The ship is unstuck and we’ve got to get back to other topics and other tropes.
Mike Luckovich (AJC) noted the problem conservatives had when Biden nailed his press conference, but they managed to edit together a few random moments when he paused and one when he dropped a subject and moved on. It helps preserve the “doddering fool” narrative and, after all, what matters is not what happened but what you tell your viewers happened.
For instance, while asking the Vice President to focus on the border crisis might seem a declaration of the importance of the problem, it can also, as Gary Varvel (Creators) puts it, be an example of passing the buck. This is actually a fairly moderate example; several show Biden handing off after a car wreck, suggesting that the border situation was perfectly well handled until January 20.
If ambition in the second seat is a fault, must be nobody remembers a fellow named Cheney.
The Biden administration is only just realizing that they’ve got to open up the border facilities and let people see what’s going on down there. Dana Summers (Tribune) nails it, though things are beginning to improve.
Still, that press conference proved we can’t count on the White House press corps to do any digging. Reporters in the field have a double duty.
Steve Breen (Creators) seems guilty of asking a question to which he doesn’t provide a clear answer, because, yeah, it beats a cage.
Fox News had interesting coverage of the Congressional visit, highlighting the reactions of Rep. Ilahn Omar, who spoke of her own experience as a refugee, and, though they also noted the emphasis by Republican visitors on bad conditions, they quoted Rep. Joaquin Castro as echoing Breen in saying things were better but still in need of improvement.
Elsewhere, Omar said the camp in Kenya where her family spent time was better than what she saw on our border, but maybe that means we need the UNHCR to step in. She also spoke about parents being forced to find a better life for their children, and it’s worth remembering that we cut off aid to some of these Central American nations under Trump, which didn’t help them control the violence and poverty their citizens face.
All in all, it’s a mess. The steps of opening it up to the press and shifting it off the president’s crowded desk and putting Harris on it full-time seem worthwhile, but they’re part of the process. We certainly haven’t seen a solution.
Now here’s an asked-and-answered
Juxtaposition of the Day
Branco makes the claim that strict identification requirements will help fend off Democratic voter fraud, while Markstein points out that voter fraud is imaginary.
Y’know, like vampires: Scary, but not real.
Conservatives have made much of surveys showing that most people support making voters show ID, but they don’t dig in any deeper to discuss what ID is accepted and what is not.
My own take is that, if a state is going to require photo ID, the degree of strictness needs to be balanced with an equal degree of availability. They closed the DMV in my town several years ago and we have to drive about 25 miles to the nearest office, which is fine if you have a car, but there’s no bus or train you can take.
And that’s in little New Hampshire. I can’t imagine how poor folk without cars get ID in some of those gigantic Western states, though I suppose if you can’t get there, it doesn’t matter how far you’d have to go.
And then there’s this
Juxtaposition of the Day #2
CNN aired an hour-long “COVID WAR: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out” in which several former White House experts testified that Donald Trump had held their families captive in a secret bunker and threatened to kill them if the experts did not echo his lies about the coronavirus.
Ha ha – just kidding.
They simply lied to keep their jobs, and Siers is wrong: Those brown smudges are not shoe polish.
Axios has a rundown on how they explained their collaboration and it turns out they were just following orders, and so a few hundred thousand people died who didn’t have to.
Collateral damage. It’s in the dictionary right after “collaborator.”
There is a rich dark accusation in Siers having each of the collaborators say “He lied,” while Britt cuts to the chase, and perhaps they should all have been forced, as German villagers were forced, to go see the reality of what they allowed to go on.
Or maybe, as French collaborators were, they should be left to the tender mercies of their friends and neighbors.
Watch you don’t get hot tar on your lovely scarf.
Candorville (WPWG) addresses the complicated racial issue in the Atlanta murders. The “bad day” remark is a red herring, but the issue of fetishizing Asian women does address the way in which racism enters this crime.
Still, the crime was that he killed a bunch of people. He doesn’t deny it and there’s plenty of evidence. His motive is somewhat secondary, except in figuring out how to prevent similar crimes.
However, trying to parse the thinking of a lunatic is hard, and isolating one strand in a twisted psyche, while not pointless, is insufficient.
For instance, the fact that John Hinckley was fixated on Jodie Foster doesn’t explain his crime. The explanation was that, to use a technical term, he had a screw loose.
On the other hand, we’re suddenly hearing about a lot of hate crimes against Asian-Americans, as well as the day-to-day bigotry they face.
If this is what it took to bring those to the surface, it’s a positive result.
And a little fan service:
For those bereft over the missing “Johnny Hazard” strips at KFS, here they are:
Now swap in “Hazard” for “Angel” and sing along:
Johnny Hazard, you’re a hazard to me!