I have some good news for y’all: just like I hoped they would back in February the Democrats are FINALLY playing politics. And boy are the Republicans mad!
It was very clear what Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s game plan was: to try to corral the moderate Senate Democrats in a bid for bipartisanship, to agree to a plan that was sub-optimal, pass it, let it fail the American people, and then blame the Democrats on the campaign trail in 2022. And they might have gotten away with it…if their chief opponent hadn’t been Joe Biden.
See, congressional Democrats had already decided among themselves that there would be 2 bills: one that the moderates could show bipartisanship on, and one that progressives could tout next year and use reconciliation to pass, both of which Democrats would pass. And the Republicans knew this all along—in fact, Shelley Capito referenced it back in May:
… improvements in the country? I mean, we know that they have that option, we used that option in 2017.”
— Trish Turner (@caphilltrish) May 13, 2021
And McConnell himself referenced the 2 bill plan:
2 weeks ago McConnell was a-ok w/ a bipartisan bill and reconciliation happening together.
So I wanna say something. I'm gonna put it out there, if you like it you can take it, if you don't send it right back…
MITCH MCCONNELL'S OUTRAGE ISN'T GENUINE. pic.twitter.com/WQm4qsMwpZ
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) June 29, 2021
And like I said back in May:
Capito and friends met again with President Biden this week and I give him a lot of credit. Everyone knows that even if the Democrats agreed to everything the Q Party wanted, they’d still vote against it! And I mean, even if it had everything, including leaving their precious corporate tax rate alone, they have no intention of giving Biden and the Democrats another accomplishment. That’s because:
There won’t be any Q Party votes for any Democratic proposal. Ever.
And so here we are once again.
In reality, it’s a tempest in a teapot, sustained by McConnell and his buddies because their Grand Plan was thwarted they think they now have a great excuse to do what they always planned anyway. Both bills should pass and McConnell will have to find another excuse to explain away his pre-planned obstruction.
The reason that this non-issue is getting attention is our lazy mainstream media. It’s hard to write interesting stories about straightforward facts, and it’s even harder to get clicks on those stories after all of the circuses of the trump administration. In lieu of actually working, the press just repeated Republican lies.
Senators were described as “stunned,” “floored” and “frustrated” after Biden publicly put the conditions on accepting their deal, according to two people familiar with the private conversations who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the reactions.
Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at NYU, tweeted this as an explanation for how egregiously the press is handling current events
For 35 years I'm on the journalism faculty at NYU. We taught First Amendment. Times vs. Sullivan. Pentagon Papers. Inverted pyramid. (Google it.)
We taught "Frank Sinatra has a cold." Google it!
We didn't teach: We have a two party system and one of the two is anti-democratic.
— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) June 28, 2021
He’s wrong. You don’t need a journalism degree to know one side is lying. And you don’t need a journalism degree to push the narrative that prizes the truth. It’s not pedagogy that is failing journalism; it’s character. Democracy might die in darkness, but it is also strangled by intellectual laziness.