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Staff File Photo By Troy Stolt / Lakeside Academy student Emmett Loylass, 5, completes virtual learning coursework at home last September.

We don't imagine anyone on the left is ready to slap "Miss Me Yet?" bumper stickers on their cars for the departed Donald Trump administration, but Democrats are finding governing the country is a little more complicated than plug-n-play and blame.

The blame aspect got a little pushback Thursday from New York Times liberal columnist Nicholas Kristof, who suggested Democrats were so blinded by their hatred for Trump that they automatically took the other side when the former president suggested in-person learning would be better for students last summer.

"Many Democrats seemed to be more suspicious of in-person schooling last summer when President Donald Trump called for it," he wrote in an opinion piece. "We shouldn't let ourselves be driven by ideology rather than science."

Experts have said online learning in the advent of the coronavirus is nowhere near as effective as in-person classes and that the damage that has been wrought is even worse for disadvantaged students.

It's a "tragedy we haven't adequately confronted," Kristof said.

He said the almost year's disruption from traditional learning is likely to increase the dropout rate by nearly 4%, decrease the number of college-educated workers in the labor force and widen the achievement gap between students from wealthier families and students from low-income families.

"The blunt fact," Kristof added, "is that it is Democrats — including those who run the West Coast, from California through Oregon to Washington State — who have presided over one of the worst blows to the education of disadvantaged Americans in history."

(Hamilton County, wisely, has returned largely to in-school learning. Prior to that, local students whose families couldn't afford internet service were assisted by an agreement between the school district and EPB, which provides the service to enable virtual learning.)

Kristof cited evidence from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the British Medical Journal and a Tulane University study that suggested in-person schooling poses no dangerous risks to students or teachers.

Teachers who continue to oppose returning to the classroom until they and all students are vaccinated are guilty of "an abdication of responsibility to America's children," he said.

Meanwhile, Republicans and others are highlighting the scientific irresponsibility of the Biden administration's thoughts about ending a Trump public health order that allows migrants to be swiftly returned to their home countries. Repealing the order, they say, endangers both the health of Americans and migrants during a global pandemic.

"Thousands of these individuals have already been released into our country, a byproduct of you reinstating the 'catch and release' policies of the Obama era," a group of House members, including at least three doctors, wrote the president. "... The ramifications of these policies extend to the international community as well. ... While the United States has led the world in vaccine production, your administration's embrace of open-border policies and recent promise to 'fully support equal access to the COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine distribution sites for undocumented immigrants' will serve to disincentivize other nations from responsibly supporting immunization in their own countries and further drive illegal immigration."

Democrats are concerned, too — both for the health aspects of dropping the order and for their political hides.

"The way we're doing it right now is catastrophic and is a recipe for disaster in the middle of a pandemic," U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-Texas, told Politico. "Our party should be concerned. If we go off the rails, it's going to be bad for us. Biden is going to be dealing with a minority in Congress if he continues down some of these paths."

The Biden administration's rush to eliminate fossil fuels also hit a recent snag. Specifically, don't look for all-electric mail delivery vehicles anytime soon, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told the House Oversight and Reform Committee Wednesday.

And just why not? he was asked.

Because "we don't have the 3 or 4 extra billion in our plan right now that it would take to do it," he said.

Oh, that.

A contract awarded Tuesday to Oshkosh Defense calls for 50,000-165,000 vehicles — of the government fleet of some 645,000 vehicles — to be delivered over the next decade at a cost of up to $6.3 billion. If you're calculating at home, that's a minimum of $38,181 per vehicle.

Democrats didn't like DeJoy's answer, the fact he has tried to reform the postal service and that he is a past Republican donor. How long does he plan to stay in his role? they asked him.

"Get used to me," he said.

Going forward, that's what Democrats and Biden administration officials are going to have to do regarding problems when their far-left aspirations meet real-world realities.

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