After Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Stephanie Grisham, and Kayleigh McEnany, anyone or anything would have been an upgrade as press secretary. A wheel of Gorgonzola with a Furby chip jammed into it would have been better.
But, luckily, we did much better. Biden’s first press secretary, Jen Psaki, is knowledgeable, professional, and more than capable of walking that delicate tightrope between polite and pissed off. And on Thursday she was on her game, as usual:
REPORTER: “No Republican voted for the COVID relief package, and they argue that this is the sixth package and it adds to a deficit that’s already a trillion dollars this year alone. What do you say to that criticism, that ultimately this type of a sweeping piece of legislation will be a drag on the economy down the line?”
PSAKI: “Well, I would say to them we’re in the midst of twin crises, from the pandemic to an economic downturn that is impacting tens of millions of people in this country. People are struggling to make ends meet. They are worried about whether their grandparents, their cousins, their friends are able to get a vaccine, and they are suffering because they're worried about the mental health of their kids, who aren’t back in school yet. And the president’s focus is on addressing those crises. And I would point, send a question back to many of these Republicans as to why the deficit spending wasn’t as concerning when they were giving tax cuts to the highest incomes, but now it’s concerning when we’re giving direct checks and relief to the American people.”
I’m glad this reporter noted that we’ve already passed some COVID relief, because it points up an important difference between our two major parties.
Democrats want to help people all the time, whereas Republicans apparently only want to help when a Republican is in the White House.
This is the dance they’ve been doing for years. In 2009, while the country was facing down a potential depression and unemployment was surging, Republicans were loath to pass a stimulus bill to save the country from their own guy’s woeful economic stewardship. And now they’re trying to play the same games—except this time our new Democratic president isn’t interested.
Republicans will scream “deficit” for the rest of eternity, except when they want to pass their own stimulus measures—which invariably come in the form of plutocrat-pleasing tax cuts that Republican presidents will always, always support. Even when the economy doesn’t need a stimulus—like in 2017.
But try to send a single mother a check during an economic apocalypse and suddenly we’re told we need to hold the line for, you know, the sake of our children. Ironic, huh?
It’s nonsense, and I’m thrilled that the Biden administration is calling out their hypocrisy. Because bipartisanship only works when the other side is acting in good faith. And, you know, Republicans hardly ever do that.
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