“Democrats in disarray!” and “Republicans pounce!” are safe retreads for a media industry ruled by ad-clicks; but it isn’t journalism.
It’s the festive season and with only a few shopping days left until Christmas, holiday cheer is a little thin on the ground for the Democratic Party.
The working-class has its share of problems- inflation, plus higher gas prices and heating costs- and are making no secret of their displeasure. The Democratic Party, controlling as they do the Oval Office, the Senate and the House of Representatives, is bearing the brunt of it in the press, unfair or not.
With Sen. Joe Manchin letting the air out of President Biden’s Build Back Better plan on Sunday, and as the dust settles on that unpleasant holiday bombshell, Democrats seem to have little to celebrate this season.
Frustrated Democrats are lashing out at each other, as politicians who have had their best intentions thwarted at the finish line- not by the opposing party, but by members of their own- are wont to do.
Progressives blame the moderates, the conciliators who let the infrastructure bill pass separately from Build Back Better. “We told you so,” is the gist of it.
Plenty of moderates are blaming progressives, too, for pushing the Biden Administration towards too many green energy concessions without doing enough to assuage the public’s fears about short-term financial woes.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Biden Administration are coming under fire from progressives over other matters as well.
Pelosi is taking heat for her defense of Congressional Members stock trading and Biden for allowing the waiver on student loan payments to lapse. Student loan payments, long deferred due to COVID-19, are set to resume in January.
As U.S. authorities contemplate another round of closures, vaccine mandates and indefinite masking, progressives argue this is no time for lenders to recoup student loan debt.
Democrats are infighting at the local level, too. In crime-plagued San Francisco, Mayor London Breed and DA Chesa Boudin are publicly at odds over how to handle a wave of retail thefts and violent crime.
In Chicago, it’s the same story as Major Lori Lightfoot battles with fellow city leaders over similar issues, questions and disagreements, all laid bare by Freedom of Information requests or leaks.
Using two of their favorite narratives, “Democrats in Disarray!” and “Republicans Pounce!”, the media is having quite a field day.
It might be good for selling newspapers, or ad-clicks as it were, but these shorthand euphemisms for what is really going on in Washington are reductionist and tiresome.
The sky can’t always be falling. But if it is- as we have amply seen demonstrated over, and over, and over again- we certainly won’t be getting any advance warning about it from the ambulance chasers who pass for journalists these days.
President Biden is dealing with complex issues the corporate media, in all its wisdom, is saying next to nothing about.
Tensions are simmering to a boil with Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin is amassing troops near the Ukraine border in a very suspicious fashion. Mr. Biden has threatened sanctions, should Putin invade the Ukraine, but it is possible Russian leaders will thumb their noses at the idea.
Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party have their eye on Taiwan, which Chinese authorities have long considered part of China, much like Hong Kong. The pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong has been thoroughly snuffed out, ostensibly by COVID-19 safety precautions preventing assembly and demonstrations. Taiwan officials are nervously eyeing increasing encroachments into their sovereign airspace by People’s Liberation Army aircraft with the fate of Hong Kong in mind.
While the U.S. and NATO allies are focused on these two worrying prospects, and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, Turkey may move on neighboring Greece.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been taking the country in an increasingly authoritarian direction over the past few years, closer to Russia and further from NATO countries.
These are major challenges; today and in the decades to come.
Omicron threatens, along with other variants still percolating in the populace. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on daily life around the world, the U.S. being no exception.
While the press makes overmuch of a few minor disagreements within the Democratic Party, and amplifies only those elected officials willing to stoke the flames of tabloid journalism, the world has real problems.
Whatever temporary setback presented by Sen. Joe Manchin’s refusal to back BBB notwithstanding; Joe Biden will Build Back Better. He hasn’t managed in Washington all these years because he doesn’t understand the hard work and compromise involved in legislative change.
Gridiron politicians like Joe Biden have “Expect Delays” embroidered onto the pillows they sleep on every night. If they understood the word “no”, they wouldn’t last one minute on Capitol Hill. Getting the truculent, the implacable, the obstinate from a sworn “no” to a grated-out “yes” is Joe Biden’s bread and butter. He cut his teeth on harder rocks than Joe Manchin.
Getting counted out before he’s really down is the story of Joe Biden’s career. You’d think his naysayers in the press would stop underestimating him, but as usual reports of Joe Biden’s imminent failure are greatly exaggerated.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)