SocraticGadfly: Jamelle Bouie, Jeff Greenfield and Nicholas Lemann, even Ryan Cooper are all Biden-woke

March 15, 2021

Jamelle Bouie, Jeff Greenfield and Nicholas Lemann, even Ryan Cooper are all Biden-woke

And, I presume all speak for many Dem-leaners in the punditocracy.

Jamelle Bouie says, in a few more words, that Biden's stimulus plan is "a big fucking deal," to quote Status Quo Joe. One thing of particular note to me, to go contrarian? It's nice to have some expansion of Obamacare, but without a federal department of insurance regulation it don't mean that much. And, re the White House PR link from Jan. 20 he has in his column? Some of that, like the $15 minimum wage, was killed by ConservaDems as part of COVID, and may be killed again outside that. Other items, like a boost to "food stamps" and an expansion of the childcare tax credit, are only temporary and not permanent. And, of course, the cybersecurity issues in the PR piece have nothing to do with recovery. Yet other items are bully pulpit preaching, not parts of actual or proposed legislation. 

But Bouie isn't alone. Jeff Greenfield, no youngster he, also thinks "it's a big fucking deal." Greenfield should know better on some of his backward-looking political analysis. Obama "lost" the midterms because his mellifluous voice did a bad job of explaining Obamacare as well as his own stimulus, and his mellifluous voice did an even worse job of campaigning for Congressional Dems who would have him (many would). As national party leader, he also ignored pitching this message on a state-by-state level for a midterm that would control redistricting. The Slickster, the Big Dog? Hillary images were part of his problem, not just tax hikes. Speaking of a Dem Party that today is union-shrunk, NAFTA was a bigger part of Clinton's problem with Dems unionized or not who held blue-collar jobs.

Per Greenfield, the real 2022 question is, can and will Biden do a better sales job than Obama did? 

Nicholas Lemann is also Biden-woke, claiming this is the biggest fiscal deal in decades. At least Lemann doesn't claim it's "transformational." He does note most its benefits are temporary. He does, like the other two, ignore that the previous Congress with GOP Senate passed, and the previous GOP President, Trump, signed legislation with federal unemployment bumps and stimulus payouts, if not the child care bennies and other things.

I thought I was done with this until I noticed Ryan Cooper is also Biden-woke. Even more than others, he should know better. He notes, like Lemann, the temporary nature of many of the benefits. He claims Dems can, and will, try to make them permanent. And will, not just try. A. I think he's wrong; B. As a childless adult, I'm going to bluntly ask "What's in it for me?" if the childcare tax credit increase is made permanent.

(In addition, Cooper at one time in early 2020 seemed to indicate he was a "Bernie or bust" guy. In reality? 10 percent of you stayed home. 2 percent, if that, voted Green, more than offset by all the 2016 Bernie ⇒ Green people who went back to the sheep fold in 2020. And, 88 percent of you voted for Status Quo Joe.)

He is right that Dems learned, it seems, from the Rahmbo-Dear Leader failure of 2009.

But, let's get back to the not-so big fucking deal.

Why are the likes of Greenspan and Bouie so blown up about this? Or even, partially, Lemann?

Answer: This is an inside-the-Beltway press corps that lost sense of proportion over Trump, is my argument.

This is better than any stimulus Trump offered, thanks to him telling Georgia Republicans not to vote in the runoffs for Senate. And, that's about it.

It is NOT "transformational."

And, they know, beyond what I noted above about many of the benefits being temporary, exactly what I said otherwise.


They know the complaints on the payments:

  • About how the original $2K was cut back to $1,400.
  • About the cut in the eligibility cap.

About other issues.

On the virus, will Biden actually speed up contact tracing and related items? How much CAN he and how much is that, too, a state situation?

On unemployment? These added federal bennies, etc., are just extensions of what was in the last major relief package of 2020. They're also this-year only.

Other specifics of temporary increases:

  • SNAP increase is only until September;
  • Childcare tax credits are this year only;
  • TANF increase is just to patch state budget contribution levels, basically.

Again, all obvious.

If the MSM Beltway panjandrums had said "This was a very good stimulus package" (not GREAT, but I'd accept it being called "very good" in US terms), that would be one thing.

"Transformational" it is not.

The same is true about Biden's executive order on voting rights. There's very little a president can do in that field now that SCOTUS has largely gutted the Voting Rights Act.

That said, at least there was an executive order for that. None for things like college student loan debt, etc., as an unwoke blogger on Medium notes.

Add Hillbot Amanda Marcotte as semi-woke, claiming the bill will make vaccinations rate speed up. We'll see.

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