— Steve Benen (@stevebenen) October 4, 2021
[T]he American people have figured out that what they're trying to do is institutionalize socialism. They're trying to do a takeover of the country in one vote. They want government control of your kids.... They want government control of health care. They want to demoralize the military, close the churches, destroy your faith in the American system. And then here they're going to come with the socialist program to run your life from cradle to grave, daylight to dark.
As the GOP senator's rant concluded, the Fox host added, "Unbelievable." And at a certain level, that response made sense — because if we're being literal, Blackburn's over-the-top criticisms were, in fact, unbelievable....
.... equally obvious is the fact that she couldn't possibly substantiate her harangue with proof. But it's also a reminder that the nation could be in the midst of a meaningful and substantive conversation right now about an ambitious legislative vision. As best as I can tell, Democratic proponents of the Build Back Better plan would love to engage in such a debate. They're practically begging for the discourse to evaluate their plans on the merits.
The soft infrastructure bill, as explained by CBS News online, contains the following elements: two free years of community college for all; child care assistance and universal pre-kindergarten for any family which applies; expanding Medicare to include coverage of dental, hearing, and vision services; extending the child tax credit through 2025; provision to reduce drug prices, including authorizing Medicare to negotiate prices of prescriptions; twelve weeks of paid family and medical leave; various measures to curb climate change.
Senator Manchin and other seeking to abridge the legislation, or Senator Blackburn and others aiming to kill it, should be asked which provision(s) of the bill they are opposed to. Instead, there are the endless questions and comments about process, about Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, about why Democrats are in disarray or why they can't take the tepid- uh, er, bipartisan- infrastructure bill, call it a day, and unite the country.
Coverage has been abysmal. It would be at least a little more honest if broadcast personalities were directly to ask "why not leave it at the bipartisan bill, take a victory lap, and not bother with real change?"