President Joe Biden may not have mastered much as president, but he has perfected his signature move that involves slinking (well, shuffling) away from reporters without answering a single question.
The administration claimed that this sizable chunk of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan will be funneled to the unions to save 350,000 members from as much as 60% in pension cuts.
Biden claims the fund will now be solvent until 2051 (or, more realistically, until the next time a Democratic president needs to grease union palms).
“Thanks to today’s announcement, tens of thousands of union retirees and workers in states like Ohio, Michigan, Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri can go to bed tonight knowing their pension they worked so damn hard for is going to be there when they need it,” Biden said.
He was flanked by AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, Teamsters President Sean O’Brien, and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, who didn’t seem to mind that the president had just betrayed their railroad union brothers and sisters.
Last week, Biden charged Congress with stopping an impending strike of railroad workers rather than meeting the demands of more favorable sick and vacation policies.
So much for the “union strong” and “fighting for workers” slogans projected in the background during his speech.
Republican strategist Giancarlo Sopo rightly pointed out that this move seemed like an attempt to kiss and make up with the union bosses after such a backstabbing.
“Joe Biden is using taxpayer coffers as his political piggyback to ameliorate his tensions with the Teamsters after failing to fight for the paid sick leave that workers wanted and, quite frankly, deserved,” he told Fox News.
Perhaps that’s why Biden decided not to take any questions from the press, just in case any of them decided to practice actual journalism and ask him about that aspect of it.
It could have been that Biden was having a sort of Vatican emergency, as some on social media were quick to suggest, and had to make a quick exit for the men’s room.
Or maybe his 80-year-old ears were deaf to the shouts of reporters who were asking about WNBA star Brittney Griner‘s negotiated release from a Russian prison even as former Marine Paul Whelan rots in his own cell there.
While any one of those may be the true explanation, it’s obvious that Biden knows he can leave without so much as acknowledging reporters because he’s always gotten away with it.
On even the most basic level, the president has rarely had to explain himself for anything he does.
Biden has had very few news conferences on his own and always comes armed with his handy cheat sheet for those rare occasions when he does.
Any other president who was responsible for the death of 13 service members after a hasty and botched exit from a 20-year conflict would never have gotten away with refusing to answer questions by explaining he just wanted to talk about “happy things.” But Biden does.
In fact, he has never taken responsibility for anything that’s happened since January 2021, like the energy crisis he helped create or his role in an inflationary cycle that threatens to be never-ending.
Biden has stood by as the problem at the southern border becomes a full-blown crisis, but he gets a pass from the press as he smugly dismisses any calls for him even to visit the border.
Reporters may shout questions to his backside, but very rarely has any so-called journalist confronted Biden on one of the myriad disasters he’s responsible for.
And as long as they keep letting him get away with it, he’ll keep slinking away.
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