Does anyone have a tougher job in politics right now than Jen Psaki, who serves as the White House Press Secretary for President Joe Biden? Maybe, maybe not, but things are certainly starting to get to her.
As my friend Chris Stigall shared, the past week has just been absolutely brutal for the White House, leaving the obvious question: How exactly is anyone expected to spin this level of abject failure?
To add a little more detail, the gut punches for the administration began on Wednesday after the latest inflation numbers showed a 7 percent increase, year over year. That was the worst mark since 1982, and that’s only because the formula for computing inflation was softened. Later on the same day, Quinnipiac released a poll that showed Biden at a historic worst 33 percent approval among Americans.
Thursday then hit with a vengeance. While Joe Biden was en route to the Capitol Building to push for the abolishment of the filibuster, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema gave a surprise floor speech completely nuking the entire idea. Shortly after, Sen. Joe Manchin released a long-form statement to the same effect. That left Biden’s “voting rights” (see: attempting to rig the 2022 election) bill dead and done. By the afternoon, the OSHA mandate for COVID-19 vaccinations was also struck down in a surprise move by the Supreme Court (it was originally announced there would be no further decisions on the day).
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I can say without equivocation that this has been the worst week of Biden’s presidency, and that’s taking into account the disastrous week of the Afghanistan withdrawal. The sheer amount of faceplanting that has gone on the last three days, covering such a breadth of topics, is impossible to overstate.
In response, Psaki has become more shrill and combative. When someone asked her about the litany of failures piling up and the sense that things aren’t going well, this was her response.
The arrogance that drips from every word uttered by Psaki is impossible to ignore, and it also explains so much in regards to why the Biden administration is faltering at such a high level. There is obviously a huge amount of middle-ground between a federal takeover of elections and legislation that grades support for bunny rabbits.
Just yesterday, Senate Democrats filibustered a bill to sanction Russia’s Nordstream 2 pipeline. The White House heavily lobbied for its defeat in order to appease Vladimir Putin. If Psaki wants to know what a substantive win looks like, that would have been one. Instead, Biden found himself on the wrong side of a major foreign policy issue again, and less than a day later, Russia has now moved to the brink of invasion into Ukraine despite the giveaway.
Contrary to Psaki’s insinuation, the problem is not that the White House’s dogged pursuit of worthwhile initiatives that those dastardly Republicans (and Manchin and Sinema) just won’t let them pass. Rather, the problem is the initiatives themselves. Pushing tyrannical, likely unconstitutional garbage is not a legislative strategy. So when it inevitably fails, and a reporter asks about the need for a change of direction, the smart move would be to — and stick with me here — change direction.
The dynamics of the Democrat Party won’t allow that, though. To admit defeat on “voting rights” or to stop the pursuit of another $2 trillion spending package would be to betray the far-left base that demands the administration keep running headlong into that brick wall.