The Media Craves Democratic Bickering

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Sometimes when I watch the media dealing with the Biden Administration, I think I’m watching an NFL game on a Sunday afternoon. For God’s sake, can we give it a rest, please?

We know that dissension and disarray are what drives the media in the first place. The negotiation process, which we’re seeing play out concerning the bi-partisan infrastructure bill and its Build Back Better (BBB) reconciliation companion, is the so-called sausage-making process we see all the time in Washington, D.C. But I get a sense the media particularly loves the back and forth between Congressional Democrats.

When is it going to pass? When will the vote be held? Why can’t the moderates and progressives be on the same page? Why is Biden not doing enough? Where’s Krysten Sinema? When did you talk to Joe Manchin last? Will this be the end of the Biden agenda and presidency? Will Speaker Pelosi be able to close the deal in the House?

And on and on it goes.

Here’s the deal, folks in the media. Joe Biden’s been in Washington, D.C, for the better part of about 45 years. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s been there for 34, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer 41. That’s at least 120 years of legislating experience, if my math is correct. So while it may look a little messy, how about we wait and see what happens? I know, what a concept.

If I were a betting man, which I’m not, I’d make a pretty large wager that both of these bills are going to pass. We won’t see the entire $3.5 trillion for the BBB bill, which is the figure progressives want. But whatever the number is, the passage of this legislation will be a big “effing” deal, as Biden once famously said.

But of course, we won’t be told that by many in the media. The downward movement in total dollars will be sold as a defeat, or perhaps at the very least, a blow to progressives who at one time wanted $6 trillion, which is what we’ve come to expect from our friends in the press.

Regardless, though, the American people are who will ultimately decide whether the Democrats upheld their end of the bargain when they took over Congress and the presidency in 2020. The 2022 mid-term election serves as a lurking backdrop over the whole process.

They promised big things, and if they can somehow keep things together and get both of these bills done, the narrative that Democrats fell short will surely ring hollow. The bigger question(s) from the media should be this: Why are Republicans against the BBB bill in the first place? Why would they be against enhancing childcare benefits for the working class, hearing aids for seniors, or helping create an electric car infrastructure that would help combat climate change?

Better still, why are they trying to sabotage the economy by failing to get on board with increasing the national debt, which would by all accounts be a devastating blow to real progress in a post-Covid recovery? Or, why did they increase the national debt three times under Trump, with unanimous Democratic support? What’s different now?

They never seem to ask those questions, though. It always seems to be, the Democrats are in chaos, and Republicans are simply the reasoned opposition party with savvy Minority Leader Mitch McConnell watching from the sidelines with glee.

Clearly, with the disgraced 45th president out of office, there’s a massive void for our dear press. They long for the days of absolute non-stop chaos. Thus, watching the legislative process play out in front of the cameras gives them a chance to report it as play-by-play intrigue. It’s not the same as Trump going nuts every five minutes, but it will have to do for now.

A prime example is a tweet I saw yesterday afternoon from MSNBC’s Leigh Ann Caldwell:

Senator Sinema is on the phone with the White House right now.

Oh, please, tell me more!

Once again, this is how the legislative process goes. Is it annoying that two Democratic senators are holding things up in such a public way? Of course. In the end, though, it’s all about how they eventually vote.

One of the more common refrains we hear from progressives and others is how we should never count out Speaker Pelosi. And they could not be more correct in that assessment. Nobody knows how the House of Representatives operates more than Nancy Pelosi.

A video from the annual Republican vs. Democrat softball game went viral the other day. As the game was going on, there she was, in the dugout, engaged in an animated phone call with someone. Whoever was on the other line, I felt sorry for them because she was getting her point across emphatically.

That shows that the 81-year-old legislator from San Francisco knows how to play the political game. She knows how to count the votes and how to persuade people to her side. Her male predecessors on the other side, John Boehner and Paul Ryan paled in comparison. She’s, quite simply, much better at her job than they were.

When we have the signing ceremony, I can’t wait to hear the accolades heaped upon Democrats from the media. You know, how deft they were at negotiating when all seemed lost. Or how Biden used his cunning legislative experience to get it done. Or how Schumer managed to keep everyone in the Senate together when he needed to.

Something tells me I’ll be waiting a long time for that to transpire.

In the end, what we see will be a historic investment in physical infrastructure and the human side of it as well. I’m banking on seeing that signing ceremony. If I’m wrong on that, it will most certainly be a big blow to the Democrats. But I don’t think that’s going to happen.

Once the bill is signed, sealed, and delivered, the press will move on to the next made-up crisis because when things go well, and the news is positive, what’s the point? No chaos, no intrigue, and no finger-pointing mean no ratings.

Then, barely before the ink is dry, they’ll begin interviewing angry Republicans yelling about socialism overtaking the government. There you have it—ratings gold.

25 comments

  1. Yes, I have been noticing that.

    As somebody said, democracy is messy, and we see that messiness in play.

