“[O]ne of the things that I hear some of you guys saying is, ‘Why doesn’t Biden say what a good deal it is?’” President Joe Biden said to reporters yesterday afternoon before leaving the White House on the Marine One helicopter. “Why would Biden say what a good deal it is before the vote? You think that’s going to help me get it passed? No. That’s why you guys don’t bargain very well.”
President Biden won tonight, no matter what the Republicans say. He knows how to govern, he knows how to negotiate. He is not perfect (no one is!) but he’s a pretty darn good President. Especially now, in our current time.
Thank you, Dr. R for all your researched and thoughtful letters.
President Biden is a masterful negotiator. I grow weary of listening to the ageist dismissals of his competency to govern. He is knowledgeable, intelligent, wise and full of integrity. Right there are four characteristics that were nonexistent in #45. Thank you, Mr. President.
Joe Biden may be getting old, and he may not be a dynamic speaker, but he's smart and wily as they come. He's exactly what the country needed after four nightmarish years of the Great Vulgarian.
I appreciate how well HCR puts together the news and happenings. It’s great to get a letter almost every day from an American historian. Civics in action!
I always tried to teach my children that the world was complex, things were rarely good vs evil except in superhero movies.
But now, there are many members of the current Republican Party who are as close to evil as people can get. They are in either in government to get on TV and cause chaos, or they are only there to serve the interests of their very powerful donors. They have no concern for the suffering they cause millions of people, in fact, they seem to thrive on it.
Old Joe Biden raised his hand and said “this will not happen” and the wicked witches melted away. But they are still out there and they have billions of dollars to spend to bribe judges, buy media, and convince people that helping people who can use help, even by offering them an education, should not happen in this country. The power and wealth should belong to only a few. This is as close to evil as it gets, only one rung below Putin
It is utterly frustrating to know all that Biden has accomplished when top guys in his administration aren't going out around the country telling people about Biden's successes. Who's out there talking about Biden? Only the Republicans who are trying to bring him down, or the Democrats who are bloviating about his age and possible unfitness for re-election! How can this can possibly be remedied before it's too late?
‘Children remain the poorest age group in America, with children of color, children under five, children of single mothers, and children in the South suffering from the highest poverty rates. Two years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, child poverty remains a paralyzing problem that both causes and exacerbates significant disturbances in the lives of all children in our country. Although the number of children living in poverty has fallen from 11.6 million to 11.1 million between 2020 and 2021 In the final tally, the pandemic managed to push more than one million children over the threshold into poverty.’ (Children’s Defense Fund) See link below.
‘In today’s Letter, HCR wrote, ‘The fight over the debt ceiling is both an example of the different approaches to negotiation on the part of Biden and Republicans like House speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and part of the larger question about the direction of the country.’
‘Systemic racism ingrained into our American institutions has been a historical roadblock perpetuating child poverty. Current statistics indicate the ongoing effectiveness of the roadblocks in pushing the American Dream of economic mobility further out of reach, especially for Black and Brown children.’
• ‘Among the 74 million children living in the United States, 11 million live in poverty.’
• ‘One in six children under 5 (3 million children) were poor, the highest rate of any age group.’
• ‘The South, home to 47% of children in our country who live in poverty, experiences the highest
child poverty rates with 1 in 5 children living in poverty.’
• ‘9 million children faced hunger and food insecurity.’
• ‘4 million children lived without health insurance. (Children’s Defense Fund)
‘Writing in Foreign Policy, Howard W. French sees a more sweeping problem with the debt ceiling fight: it “highlights America’s warped priorities.” “[W]hen a rich and powerful country finds it easier to cut back on the way that it invests in its people, in education, in science, and in making sure that the weakest among them are not completely left behind than to curtail useless and profligate weapons spending,” he said, “there are reasons to worry about the foundations of its power.” (Letter)
I think Biden is not chortling because making McCarthy look more effective than the Freedom Caucus is important to passing the bill. I wonder if it also indebts McCarthy to Biden; if we defaulted, it could not be passed off as entirely Biden's fault, and it would be too chaotic for McCarthy to emerge with a personal political future. [btw, Google says "indebt" is a real word]
While I understand progressive and environmental regrets, I think this has got to be done as is if we're going to move forward again. The radical right can't be swept out of the way.
