Biden's Ambitious & Optimistic Agenda & the GOP's False "Burger Ban" Outrage
Last night in a joint session of Congress, President Joe Biden laid out an ambitious, transformative agenda to address infrastructure, climate change, social justice, jobs, and income inequality. Biden isn't a great orator like Clinton, Reagan, or Obama, but his tone and message seem right for our time. He speaks plainly and from the heart.
John Harris, Politico: “Though rarely described as gifted orator, Biden’s speech was a remarkable performance in part because it didn’t soar and largely didn’t even try to. In plain-spoken language, he depicted a breathtakingly large agenda as plain common sense. Instead of imploring partisans to take sides, he projected bewilderment that any practical-minded person of any persuasion could be opposed.”
Biden sought the presidency to restore integrity to the office, but also to demonstrate that government can still be a force for good, can improve the lives of average Americans. The comparison with Donald Trump's four years in office is stark and informative. Trump's sole legislative and regulatory achievements were corporate tax cuts and efforts to gut Obamacare and the nation's environmental laws.
And, in 2020, Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans ran without a Party platform which said volumes about their vision for the nation's future. The Party's leadership had no idea what Trump might dream up next to "Make America Great Again," and clearly no one wanted to say it out loud.
Beyond finishing Trump's border wall and making it harder to vote, the GOP still doesn't have much of a vision. so they just oppose everything, arguing that the problem doesn't exist [climate change, systemic racism], or that the proposed solution is "socialist,' which, in Republican parlance, means anything that might entail tax increases on rich folks or corporations.
However, Republicans are coming to realize that Biden's agenda is quite popular. The new President has reminded Americans of what competence looks like and he is making good on his campaign promises to battle the pandemic and revive the economy. So, recently Republicans have raided the MAGA playbook to cook-up some wacky conspiracy theories in the hopes of derailing Biden's agenda.
Fox Business Network host and Trump's former "trickle-down" economic adviser Larry Kudlow waded into the conspiracy pond last weekend to claim that President Biden had a hidden plan to take our hamburgers.
Kudlow, Salon: ... "No burger on July 4. No steaks on the barbecue. I'm sure Middle America is just going to love that. Can you grill those Brussels sprouts?" ... "You can throw back a plant-based beer with your grilled Brussels sprouts and wave your American flag. Call it July 4th Green. Now, I'm making fun of this because I intend to make fun of it. This kind of thing is stupid. It comes from a bunch of ideological zealots who don't care one whit about America's well-being. Not one whit."
"Plant based beer," WTF. Is is possible that Kudlow doesn't know that beer has always been made from plants?
In any case, there isn't any truth to Kudlow's nonsense and even Fox News admitted this week that it was a fairy tale. But, that's not the point. Kudlow, like so many Trumpists in the GOP have stopped even trying to address the challenges that the nation faces. It's not just that they don't have any answers to climate change, racism, income inequality, or our crumbling infrastructure, it's that they don't even spend much time thinking about them. Since the time of Reagan their only answer, to any question, is tax cuts for rich folks and they haven't had a new idea since.
Don't believe me; consider this. Republicans now say that they want to address infrastructure, but only "real" infrastructure. If that's true, why didn't they address it when Trump was in office and they had a majority in both houses of Congress? Trump cooked up a ridiculous plan that even Republicans hated and Mitch McConnell couldn't round up enough GOP votes to pass anything that included some way of paying for the improvements.
So, America now has one political party with some very creative ideas about how to address the nation's ills and another that simply refuses to debate the issues at an intellectual level above that of talk radio. And, unfortunately, that's unlikely to change.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content