    Perhaps there’s a dearth of good stories to report, so the media are spending too much effort on the stories that they can find.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s certainly part of it Neil. Chaos and bickering sells. Good news does not. Pretty simple concept, right? Now, if the bill does not pass, that’s a big deal. But until then, this is how complex legislation gets done. Maybe they ought to report it as such.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true Keith. I didn’t watch the 60 Minutes interview with the Facebook whistleblower, but I’ve read some excerpts. Bottom line: their algorithm promotes misinformation and conflict. Why? Because it makes them $$$$$$ Not much different from the mainstream media, right? It’s pathetic, and it’s killing us, literally.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I know you Americans dread a welfare state (even though they work elsewhere) but surely there are times when people are glad there is one. Even Trump had to do things to help people during the Covid crisis, Joe Biden is just taking it a step or two further and don’t tell me that many of the Republicans won’t be glad of that foresight and of the fact that the Government is looking after them when they need it most. What is beyond my understanding is why the GOP isn’t delighted that the benefits are there for their people also. How could they possibly vote against something that even their own voters want and more importantly, need? Why would they not want the infrastructure of their own States improved? Yes the papers like conflict, it sells on the newsstand but I think what would also sell is the news of an unheard of co-operation by the Republicans for Democratic bills that are in the public interest.
    As for whether the bills will pass I wouldn’t want to bet because the Republicans seem hell bent on the Democrats failing so they can win a majority of seats at the mid-terms. At that point I don’t believe what the voters want, the

    Liked by 3 people

    1. David, you asked: How could they possibly vote against something that even their own voters want and more importantly, need?

      Then answered your own question: …because the Republicans seem hell bent on the Democrats failing.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. You have it right David. We have a political party only concerned with maintaining their power, which also means retaining the white supremacy they’ve had since the birth of this nation. They could give a rat’s you know what about their constituents. They’ve been against almost any piece of positive social legislation for as long as I can remember. Yet, their people continue to vote them in. It’s a disconnect we have not been able to solve, and probably never will. We just have to hope the Dems will, in the end, get it done. Fingers crossed!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. it sounds like you’re talking about the democrats. a classic case of accusing a party of what that accusing party is doing.

        Like

      2. Scott, it appears to me that you do not like Democrats. You say you don’t care for Republicans. Maybe you should start a third-party?

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      3. well, I’m actually a libertarian as I am disillusioned with both parties and have been for years. I have many friends who are democrats so it’s not the people I have an issue with obviously but the politicians.

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      4. When you put it that way, Scott, I totally agree! The policies are one thing, but it’s the fill-my-pockets with $$$$$ individuals that need to be run out of town! Of course that would leave us with an empty building.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. well if the building is empty, there’s no one to be influenced by $$ so that could be a good thing.

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      6. Well, maybe. Personally, I still think we need laws and policies to keep the country from becoming a free-for-all, but I’m definitely not pleased with the way things are currently being run. By all indications, the word “compromise” has been removed from the political dictionary.

        Like

      7. Well, the so-called Libertarian Party has never gained steam in the U.S, nor has any other third-party quite frankly. The entry into our system is almost impossible. Dems and R’s have both rigged it that way. It would take someone with a lot of $$$$ and popularity to do it. Even then, it would be hard.
        However, to your point about being a libertarian. You cannot find one country anywhere on the planet where true libertarianism has been successful as a viable political ideology. It just doesn’t work Scott. Sure, elements of it are popular at times…ie, legalizing weed or gambling. But overall, it would never work because no matter what you or I may want or like, you have to have a viable government in order to have a stable society/economy. You need a cop on the beat or a referee in the game, to use a few metaphors. Regulation, in other words, Scott. You can’t live without it. We can argue how far certain regs should go, but again, you cannot eliminate them altogether. You just can’t. But that’s what most libertarians want, right?

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  3. (sorry) the Global Warming crisis will be denied again and any help towards easing it will disappear, goodbye electric vehicles, hello more oil wells and other fossil fuels. No more talk of reducing prescription drug charges or of any help towards health care. It could be a return to the days of the Trump Family Concern and dictatorship.
    Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To that point, there’s a new oil spill off the coast of Southern California that prompted the closure of several beaches. The GOP will shrug it off and urge more and more drilling. This is such a travesty. When will we ever learn over here?

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The thing is, all the candidates, during their campaigns, they will go, all OUT, promising the people a whole lot of things, and yet, more often than usual, those who are voted into office, the moment, they take their positions in the government, they forgot those promises they made to their, constituents, and thd next time, we the, disappointed, vote the other way, and, get disappointed again, and the cycle just, keeps on, repeating, infinitely…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s become more than obvious that it’s not about the people … it’s about how much money they can add to their bank account by catering to the desires of Big Business.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Yes, it does keep going doesn’t it? We must break this cycle somehow. I just don’t know how. Social media has made it so difficult. You can pretty much say anything you want, whenever you want, with no accountability. It’s a recipe for disaster, and we’re seeing it play out every damn day. Sad. Very sad.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. One aspect of US politics which has always infuriated me is the blocking of a budget, resulting in thousands of government workers risking not getting a paycheck while independently wealthy folk sitting on Capitol Hill play games. Oliver Cromwell’s quote to Parliament comes to mind.
    “You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately… Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go! –”
    Mind you, his solution of shoving them out with troops of his New Model Army was not exactly an equitable solution, but I trust you get my point.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I do get your point Roger. They need to do away with this debt ceiling dance once and for all. Mind you, both parties have played games with it over the years. But it’s the GOP who shamelessly do it over and over. Apparently, it’s only because of legislation passed near or at the end of WW1, that allows this BS to go on. But it wasn’t till the 90s, with Newt Gingerich leading charge, when it started to be used as a hammer. It’s got to change my friend. Sooner, rather than later.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. If they relied on their income solely from their Capitol Hill work, they wouldn’t be so hasty would they? Hypocrites!
        Gingerich, yes the shape of things to come (including the hypocrisy)
        Last heard of co- writing wet-dream books about the Civil War going the other way.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes, like Rudy Giulianni, a precipitous fall from grace. Although the grace Gingerich fell from wasn’t very high to begin with

        Liked by 1 person

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