I see Biden as a stealthy president who is using the right approach in such a volatile atmosphere we find ourselves in. The MAGA party thrives on controversy and confrontation. Yet , there are times when Biden has knocked them back with a judo like move. After November 2024, a Democrat controlled congress, senate and White House can undo any damage the absurd debt ceiling has caused. Yes, I expect Biden to defeat the indicted one again.
To the extent the orang wrote a book, it may as well have been, “the art of the steal.” What Biden does and his comments reflect, is why it is helpful to have a veteran in politics doing politics. He understands, in Washington, “the art of the deal.” I learned it myself from Senator Bird, who famously (to me) at lunch said, “don’t beg and don’t brag.”
That, my friends, is how you get where you want to go…
Biden has been in Congress since before I was born. While he, and Dems generally, (IMHO) don’t have the smarts to wield the rules like the good Senator from Kentucky does; Biden is experienced enough to not beg and not brag. I respect that. And it works. His brilliant roll-call vote during the SOTU should make his political prowess apparent… I digress.
I truly feel sorry for the Republicans who are true to their tartan. They were always keenly aware that they were running the government most-watched in the world. They didn’t beg, they didn’t brag, and they never held the country hostage. The hijacking of the party by the MAGA and Freedom Caucus has diminished their brand and credibility for a generation or more; the effects of which even they don’t appreciate yet…
I’d be fine with that loss: except they are a mast that is broken on the ship that is America and it’s fallen off the deck, trailing in the sea, but inexorably-tethered to the ship, and ultimately dragging it down in a sea of other ships that are calculating how to engage.
America is nothing if not resilient. I trust in the generations to come and who are becoming politically aware as we speak to be the change agents who will ensure that this struggle is theirs, too, and that they will all, “make good trouble,” until they see the America that is the future, not the one that sadly has been.
Age and experience beats youth and stupidity every. damn. time.
The different styles between parties reflect divided American culture. People are choosing between reality and a reality show. The former is complicated and messy. The latter is simple, entertaining and fun in a vicarious way. There is nothing new under the sun. Rome fell while its citizens enjoyed bread and circuses. America’s media is stacked in favor of the reality show model, since it earns money and generates wealth. Ergo, the bread and circuses are probably here to stay.
I was a Biden skeptic during the 2020 Dem primaries. My oldest friend has been a Dem operative for a very long time and he was the first person to tell me it would be Biden. He was right and Joe has done an incredible job with the cards he was dealt. One of the most effective Presidents of my lifetime. Trump on the other hand is the worst. There is no comparison of the two human beings...in office or out. I'll be glad to see this debt ceiling in the rear view mirror...then we can all get on with business.
Age has it's benefits. We've been there, done that. Made mistakes and survived to tell the war stories. But there's way more good stories in a positive life that learns to leave the toxic ones behind. I'm 70 and I believe I'm entering the best and most productive, enjoyable decade of my life. There's love and opportunity all around. No fear...not much anyway...be bold and live YOUR life.
Keep it up Joe. You have a clue. THANK you for caring and being a human being of service...not greed...not all about your ego. Peace to all.
50 years as dedicated public servant has served us well in having Joe Biden as our president. He is a savvy politician and a smart leader. He deserves a second term.
I try to come up with words to describe the current Speaker of the House of Representatives and, well, I stumble over inept, incompetent, complicit, and stupid. He deserves to be replaced, but with what? I don’t want to think about that possibility.
Biden is a skilled negotiator. The way he led McCarthy down the path was quite amazing. We don't need to agree with everything he, or any other president, does... but he sure has done a lot for this country to be proud of. I'll take him over the fascists running for office any day. A huge shout out to Heather and her timely, concise and wise Letters!
I will also wait until we've crossed the finish line on this before I decide if this was a good or bad thing for America as a whole, not just for one party or the other. But let's also just recognize that this whole fiasco was manufactured by the Republican party. Most of our media can't let go of the 'both sides' framing of every crisis including ones that are GOP-induced.