Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Wrong Again, Mr. Former President

On Saturday afternoon, former President Barack Obama tweeted a link to a bothsiderism piece appearing the prior day in The New York Times by center-right columnist Ross Douthat. Described by Obama as "a worthwhile Sunday read," it included

It’s not that full de-polarization is ever possible; basic moral and philosophical commitments inevitably divide us. But seeing our disagreements through the lens of narrative might get us closer to a crucial insight — which is that in a big, diverse and complicated society, multiple narratives can all be true at once.

The day before Douthat's column appeared (and two days before Obama's de facto endorsement), Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank noted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has blocked consideration of the Securing America’s Federal Elections Act, "already passed by the House, that would direct $600 million in election assistance to states and require backup paper ballots." Additionally, he has blocked

A bipartisan bill requiring Facebook, Google and other Internet companies to disclose purchasers of political ads, to identify foreign influence.

A bipartisan bill to ease cooperation between state election officials and federal intelligence agencies.

A bipartisan bill imposing sanctions on any entity that attacks a U.S. election.

A bipartisan bill with severe new sanctions on Russia for its cybercrimes.

McConnell has prevented them all from being considered — over and over again. This is the same McConnell who, in the summer of 2016, when briefed by the CIA along with other congressional leaders on Russia’s electoral attacks, questioned the validity of the intelligence and forced a watering down of a warning letter to state officials about the threat, omitting any mention of Russia.

On June 1, 2012 President Barack Obama stated "My expectation is that if we can break this fever, that we can invest in clean energy and energy efficiency because that's not a partisan issue."  that fever, for which the GOP is almost exclusively responsible, is up to 104 degrees now and continually rising. Nonetheless, more than seven years later, Mr. Obama is singing his same old tune, with an attitude that mired his presidency in mediocrity, one which Moscow Mitch or others disprove almost daily.

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