Another Tuesday here in California’s Central Valley and to set the tone, one of my favorite songs done in an unplugged, acoustic form with sentiment — this version became a favorite of mine after an extended hospital stay/and surgery experience three years ago, and listened to it at least a couple of times a day for a long time.
This morning heard it for the first time in months, came falling down on me like a memory:
A fitting lead-in onward to the evening after a big news day with a couple of big items that became intertwined — one, a giant, landmark Senate bill passed, and the other, a two-bit asshole quits his job because he’s a two-bit asshole, who goes out like an asshole, especially expressed by The Daily Beast in crazed political terms:
Nine minutes before noon on Tuesday, the Senate passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, handing President Joe Biden a massive political victory and proof that his longstanding faith in bipartisan cooperation could still yield actual results.
Sixteen minutes later, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York announced his impending resignation, the political equivalent of driving a ride-on mower through your father’s barbecue, rendering the feast no longer “good.”
The governor’s announcement that he was resigning following the release of a damning report by the state’s attorney general that determined he had sexually harassed nearly a dozen women while in office — and the media pile-on that swiftly followed — irritated Democrats who had carefully choreographed a victory lap following the bipartisan passage of the biggest infrastructure bill in generations.
A source familiar with the mood in the White House sniped that it was “fitting” that “a guy who made a global pandemic all about himself would Leeroy Jenkins the biggest investment in American infrastructure in a generation!”
Or, as a White House staffer texted: “Hahahaha… shocker.”
But the majority of the internal annoyance was directed at reporters who first chased Cuomo’s tennis ball into traffic and then, in the White House’s view, confused their own distraction with that of the American people.
“The American people across the country who are commuting back and forth to work, driving their kids to camp, worried about whether their kids have access to clean drinking water, focused on whether schools are going to have the resources they need are most focused on the fact that… 19 Republicans joined the Democratic caucus to take an important step forward,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters when asked if the president was miffed that Cuomo chose “Infrastructure Day” to announce his resignation.
“That’s my bet in terms of what people are talking about at home.”
Another source familiar with the White House’s feelings had sharper words for reporters who, in their view, interpreted midday cable news coverage as a meaningful barometer of the national mood.
“Reporters’ biggest blind spot is that they project their own media consumption habits — and their gleeful misimpression that politics is all an entertaining game and it doesn’t impact real lives — onto the country writ large,” the source said pointedly.
But as much as White House operatives would like to believe that the general public is capable of paying attention to more than one news story at a time, the reality of the Cuomo resignation was that it kicked the infrastructure news off the front pages of many newspapers and A-blocks of many cable news shows.
Instead of talking about how Biden and Democrats were finally able to accomplish their long-sought bipartisan win, The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal — the four papers with the largest circulations in the United States — all led with the Cuomo resignation Tuesday afternoon.
And Joe maybe did step in it a bit this afternoon, considering Cuomo is a predator-asshole:
— The Recount (@therecount) August 10, 2021
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, however, took issue with the idea that the governor’s accomplishments could be separated from his controversial behavior, and challenged Biden’s response.
“Can you really say that [Cuomo] has done ‘a hell of a job’ if he’s accused of sexually harassing women on the job?”
Biden pushed back, insisting that “women should be believed” and that he was asked a specific question about Cuomo’s leadership separate from the governor’s personal conduct.
Terrible, Joe. Yet even why? Cuomo’s a turd and Joe floated it anyway, and today it came back around:
Last week, it was Biden who put the nail in the coffin for Cuomo, calling for his resignation in the wake of a devastating report by the New York attorney general detailing a pattern of sexual harassment by the governor.
But if Biden was hoping that would douse any Cuomo-related fires, today proved otherwise.
In the hours before the president’s infrastructure remarks and promptly afterward, Cuomo’s political demise consumed cable news channels.
When Biden finished speaking and turned to the media, the first question was predictable: “What is your reaction to Gov. Cuomo’s — to his announcement that he’s stepping down?”
The media/press don’t really care for Joe as they did for the T-Rump, the copy burned. Joe is viewed on the slow side — Eric Boehlert’s PressRun yesterday discussed the press in relation to last week’s great job numbers from the Department of Labor. Main note:
Turns out lots of news outlets weren’t that interested in the breakthrough job news. As has become custom, good news under Biden is often treated as no news by the press, which is far more enthusiastic pushing Biden “crisis” stories. (Remember this April headline from Politico? “How Good News Could Complicate the Biden Agenda”)
Three days before the sterling jobs report, CNN’s Chris Cillizza announced Biden was suffering through “the worst week of his presidency.”
What was the evidence of that?
In part, Cillizza pointed to the fact that Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina had tested positive for Covid.
Addicted to the Dems in Disarray storyline, journalists have trouble properly focusing on good news for Democrats, like last week’s economic home run.
Maybe tomorrow there will be an infrastructure week.
And to finish off the day, Annie and Dave plugged in — the original ‘Rain‘ nearly 30 years ago:
Here comes the rain again
Raining in my head like a tragedy
Tearing me apart like a new emotion
(Illustration out front: M.C Escher’s ‘Three Spheres II,’ found here).