Republicans Get Credit For Wrecking America, Democrats Get Blamed For Spending Money To Fix It
Biden’s Build Back Better agenda is hugely popular and desperately needed, so why can’t the media discuss anything beyond the price tag?
This week’s top media talking point was a #DemsInDisarray Build Back Better edition, and every pundit worth their bloviating got in a hot take on how Democrats are losing the messaging war on President Biden’s progressive agenda.
“All Americans know about the deal is the price tag!” exclaimed journalists who have only reported the price tag, and, “Biden’s approval ratings would go up if only Americans knew how popular the deal’s components are!” insisted commentator panels who only debated the politics of the price tag.
To be fair to the media’s penchant for lazy talking points, the Build Back Better deal has been aggravatingly whittled down recently by Joe Manchin and further whittled rather inexplicably by Kyrsten Sinema, whose demands relating to Medicare price negotiations and corporate tax hikes on billionaires seem to betray many of the promises on which she campaigned. But many of the core Biden policies “care economy” and Progressive Caucus priorities are still included, and very, very popular. If only journalists and cable news panels bloviated about the merits of these policies and priorities, and how beneficial they’ll be for average Americans instead of merely the price tag!
Despite the week’s seesawing of optimism and pessimism on whether or not Manchin and Sinema might jointly or individually kill the bill entirely, culminating in a perturbing scoop from David Corn that Manchin might imminently leave the Democratic Party, Biden’s timely CNN town hall on Thursday helped alleviate some weekend anxiety by adding some weight for the seesaw on optimism’s side with his calm confidence that a deal would be made.
May Biden’s confidence be vindicated because if Democrats scrap the Build Back Better agenda, it would be an unforced political error in unprecedented magnitude given the coming governmental catastrophe if Democrats get shellacked in another first term presidency midterm election coinciding with census-driven redistricting dominated by Republicans’ majority of rural state legislatures, echoing their very unsuccessful 2010 midterms.
And hopefully the BBB deal will be signed soon, because Democrats are running short on time to pass crucial federal voting rights reforms to decisively counteract and override Republican states’ voting rights subterfuge, and allow American citizens to continue to elect leaders they want instead of submitting to extreme Republican minority rule. The GOP is eagerly drawing new districting maps to gerrymander another half-decade of undeserved, disproportionate House representation, and, even more evil, passing novel, onerous state voting laws that in no way reflect the reality that there is literally no statistically meaningful amount of voter fraud anywhere in the country.
Meanwhile, Biden’s approval ratings and support for Congressional Democrats are slipping, and the worryingly close Virginia gubernatorial polls demonstrate that Democrats need to keep their campaign promises of being big, bold proof that idealistic liberalism can effectively solve people’s problems in contrast to the alternative option of Republican authoritarianism and ethno-nationalism. And it’s desperately needed after two decades of domestic coasting while most of America’s credit card spending has gone abroad to fight two wars from which we’ve finally finished extricating ourselves. Build Back Better will be the biggest investment in American society in decades, and a spectacular accomplishment for Democrats to campaign on next year.
It’s a necessity for America, as the 2022 midterms will without a doubt be considerably more outrageous than 2010’s now quaint and comparably charming racism-masquerading-as-a-Tea-Party, and a GOP majority next year in one or both Congressional chambers will be much more destructive and absurdist than the Obama era obstruct-a-palooza. More disturbing than pretending to care about the national debt, Republicans’ energy and focus is now fanatically directed at pledges of democratically suicidal fealty to an egomaniac electoral loser, and the radicalization of an army of wannabe Brownshirts fed an exclusively fake news diet of surrealist and racist lies and conspiracies running the gamut from #TrumpWon, to the Great Replacement Theory, to propaganda claiming Biden is a brain-dead communist, to QAnon’s claims that Democrats literally drink baby blood.
Grievance politics, frivolously petty culture war paranoia, and Donald Trump’s frail, debilitating ego dependent on the deranged Big Lie are all the GOP contemporarily brings to the table in response to historic challenges to both American’s infrastructure and liberal democracy. Millennials’ and GenZers’ futures are actively unraveling before our eyes further every day thanks to Republicans’ spectacular climate change denialism and callous indifference to the digitalized deluge of under-taxed, sociopathic robber barons exploiting every facet of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in ways America’s 20th Century laissez-faire industrialists couldn’t imagine, and the GOP hasn’t even the professionalism or competence to vote to hold Steve Bannon accountable for contempt of Congress.
In the week’s dumbest news development of Republican negligence and dereliction of duty, a single-digit number of House Republicans were willing to preserve their own legislative authority to investigate and fact-find, let alone check and balance the executive branch’s recent Trumpian villainy, lawlessness, and blatant acts of insurrection, by voting to hold Steve Bannon in contempt. Let me repeat that… Steve Bannon. One more time, the Republican Party’s most recent display of moral impotence was on behalf of Steve Bannon, the guy who was pardoned by Trump because he was facing federal charges for committing fraud against Republicans’ own loyal constituents.
Which is why it’s exasperating that the media narrative on Biden’s BBB throughout this entire year is somehow #DemsInDisarray and “What about the price tag?” instead of “Why are Republicans sabotaging America?” Or “Why are Republicans trying to kill everything Americans Want?” Or “Why won’t Republicans help struggling Americans?” Or “Why do Democrats have to do everything important all by themselves?”
Instead of pundit panels debating whether Build Back Better’s price tag is “too high,” how about pundits debate how utterly useless, unnecessarily crippling, and disgracefully unpatriotic Republicans’ bad-faith legislative dealing and Big Lie conspiracy peddling is? And then turn to how most of the BBB package polls massively popular even with conservatives. And maybe point out that Republicans have literally no alternative “care economy” infrastructure plans of their own, and don’t even believe Americans deserve any.
Beyond politics, check out my latest poem published by The Lark, titled “Oracles.”