Senator Joe Manchin signed off on the biggest prescription drug price control bill in at least a couple of decades AND two more years of increased Obamacare subsidies. That’s it. That’s the headline. That’s the bill. That’s what Democrats can pass through reconciliation. And you know what? That’s an enormously big deal for literally tens of millions of people that live in our country and need help badly right now. This should sit next to the infrastructure bill, the gun safety bill, and the Covid rescue bill Joe Biden has literally signed into law, with bare minimum majorities in both houses of Congress in his first two years, in a trophy case of legislative efficiency that Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and yes, even Majority Leader Schumer deserve enormous praise for getting done with no margin of error. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama both had seriously stronger majorities than Biden, and neither had nearly as much legislative success. The first 18 months of Biden’s Presidency, as a legislative matter, take a back seat to literally no one since LBJ, and very few even who came before.
That’s not the story though, like Obama and Clinton’s relatively successful first two years weren’t for them either. Joe Biden is literally getting politically curb-stomped for fist-bumping a foreign leader he visited and not passing a climate agenda that had zero chance of passing from day one. In fact the lead story of the political week is a tight race between his “losses” on fictional climate actions he never had, a federal district judge nominee in Kentucky (where neither senator was ever letting him nominate anybody) for a seat that wasn’t even open, and polling that shows a lot of Democrats don’t want to re-nominate him, even as both he and his running mate beat both Trump AND DeSantis in many public polls this week. At a minimum, the current White House has two viable candidates, despite high gas prices and inflation. You wouldn’t know that from the news. You’d think this guy is a buffoon who did nothing the last 18 months, not a Democratic President who just signed a gun safety bill AND seated the first Black woman ever on the high court, since Memorial Day.
Look, I get that the press sucks and refuses to cover any real substance. I also 1,000% agree with Kate Bedingfield that the President should not appease out-of-touch activists, even as they are pulling him down from his left in polls. Entrenched pro-Trump voters, too-far left activists, and “gotcha” reporters might be damaging Biden unfairly, but are we really doing this again? Every Democratic President from FDR forward has taken a massive ass whipping in at least one midterm as President, even as they achieve historic things. President Biden may cap a super successful two years, as I stated above, by passing the biggest pharmaceutical price control bill in my 39 year lifetime with an approval rating of less than one third of the public. How are our communications pros so bad that a bill that lowers insulin prices is being greeted as a loss? I had to explain to my own father (who votes every single year) that the reconciliation bill hadn’t failed yet, but in fact was close to being agreed on to do things that are really good. Biden’s approval really might drop from a piece of legislation that massively improves the lives of upwards of 100 million people. Consider that for a moment, and you’ll understand why Democrats have only controlled the White House and both houses of Congress together for ten of the last 50 years, while running against a party supporting clearly minority political positions.
Drink an extra coffee this morning, I’m sure you think this is as sad as I do.