The story so far
Can things get better faster than somebody can make them worse?
|Roy Edroso||Jan 25||46||29|
Let's see, where were we:
Less than a week ago Biden and a couple of Democratic Senators were sworn in, which means the White House and the House of Representatives are decisively under Democratic control and the Senate is evenly divided with VP Harris the tie-breaker.
This is promising, and Biden has had a fair start, not only rejoining the Paris Agreement and undoing some of the more horrific Trump executive orders like the Muslim Ban, the 1776 Commission, and the fucking “wall,” but also asking Congress and the departments for more SNAP funding and another $1400 in stimulus payments (yeah, I know, don’t even start).
Biden also started the long-delayed revival of the national COVID-19 response that Tubby basically sabotaged — as was demonstrated by the day-late-and-dollar-short testimony of former COVID Task Force functionary Deborah Birx that Trump portrayed fake “alternative” COVID data to the public as the real thing, and incoming CDC director Rochelle Walensky’s revelation that she’ll be starting the vaccine program from scratch because her predecessors didn’t even bother to keep track of what vaccine they had.
As for Congress, technically unified Democratic rule will rely on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s plan to deal with the recalcitrant GOP, whose gangboss Mitch McConnell is blocking the Biden stimulus bill and threatens to retaliate if Schumer wrecks the filibuster rules to pass it without them. The worry of all good men and women is that Schumer wants to save the filibuster for some special occasion that will never come to pass, or to write about in his memoirs.
Meanwhile GOP/QAnon Rep. Majorie Taylor Green has filed papers to impeach Biden, rightbloggers run headlines like “Joe Biden Is the Worst 5 Day President Ever,” and “mainstream media” outlets like Politico run headlines like “The coming backlash against Bidenism.” No, I’m not kidding. Look at this shit:
A very few Republican officials who stoked the repeatedly debunked story that Biden stole the election, which in turn stoked the attempted coup and attempted murder of elected officials on January 6, have gotten scared and are making up excuses for themselves — Senator Josh Hawley, for example, says he was just “representing my constituents” and “was never attempting to overturn the election.”
But others stand by the con. Senator Rand Paul was given time on George Stephanopoulos’ Sunday show to flog the stolen-election story (“Were there illegal aliens who voted? Yes, and we should get to the bottom of it”) and, when challenged, blubbered about, what else, media bias (“You’re forgetting who you are as a journalist if you think there’s only one side”). Well, why wouldn’t he — he’s an asshole, for one thing, plus which he’s appealing to that 75% of Republicans who think the election was stolen.
Conservatives who were not directly engaged in refighting the 2020 election were working on rewriting the history of the Trump years, including the Capitol coup — which may seem rich to you, considering it was less than three weeks ago, until you consider the kind of people they seek to convince.
Megyn Kelly took the easy layup, blaming the desecration and death on the liberal media. “Part of the reason why we saw what happened on the Capitol here two weeks ago,” she said, “was because there was a complete lack of trust, destruction of trust in the media and people don't know where to turn for true information” so naturally they tried to murder their elected representatives, who wouldn’t.
At National Review Andrew McCarthy takes a whataboutist tack, saying oh, you Democrats love dissent when it’s Black Lives Matter and hippies but not when it’s white supremacists killing a cop and shitting on the floor of the Capitol, how hypocritical. “As Democrats gear up to annihilate their political opposition because it is supposedly too threatening to abide,” McCathy lies, “they might bear in mind that they were the bitter dissenters of the Sixties and Seventies.” Try to imagine the white-rioters singing to the old Beatles tune, “All we are say-ing/Is Hang Traitor Pence,” and the comparison becomes obvious.
The Hawaii Republican Party also loved up the insurrectionists in tweets bidding us to consider that “People who followed Q don't deserve mockery, the world is a complex place, there are bad actors, injustice, corruption” and “the people who subscribed to the Q fiction, were largely motivated by a sincere and deep love for America.” And Newt Gingrich suggested Democrats were hypocrites because there were
”troops in the capitol” (for God knows what reason!) and Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez had divisively expressed “fear of being around Republicans.” (Gingrich did not mention that at least one insurrectionist at the Capitol had threatened to assassinate her. Not sure whether that guy was one of the invaders the feds are talking about letting go.)
Meanwhile media bigbrains like Bari Weiss cry that “critical Race Theory is a threat to the most basic foundations of American life” — that is, when the big threat du jour isn’t cancel culture (latest victim decrying his deplatforming on a major platform: Josh Hawley!), especially if it adversely affects white supremacists and Donald Trump (but I repeat myself), but not so much if it affects liberals.
In other words, Biden may have the keys to the car but the brakes are cut and are now they’re trying to shoot out the tires. I only hope Old Joe is enough of an Old Pro that he was kidding about Unity, and has a deathmobile in the garage he can rev up to ramming speed.