President Biden is doing the best he can, folks, given what he has to work with! No one man can solve all the nation’s problems … he needs the help of others, but the only thing President Biden is getting from others is obstruction and criticism. Thus far, I think he’s done a pretty damn good job, considering that not one single Republican in Congress has found their conscience in the pile of dirty laundry they left lying about the floor of the Capitol. But it’s not only the Republicans … even members of Biden’s own party are wringing their hands and saying he “should do this …” or “shouldn’t have said that …” instead of supporting his efforts.
I don’t know about you, but I am sick and damn tired of the media focusing on what President Biden didn’t accomplish, calling his first year in office a ‘dismal failure’, and blaming him for everything from the price of sugar to the high rate of Covid cases/deaths. The reality is that he has accomplished a lot and would have accomplished much more, had it not been for the obstruction of the Republicans in Congress. The media … ALL of it … needs to stop and think, needs to be more honest and give credit where credit is due! Bill Press is an author, journalist, and radio talk show host who I’ve highlighted here a few times before. His latest column is spot on regarding the painting of President Biden with a very dark media brush …
Bill Press: Biden lays blame where it belongs
One year ago, Joe Biden took the oath of office as the 46th president of the United States. So, it’s only fair to ask the question, on Jan. 20, 2022: “How’d that first year work out?” And, indeed, that was the entire focus of Biden’s news conference on January 19.
Take your partisan hat off for the moment. Whether you like his politics or not, you have to agree that Biden proved once and for all – despite relentless smears by Donald Trump – that he’s more than up for the job. He not only gave the longest news conference in presidential history, but he also proved knowledgeable and up to date on the widest possible range of topics: from Ukraine to Yemen, from COVID-19 to voting rights, from inflation to the supply chain.
You probably also agree that the big show dragged on far too long and, at times, Biden talked too much, especially when he mused about how the West might respond differently to a “minor” invasion of Ukraine by Russia vs. a “major invasion.” When, in fact, the only correct answer is that “any” invasion of Ukraine by Russia is unacceptable and will be dealt with severely.
Not surprisingly, Biden walked into the East Room facing a skeptical, if not hostile, group of reporters. With few exceptions, in the days leading up to Biden’s press conference, news outlets had basically already written off his first year as a total disaster. You heard it over and over again: Biden promised to do big things, he promised to deliver on voting rights, he promised to work with Republicans and restore national unity – and he’d failed at all three.
Yet, by the time the news conference ended, in his own plain-spoken, and sometimes plodding style, it was Biden who’d proven the media wrong about all three.
Getting big things done. Did Biden achieve everything he set out to do? Heck, no. What president ever has? In four years, let alone one? But, as Biden was quick to point out, he could, and did, brag about “enormous progress” on several fronts: record economic growth; 6 million new jobs created; unemployment down to 3.9 percent; new business applications up 39 percent; record investment in rebuilding America’s ports, bridges, and highways; from 2 million to 210 million Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and from zero to 1 billion home test kits available. Yes, Biden admitted, he faced “a job not yet finished,” but he’d still accomplished a great deal in his first 12 months. And he wisely said he’s willing to break up his “Build Back Better” bill into smaller pieces to add that to his list of accomplishments. Score One.
Voting rights. Biden admitted that failure to pass voting rights legislation is the biggest disappointment of his first year, but you can’t blame him for not trying. He endorsed both bills, lobbied senators for their passage, and even supported ending the filibuster to make it happen. But there are limits to what a president can do. Blame Senate Republicans, 16 of whom, including leaders McConnell, Grassley, and Cornyn – previously voted for the Voting Rights Act, but refused to do so again for fear of alienating Donald Trump. And blame especially two stubborn, blockheaded Democrats, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. Score Two.
Unity. The reality is, it takes two to tango. And, in the past, Biden’s always found Republican tango partners. No longer. “Did you ever think,” he asked, “that one man out of office could intimidate an entire party?” Biden acknowledged that times have changed: “I did not anticipate that there would be such a stalwart effort to make sure that the most important thing was that President Biden didn’t get anything done.” National unity is impossible when one political party always says no. Score Three.
On this point, Biden was at his best. All-out Republican opposition, he noted, raises the question: “What are you for?” The truth is, we know what Republicans are for. For eight years, they were for nothing but stopping President Obama. For four years, they were for nothing but whatever Donald Trump wanted (which turned out to be nothing). Now they’re for nothing but stopping President Biden. For 13 years, they have not put up one new idea. They stand for nothing. They’re the party of nothing.
Perhaps unwittingly, Biden has given Democrats a strong argument to take into the midterms, by challenging every Republican opponent: “What are you for?” Other than making Donald Trump happy, they have no answer.