David Rothkopf of The Daily Beast uses Twitter to inject some cool, refreshing oxygen into this summer’s frequently stifling political analysis (with a few comments from me):
And now, the latest Biden report from the Conventional News Network…
It’s been a rough summer for the president folks because
–Job growth slowing slightly (although yes, Biden has created more jobs in his first six months than any president in history) [I’d rephrase this to say that coming out of last year’s lockdown, we’ve had the fastest job growth since such things have been measured, which is at least partly the result of Biden’s recovery and stimulus programs]
–COVID spiking (although yes, the administration performed a miracle getting the vaccine out & the Republican Party has systematically undermined admin efforts to save lives)
–Afghanistan exit chat (although yes, the president ended a futile 20 year war and the administration managed to evacuate 125,000 people so far in one of the biggest humanitarian airlifts every, and ending wars is chaotic by nature)
–Infrastructure plans face opposition (although yes, that’s the way Congress works, the infrastructure bill represents a bipartisan breakthrough and much of the opposition is posturing)
–Fires, floods and storms! (although yes, Biden has put together an aggressive plan to combat the climate crisis, undone the huge damage done by his predecessor, gotten the US back into the Paris Accords, and made this a priority in the way no prior president has) [plus, you know it’s the weather, which presidents don’t control]
–Biden draws on his own personal experience while expressing compassion (although yes, the previous president was a sociopath and the story that being a genuine human made people uncomfortable was a cynical political spin job by the opposition…like much of the above)
Record economic growth, record job creation, record appointments to the court, the most diverse administration in history, massive effort to undo the damage done by predecessors, ushering in a new future oriented foreign policy and ending the disastrous post 9/11 era…
Restoring compassion, competence, a respect for the rule of law and a commitment to governance…although yes, we get it, he’s not perfect, not every goal is achieved, sometime his opponents succeed in blocking him, sometimes mistakes are made but he’s actually having a great year.
But let’s be honest, a slight dip in public opinion polls is inevitable when there’s so much misinformation and false bothsidesism in media coverage and what’s really important–support for his core policies remains high and bi-partisan.
Oh..and one more thing..the opposition does not offer any kind of credible alternative policies, focuses on obstruction, remains loyal to the most corrupt, incompetent, malevolent demagogue in US history, are systematically carving away the rights of American women and voters and are conducting an assault on democracy in the United States that may yet succeed. Biden is hugely successful if imperfect and much remains to be done. His opponents represent a threat to everything we have cherished about America’s values and our institutions.
But sure…let’s go with that old conventional wisdom, that easy if entirely inaccurate set of takes that are so popular these days. Who cares if it makes terrible outcomes in our country’s future more likely? Who cares if it is deeply misleading?
(P.S. This is not directed at any one media organization. There are many great journalists at work at almost everywhere you’d watch or read, if you don’t watch Fox or OANN. But among them, there are others who are helping to create the problem flagged here.)
Adding my two cents, I’m not sure if the Democrats should have bothered negotiating infrastructure with the Republicans, or just put everything into one big reconciliation bill that could pass with no Republican support. My big problem with what Biden has done so far, or hasn’t done, is that he hasn’t been able to get Senate Democrats to create an exception to the filibuster to protect voting rights. I’m also not sure Merrick Garland was a good choice for Attorney General, since Garland doesn’t seem very interested in what went on in the previous administration.