Democrats are having enough trouble with the media these days to have to bother with fielding Republican talking points from ordinarily friendly faces. President Biden's approval polling is inexplicably low considering the successes his administration has had, particularly with the economy and job growth. And yet, coverage of his administration in a recent study was shown to be more negative than it was for Donald Trump during his term in office.
Which makes the Fox News flavored framing of a question posed by Charlamagne Tha God to Vice-President Kamala Harris somewhat puzzling. In an interview for his Comedy Central program, Charlamagne hit Harris with a well-trod Republican insult intended to diminish Biden as weak and lacking leadership skills (video below). “Who is really the President,” he asked. “Is it Joe Manchin or Joe Biden?”
This question has been circling the right-wing mediasphere for several weeks as Sen. Manchin has held up legislation that the rest of the Democrats in Congress support. What most observers forget is that those bills are also being opposed by all fifty Republicans in the Senate. So is Manchin's single vote really more responsible for the legislative logjam than the entire Republican Party that has been resolutely partisan on every issue, including those they support?
Sure, Manchin's vote could move the process forward if he weren't so stubborn and selfish. But so could the vote of a single Republican who had the courage to vote in the best interests of the American people, instead of the partisan craving for power by GOP operatives and the anointment of Dear Leader Trump.
Harris was noticeably taken aback by Charlamagne's question. But she wasn't flustered in her response. Without hesitation she replied…
Come on, Charlamagne. It's Joe Biden. And don't start talking like a Republican about asking whether or not he's president. It's Joe Biden. And I'm Vice-President. My name is Kamala Harris. And the reality is because we are in office we do the things like…
Whereupon Harris extemporaneously enumerated an array of accomplishments achieved by the Biden/Harris administration in less than a year that specifically address the issues that matter most to Charlamagne's audience.. They included…
- The child tax credit which is gonna reduce black child poverty by 50 percent.
- End choke holds and have body cameras.
- Get lead out of pipes and paint because our babies are suffering because of that.
- People who ride public transit deserve the same kind of dignity that anybody else does. So let's improve that system.
- Bring down prescription drug costs because folks who have diabetes should not be dying because they don't have enough money in their pocket.
Black maternal mortality is a real issue that must be treated by everybody, including the White House, as a serious issue.By the time Harris finished her mini-rant she had won over her host. Which was evident in the finale of this segment that resulted in the following exchange:
Harris: I hear the frustration, but let's not deny the impact that we've had, and agree also that there is a whole lot more work to be done. And it is not easy to do. But we will not give up. And I will not give up.
C Tha God: I just want you to know that that Madame Vice President, that Kamala Harris, that's the one I like. That's the one that was putting the pressure on people in Senate hearings. That's the one I'd like to see more often out here in the street.
That's actually the Kamala Harris that has been there all along. But if you are falling for the media spin that Biden and Harris are failing because they haven't achieved everything they set out to do – with a razor thin majority in Congress – it may seem like their efforts have been ineffective.
What's ineffective is the media presentation of what is really happening in Washington. If the reporting was more reflective of the reality, Democrats wouldn't be trying to dig themselves out of manufactured political hole. And by this time next year Democrats would be looking at a bigger congressional majority with which they could get even more done.
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Heated exchange b/t @cthagod and Kamala Harris when he asks her if Biden or Manchin are president
“It's Joe Biden — and don't start talking like a Republican about asking whether or not he's president…I hear the frustration, but let's not deny the impact that we've had,” pic.twitter.com/Itz9mqY6H9— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) December 18, 2021
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