President Joe Biden, writes Politico’s White House Bureau Chief Jonathan Lemire, “has prioritized deal-making throughout the debt ceiling talks. But with GOP obstinate, Biden is changing tactics.”
What in the hell is he talking about, you may wonder. Only last month, Lemire’s publication reported that Biden was “happy to meet” with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., but “not on whether or not the debt limit gets extended. That’s not negotiable.” (Italics mine.) That doesn’t sound like someone who’s “prioritized deal-making” on the debt ceiling.
Back in January, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was unequivocal in saying that “we will not be doing any negotiation over the debt ceiling.” On April 27, The Washington Post reported, “White House reiterates refusal to negotiate on debt limit as pressure mounts.”
No one, of course, expects Democrats to unilaterally surrender. But media always covers negotiations over spending as if the organic center, the endpoint, the only reasonable place to be, stands not between the desires of two competing political parties or two competing branches of government but rather wherever Democrats happen to reside. One side is trying to save the nation from default and economic ruin; the other is a reckless “hostage taker” intent on rolling back progress.
Lockdowns are focused protection of the laptop class:
March 22, 2020: Toronto imposes a harsh lockdown of the city to flatten covid. Over the next two months, covid spreads in the poorest neighborhoods, while the richest ones stay home and stay safe.
On March 15, 2020, two days after then-President Donald Trump declared a national COVID-19 emergency, Cornell law professor Michael Dorf urged Congress to impose a nationwide lockdown and suspend the writ of habeas corpus.
Congress never took either of those constitutionally dubious steps, which Dorf said were necessary to “save the nation.”
Instead, as Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch noted this month, “executive officials across the country issued emergency decrees on a breathtaking scale,” amounting to one of “the greatest intrusions on civil liberties” in US history.
That experience made it clear that legislators need to reconsider the definition of emergencies and impose limits on the powers they confer.
Meanwhile, however, local and state officials had ordered sweeping, long-lasting restrictions on social and economic activity, impeded only occasionally by judicial intervention.
Those orders often involved scientifically senseless rules and arbitrary distinctions between “essential” and “nonessential” businesses.
They impinged on fundamental rights, including freedom of movement, freedom of association, the free exercise of religion and the right to armed self-defense.
Worse, all these restrictions had the force of law, sometimes backed by criminal as well as civil penalties, even though the elected representatives charged with lawmaking did not participate in formulating or approving them.
The orders were based on statutes that granted governors vast powers during emergencies that they themselves declared and extended.