Wednesday, June 9, 2021

The End Times May Be Upon Us

Ah, NPR, you even make Pete Buttigieg look good.  Today Morning Edition had him talking about the end of Biden's negotiations on an infrastructure bill with Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito.  The only real information that emerged is that other Republicans are stepping up to negotiate in her stead; from the headlines I see, you'd think it was totally over.  But host Rachel Martin and Buttigieg kept referring to the Republicans as "bipartisan," as if there were more than one party in the GOP.  You could make a case, I suppose, that the party is divided between moderate Republicans and the Trump fanatics, but that would be mere propaganda at best; and anyway, it is still one party.  So far.

Buttigieg impressed me mildly today, though.  Not enough that I'd ever vote for him, but as a party apparatchik he's improved.  He stayed on message with none of his usual tone-deaf platitudes, and -- something I can't remember having heard anyone do before -- every time Martin tried to interrupt, he bulldozed smoothly over her before she could get a full word out.  The transcript isn't up yet, but I doubt it will show her inchoate starts and stops, so I commend the audio for your pleasure.

Martin finally managed to get out the question she seemed to think most important: Will Congressional Democrats resort to reconciliation to get the bill through the Senate?  Buttigieg seemed to think it was important too, because he refused to simply say Yes, though that was the upshot of his reply: It's got to be done.  He might have borne down harder on the fact that Biden's programs are popular, and supported by a majority of voters in both parties.  I've seen a number of notices like this one, reminding us that numerous important bills passed without bipartisan support; it's sad, perhaps, but partisan obstruction is never an excuse.