This came up over the weekend, and I meant to post something about it at the time, but just had too much going on. Before it gets too far in the past, I’m just going to put it up for discussion, and if y’all take it up, I’ll join in and say more.
Howard Weaver, a retired VP from McClatchy newspapers with whom I frequently trade tweets, brought this to my attention on Sunday:
President Biden has been selling his $1.9T Covid-19 package as bipartisan. But that message crashed into a hard reality Saturday when the House passed the bill — without a single Republican vote. https://t.co/krqCO9i3Cm – @sahilkapur
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 27, 2021
Howard’s reaction to it was, “A pointless, reflexive inside-the-beltway example of savvy swagger. Stop it, @nbcnews“
It certainly hit a nerve with me. I jumped in with:
It’s idiotic. The basic fairness and unity that @JoeBiden believes in, his fundamental belief that we are all Americans, regardless of party, is one thing. Whether any Republicans choose to back his proposals is another matter entirely.
— Brad Warthen (@BradWarthen) February 28, 2021
I may have overreacted a bit. A bit. But there’s a reason.
Look, folks, Joe’s going to do some things wrong, and when he does, people should call him on it. I don’t think all the evidence is in on his administration’s failure to go after MBS over Jamal Khashoggi’s killing, but there’s plenty there to challenge, so have at it.
But this nonsense I keep hearing saying Joe Biden is somehow failing in his “unity” pledge when Republicans decide not to vote for something he advocates is ridiculous.
Mind you, in NBC’s defense, they didn’t quite say that — they suggested this bill isn’t bipartisan because it didn’t get bipartisan support. You can certainly assert that, and support it. And if this was the only thing I’d seen about it, I wouldn’t even take notice of it. And if you called it to my attention, I might even agree. But I see it within a context of multiple assertions about that poor, deluded (or dishonest) Joe Biden and his stupid, or alleged, belief in bipartisanship — a bunch of yammering we’ve been getting from all sides ever since (and even before) Inauguration Day. That makes it come across differently.
It gets asserted repeatedly by people on the left who don’t want any bipartisanship and see Biden as a doddering old fool for believing in it (something deeply rooted in the campaigns of all that huge crowd of people Joe had to overcome to get the nomination), and people on the right who claim, every time Biden expresses what he believes instead of what they believe, that he’s a big, fat liar. And media types who prefer that the two sides fight, because in their book that makes a better story — or certainly a story that’s easier to cover in their usual, simple-minded manner.
And it’s stupid, and I’m tired of it. Tired to the point that I react negatively to something that even suggests it.
So that’s the way my knee’s jerking these days. How about yours?