Maybe that memory problem at the White House is spreading.
Vice President Kamala Harris generally has little good to say about the administration of former President Donald Trump — during the 2020 presidential campaign, remember, she even said she wouldn’t take a coronavirus vaccine if Trump said it was a good idea.
But when it comes to taking credit for a Trump accomplishment — the kind of accomplishment Democrats like — it’s a different story.
At a Treasury Department event Tuesday where she joined Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to announce an $8.7 billion program for loans to small and minority-owned businesses, Harris tried to place the program as part of a broader context of the Biden administration helping Americans on Main Street.
But in the process, she took credit for one of the best-known efforts of the Trump administration to help American businesses get through the coronavirus pandemic: The Paycheck Protection Program.
Kamala tries to take credit for Trump's Paycheck Protection Program pic.twitter.com/X91h6IMq0e
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) December 14, 2021
“What we did at the beginning with the American Rescue Plan, in addition to the Child Tax Credit, was about recognizing that part of the economic lifeblood of all communities are small businesses. That they are not only part of the economic lifeblood, if you connect a thriving economy with a thriving community, and understand that our Small business leaders are also civic leaders. They are also community leaders.
“And what we did with the PPP program [emphasis added], and also what we did to recognize how previous outreaches, particularly to minority and women-owned businesses, have not worked, and so let’s do a better job of engaging them, and the long-term goal there was that through what we did to better engage in a rescue approach would be what we would do to engage in terms of a continuing investment approach.”
It took her a while to get to the landing there. Here’s the full video of the statement:
First of all, it’s at least a little jarring to hear a Democrat like Kamala Harris having the gall to praise American small businesses. After all, it was small businesses, many minority-owned, after all, that bore the brunt of the 2020 rioting by Black Lives Matter and antifa mobs.
Harris was a very public fundraiser to collect money to bail those rioters out of jail.
But the real disconnect comes from Harris’ use of the word “we” while describing the Paycheck Protection Program. The PPP was part of the CARES Act, a mammoth coronavirus relief measure that was signed by then-President Donald Trump in March of 2020.
And while Harris could technically use the term “we,” since she was a senator at the time and CARES passed the Senate unanimously, there’s no question that the signature on the law that created the PPP was the spiky, unapologetic scrawl of “Donald J. Trump,” the president loathed by Harris and her party.
Some social media users noticed:
You and Demento Joe did not "do a PPP," @KamalaHarris. That was Trump.
— Chicago News Bench™ (@ChiNewsBench) December 14, 2021
Harris should know that – she’s had Trump’s Paycheck Protection Program praised in her presence before.
It’s entirely possible that she realized it Tuesday – considering how quickly she seemed to shift the subject when the initials PPP came out of her mask-covered mouth.
But it’s also clear that the fact at least appeared to slip her mind while she was speaking – the Democratic habit of claiming credit for any remotely successful government effort must have overcome her self-induced loathing for all things Trump.
Now, the PPP was far from perfect. Like every government program (and every endeavor by human beings, for that matter) it was plagued by allegations of fraud and abuse. It’s a solid bet the program Harris and Yellen announced Tuesday will be the same.
From a strictly conservative point of view, the argument could be made that the PPP’s kind of government intervention in the private market is an overreach bordering on a monstrosity.
But at a time of public panic in the face of a pandemic the likes of which no one alive had seen before, there’s no denying that PPP saved jobs and calmed at least some fears about the future. By that measure, it was an accomplishment in any book.
And the point here is that Harris is all too willing to take credit for a positive point of the Trump administration — apparently happy to forget her own and her party’s instinctive opposition to the man who held the presidency before Harris’ unworthy boss got the title.
Of course, President Joe Biden has established himself as having his own considerable problems when it comes to memory — fabricating entire episodes that never happened, a Walter Mitty in the White House — so it’s possible Harris actually believes her administration was behind the Paycheck Protection Program.
With a record of continuous failure in her job so far — and job approval ratings that show it — Harris is in the running for the worst vice president in history. (Aaron Burr might still have her beat — another white male keeping Kamala down.)
She needs to grab any accomplishment she can — even if it means stealing from Donald Trump.