Friday, July 01, 2022

My About-Face, Midstream

Noting that President Biden stated that he would support ending the filibuster to codify abortion rights, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell asked him

... many Americans are grappling with this. What is your sense today about the integrity and the impartiality of the Supreme Court? Should Americans have confidence in the Court as an institution? and your views on abortion have evolved in your public life. Are you the best messenger to carry this forward when Democrats, many of them, many progressives want you to do more?

So the President responded

Yeah, I am the President of the United States. That makes me the best messenger and I really think it's a serious problem that the Court has thrust upon the United States- not just in terms of the right to choose but in terms of the right to who you can marry, a whole range of issues relating to privacy and....

CNN's Jake Tapper played O'Donnell's second question and Biden's answer, "Yeah, I am. I am the President of the United States. That makes me the best messenger. I'm the only President they got.". David Axelrod responded

It was not the best answer, I'll give you that. But also, you know, you know, I feel his pain because I know what it's like to be sitting in these situations and being pummeled by elements of your own community.

We know from the comments made by Tapper that Axelrod's "elements of your own community"  was somewhat of a cheap shot against the progressive left.  And those unnamed "elements" have indeed been criticizing President Biden. Nonetheless, I had intended to defend President Biden from this criticism by Axelrod, who did not specifically state his problem with the response.  As a campaign strategist for Barack Obama during his two presidential campaigns, then becoming a Special Advisor to the President (whatever that is).  Axelrod has never served a President who has been criticized by members of his own Party with so few individuals coming to his defense.

"I'm the only President they got" seemed to me to be an approximate throwback to President Truman's "the buck stops here."

Well, Scranton Joe fooled me. Slate's Mark Joseph Stern reports

President Joe Biden struck a deal with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to nominate Chad Meredith, a Republican anti-abortion advocate, to a federal judgeship on the Eastern District of Kentucky, Slate has confirmed. Under the arrangement, Meredith would take the seat currently occupied by Judge Karen Kaye Caldwell, a George W. Bush nominee. Caldwell submitted her move to senior status on June 22, which, once complete, will allow Meredith to take the seat. A lawyer with connections to the Kentucky governor’s office who is familiar with the agreement told Slate that Caldwell conditioned her move upon the confirmation a successor—specifically, the conservative Meredith. In exchange, McConnell will allow Biden to nominate and confirm two U.S. Attorneys to Kentucky.

The deal has prompted fury from Democrats since it was first reported by the Louisville Courier Journal’s Andrew Wolfson and Joe Sonka on Wednesday....

Although it's possible that Biden won't go through with this terrible deal, one of those Kentucky Democrats, US Representative John

Yarmuth told Slate that, according to his White House contact, the president “is aware of my concern and the governor’s concern,” but has not yet responded. The congressman added, of Meredith: “This is a bad appointment for Kentucky. It’s a bad appointment for the federal courts. This guy is aligned with a Federalist Society. He represents everything that is anathema to Democrats.”

And so it goes. Whatever Axelrod's concern with Biden's response to O'Donnell's question(s), it likely wasn't this sort of thing. And whatever Democrats thought they got from the nomination for President, and election to the presidency, of Joseph R. Biden, it wasn't this.  Two consecutive weak Democratic presidents isn't the way to prevent election of a Republican as a President, nor the way to brink us back from the brink of complete disaster after his four years of destruction.

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