Proposing $6 trillion in new spending and calling for transformational government intervention, President Biden appealed to bipartisanship and calls for unity. Those on the left don’t think it’s necessary and the right doesn’t believe it is genuine.
In his first address to Congress as President, Joe Biden highlighted his “fundamental belief in the power of government as a force for good”, pushing several multi-trillion legislative packages.
- The proposals total $6 trillion and are aimed “making people feel government in their lives” and mobilize the government “to touch every corner of American life.”
- The increased “government investment” will be “funded by the wealthy”, increasing corporate taxes and capital gains taxes.
- Biden’s speech was called “the most ambitious ideological statement” by a Democratic president in decades and delivered to sound with no hint of partisan ideology.
- Increased spending and calls for unity were met with skepticism by even moderate Republicans who have shown willingness to compromise.
- CNN’s Chris Cillizza “analyzed” the speech by praising Sen. Chuck Schumer for his suit and “the Harris-Pelosi elbow bump” while criticizing Biden for being too detailed and brought Trump back in to the conversation, saying it was “nice to not have that (Trump’s reaction) in real time.”
- Vox’s quick take highlighted Biden’s emphasis on “children and families”, saying his spending proposals “puts children, parents, and caregivers front and center” while acknowledging Trump’s prescience on international trade when Biden put China on notice.
- The New York Times compared the Biden speech and its policy proposals favorably with FDR’s New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, and explicitly saying Biden has taken a completely different tack from what he sold himself as on the campaign trail.
- Twitter scold and self-declared expert on expertise Tom Nichols wrote in USA Today what can only be described as a Never Trump fever dream, ignoring the reality of the harsh policies, sanctions, and confrontational tone the Trump administration took with both China and Russia when he praised Biden for declaring that the Sino-Russian “free ride is over.”
- The New York Post editorial board criticized Biden’s speech, from start, with what it calls “utterly bizarre mask theater”, to finish, calling it a “mostly vacuous sales pitch” of a “grab-bag of items off Democrats’ wish list.”
- Newsmax covered the speech in a disjointed collection of quotes from Biden, but mostly focusing on the proposals that would add trillions in additional spending and debt.
- Townhall.com slammed President Biden for his emphasis on creating American jobs while canceling the Keystone XL pipeline and killing jobs literally as one of his first acts as President. In separate reporting, Sen. Tim Scott, who offered the Republican response, was praised for “schooling the president” for campaigning on unity but barreling liberal policy through Washington with no legitimate bipartisan consensus.
- The Daily Wire compiled twitter takes from the right criticizing Biden’s speech, quoting Dispatch editor Stephen Hayes as saying Biden’s hyper-partisan and “aggressive” tone while “ending with a call for unity” despite not really providing opportunities for Republicans to meet half-way.
- The calls for bipartisanship should be viewed skeptically: Mainstream media framing a redefinition of bipartisanship is meant to isolate those opposed to Biden’s proposals but willing to negotiate and browbeat them into acquiescence.
- When “negotiating” his American Rescue Plan legislation, Biden immediately dismissed Republican counteroffers and pushed forward on party-line votes, leading Republicans to be skeptical of any outreach in the future.
- Brand new Captain America Sam Wilson gave an inspiring, if not slightly globalist and liberal, speech in the series finale of fictional show The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and with a single line highlighted the problem of modern politics: “We can’t demand that people step up if we don’t meet them halfway.”
© Dallas Gerber, 2021