Jen Psaki is one of the most beloved White House press secretaries in recent memory – even if Sarah Huckabee Sanders may have the distinction of being the most recognizable one in recent memory for all the wrong reasons. Whenever Psaki delivers a White House press briefing, she restores dignity to the institution itself while never shying away from the hard questions or even the gotcha questions – and there’s plenty of memorable exchanges of her doing this. On Friday, however, she might have just handed Democrats the strategy they need going into 2022, when she fielded a question from reporters about Ron DeSantis and school reopenings, particularly his threat to withhold funding from schools that require masks.
Without hesitation, Psaki replied: “I want public health officials to make decisions about how to keep my kids safe, not politicians, and not only is Governor DeSantis not abiding by public health decisions. He is fundraising off this.” It’s not only the ideal response to DeSantis’ childish feud to appeal to Trumpers, but it breaks down the major flaw with the GOP’s overall messaging by asking the question of “Why can’t politicians just trust other people to do their jobs?”
It’s a question every Democratic candidate running should ask their opponent – echoing the popular conservative talking points against government oversight and individual liberty, which of course, Republicans will gladly abandon when it no longer helps them. Why are Republicans wanting to make reopening schools and the economy more difficult and more dangerous than it needs to be, should be the talking point going into 2022 – and it’s also why they shouldn’t be trusted with the reins of power ever again.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making