felt like that was one of those times.” She added, as if it excuses her hypocrisy, “That crowd was gathered whether I was there or not.”
Seemingly everywhere you look you find people in positions of power ignoring pandemic restrictions and doing as they please. Often these are the same people who are most outspoken about the need for lockdowns.
Back in September, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was defiant after being caught on camera (mask-less, of course) at a shuttered San Francisco salon in violation of a citywide lockdown order, calling it a “setup” and refusing to apologize.
Then last week, Pelosi was forced to cancel a dinner for incoming Democratic House members after a viral tweet showing tables being set up for the soiree understandably provoked outrage. “It’s very spaced,” she explained to an NBC News reporter.
The truth is, our elites have been doing this since the pandemic began. Who knows how many ordinary Americans were barred from attending the funerals and burials of their beloved dead these past months? Yet thousands were allowed to gather in July for memorials of Rep. John Lewis, in services that stretched from Alabama to Washington, D.C. Thousands were allowed to gather for George Floyd’s memorial service in June in Minneapolis.
We all saw the way the media treated Trump rallies like COVID super-spreader events yet condoned the hundreds of large-scale protests over the summer and fall in cities all across the country under the idiotic pretense that the protesters were “all wearing masks.” Same with the post-election celebrations that brought out thousands, dancing in the streets cheek-by-jowl and passing around champagne bottles.
The crowd outside the White House singing Sweet Caroline. It smells like pot and there are bottles of champagne popping. pic.twitter.com/VUHfS8rgSy
— Shannon Pettypiece (@spettypi) November 7, 2020
Again, there is only one possible conclusion you can reach, based on months and months of appalling hypocrisy from the media and our ruling elite: they think lockdowns are for you, not them. They think pandemic rules are for you, not them. They think suffering hardships and doing as you’re told are for you, not them. Why? Because they hate you and think you’re stupid.