Joe Manchin would be foolish to indefinitely hold up the reconciliation bill

The MSM continues trying to prove its lack of ‘liberal bias’ by pressing false equivalent journalism and ‘BothSideism.’ The MSM most stop making itself the story and resume honestly covering the facts

Mr. Hohmann,

Rather than the main point of your article, I am primarily writing in response to a single sentence which read how the ‘Biden presidency that’s been made to look hapless this summer by its flat-footed response to the delta variant and the calamitous withdrawal from Afghanistan.’

I remain amazed that the Post and other members of the mainstream more ‘liberal’ media in both the US and UK continue to pull the same misinformation (and propaganda) fundamentally from GOP media releases. Are you trying to prove your lack of ‘liberal bias’ by way of false equivalent journalism and what has been called ‘bothsideism?’  It must stop since, for one, this strategy hasn’t worked out well for our nation in the past.

Biden has not been ‘flat footed’ with regard to the delta variant but has a corps of homicidally negligent GOP Governors across the lowest vaccination rate states in the South; notably in Texas, Tennessee, Florida and Mississippi, who have undermined every effort and continue to play politics with Death while feeding their citizens lies and conspiracy theories. I believe these individuals have crossed the line into criminal negligence and should be investigated. Maybe you could write about that…

Whether or not you agree with my assertion, the reality is that Biden has done an amazing job reorganizing America’s COVID response and support from the Trump COVID Catastrophe. And, sadly, Trump’s COVID response is but one.

Put responsibility where it is due; where the facts are clear. Put primary responsibility with national and state GOP leadership. I didn’t have a very good feeling last weekend when I saw college football stadiums packed with unmasked people screaming and carrying on.

That children and young adults are becoming seriously ill and dying in ever increasing numbers is not Biden but a state by state lack of leadership while prioritizing fundraising and dearly bad politics over health and welfare. Check on the numbers of public school teachers who have already died this school year.

The second part of my note is about your reference to Biden’s ‘calamitous withdrawal from Afghanistan.’  What was ‘calamitous’ about Afghanistan started when Bush/Cheney invaded, with some initial cause, but then as soon as they had a measure of success, they created a criminal war in Iraq thereby shifting huge numbers of military personnel and resources away from Afghanistan.

In doing so, they left Afghanistan to feed off its own deep corruption, to create a security force whose massive weakness has been thoroughly documented and should not at all now be surprising and, above all,  sold out our military and those of our allies by leaving them with no clear mission or strategy.

The closing ‘calamity’ was the Afghan government and allies free ‘negotiations’ Trump and Pompeo had with the Taliban in Doha. As part of the negotiations, Trump had the Afghans release about 5,000 prisoners, many extremely dangerous, and insisted Pakistan free the Taliban’s co-founder and deputy leader, Abdul Ghani Baradar, from prison. Did Trump, in his ignorance and indifference, think he could force a foreign policy ‘victory’ in time to save his dying presidential campaign? This could certainly be another story.

With no conditions other than not shooting at American soldiers, and completely indifferent to the deep deadly consequences, Trump then literally handed Afghanistan back to the Taliban. Though the Taliban didn’t directly attack Americans during that brief period, which they hadn’t been doing very much by then anyway, they did dramatically increase their deadly attacks on  Afghan civilians and its security forces.

Trump’s giving the Taliban a forced US military withdrawal date of May would have been, by itself, more than a ‘calamity’ but an outright slaughter. All of this information is on the record and well established. After what was a messed up start, Biden and the US military organized an evacuation of civilians without historical precedent getting over 110,000 people out of Afghanistan using US military, allies and private/commercial plans in about 12 days. How many Afghans, Americans and foreign nationals do you think Trump and his team would have worked so hard to evacuate? 

And the SIV program, which should have long taken most if not all Afghans who worked with the US military out of Afghanistan and before Biden took office, has been screwed up for many years. You may also recall that Biden identified as clearly against Obama’s massive surge in Afghanistan. I was, too, for that matter.

Write about the 200,000+ Afghans killed since Bush/Cheney took the US into that sad nation and how many were murdered by the Taliban just since the start of Trump’s self absorbed ‘negotiations.’

That the Taliban were positioning themselves to quickly overrun the country while targeting Afghan security forces during this period of increased Trump indifference and decreased US military support was obvious to about everybody but, it seems, members of the mainstream and ‘liberal’ media in both, the US and UK.

Instead, write about how Bush/Cheney sold out Afghan citizens and our military’s mission there back in 2001. Write about Trump’s Faustian deal with the Taliban without any discussion whatsoever with our allies and how his May departure date would have been well beyond ‘calamitous.’  

Write about GOP national and state leaders who have incited, lied and added enough intense hysteria whereby parents want to zip tie school principals and are tearing masks off of teachers – students, too. And this is happening even as these GOP voters are dying of COVID.

Write about the increasing numbers of teachers…and students…hospitalized and dying. Write about how this has directly and deliberately impeded the incredible work the Biden Administration was doing to reorganize our COVID response. The GOP appears to prefer watching it’s own citizens and voters die rather than offer Biden even passing acknowledgement.

Write about what has REALLY happened in Afghanistan rather than compressing 20 years into mush; passing over Bush/Cheney then Trump, and pointing your ‘liberal’ finger at Joe Biden for a period of a month or two.

I truly can’t even stand reading such sloppy writing anymore which is based far more upon the story you want people to think is happening rather than the reality on the ground. Free yourself of your apparent fear of Republican, hard Right social media and talk radio and report the news the way it is happening. You will be supported. You may even sell more papers.

As a closing thought, Manchin has long been a mediocre and non-productive Senator who should have become a member of the GOP long ago. He has never had anything like the forced notoriety, constant attention and power which he is now playing every single day. He’s not a serious member of the Senate but is engaging a game plan laid out by Trump.

That is, he is following the Trump model of attention-getting-for-idiots even if he is far smarter (than Trump, anyway). Instead of presuming his ‘thoughtful’ intent, he needs to be directly challenged. With this ‘indefinite pause,’ Manchin knows full well it will surge his attention while potentially deeply compromising Biden, the Democratic Party and the nation.

Write about how many West Virginia voters who would be dramatically benefitted by the infrastructure bill support Manchin’s machinations.

This time it is less Trump but an inside job with Manchin and Krysten Sinema pushing the GOP agenda in full view.  Perhaps Manchin wants to aid getting a GOP majority back in the House in 2022 and, maybe, the Senate then finally switch his affiliation.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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