Lost opportunity: Jen Psaki first fail; should've used the question to uplift the working class

We all love how effective Jen Psaki has been as President Joe Biden’s White House Press Secretary. This was not her best moment.

Jen Psaki had the perfect opportunity to swing hard

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It was clear why the question tripped. This type of question will continue to trip up those who have not developed resistance to the political gravity that leads one to refuse to tell the truth about the privilege of the plutocracy.

“There seems to be a bit of a shift in tone here because last month the president was pretty adamant that he did not believe that these enhanced unemployment benefits were playing a role or factoring into people’s decisions not to get back into the jobs market,” the reporter said. Today though, he’s underscoring that these benefits are ‘simply’ temporary set to expire in 90 days. So which is it? Yes or no? Does the president believe that these unemployment benefits are playing a role here?”

After I heard the question, I was ready for Jen Psaki to knock it out of the park as she has been doing since she became the Press Secretary. I rewound the video and started recording. Then I heard Jen seem to get defensive instead of leaning into the question.

“Well, I think we shouldn’t lose sight of some basic facts here,” Psaki said defensively. “Which is that those governors who have made the decision, as they have every right to do to pull back on unemployment benefits or not accept them. I should say accurately that it hasn’t even taken effect in any state across the country. So in terms of how we’re evaluating the impact, we haven’t even seen the impact yet that takes effect in June. It is important for people to understand factually that the president, no one from the administration, has ever proposed making these permanent or doing it over the long term. And sometimes, I think that that was just an effort to make that clear to the public, so we understand there’s politics at play here. That’s okay.”

Jen’s answer made the reporter’s case in the manner in which she went around the question. Here is the deal. More likely than not, those who would make less than $15.00/hour in the workforce will stay home and collect unemployment as long as possible. It is the fiscally responsible thing to do, just like the wealthy use every avenue to pay fewer taxes and pay their employees as little as they can get away with.

Jen should have come out swinging for the poor and the middle-class. She should have made it clear that if the employer paid wages at least commensurate with the current barely livable wage extended unemployment is paying that they would get more employees. She should have asked the reporter if they also scrutinized the fat cats that got the unpaid tax breaks.

Our Democratic leaders must feel free to lean into supporting the working class. That is how we win in landslides.

My Books, “NEW! How to make America Utopia: Take away the economy from those who rigged it,” It’s Worth It: How to Talk To Your Right-Wing Relatives, Friends, and Neighbors” & “As I See It: Class Warfare: The Only Resort To Right Wing Doom” support  (1)  communication techniques &  (2) our Progressive message delivery.

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  • June 5, 2021
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