The mainstream media's honeymoon with President Joe Biden is over. And yet the media coverage of the twin crises that face the Biden administration hasn't managed to capture the political peril the president and his party now face.
On the world stage, Team Biden's well-credentialed technocrats have proved no match for the Taliban. It's impossible to miss it. Even the Washington Post proclaimed last week, "Biden's promise to restore competence to the presidency is undercut by chaos in Afghanistan."
The White House doesn't seem eager to reset the narrative. Asked whether Americans would be stranded in Afghanistan when the United States pulls out next week, Biden spinmeister Jen Psaki told reporters at a Tuesday press briefing to slide into her DMs with contact information for any Americans left hanging. How reassuring.
On the domestic front, a group of moderates in the House succeeded in derailing, albeit temporarily, a pro-forma vote on the federal budget. In doing so, the group exposed in real time the deep fissures between the Democratic Party's progressive and moderate wings that threaten to derail Biden's infrastructure boondoggle, er, domestic agenda.
The moderates on Tuesday agreed to a budget vote in exchange for a commitment from House leaders on a firm date for a vote on the smaller infrastructure package. Progressives, who have insisted that that package be tied to their own "human infrastructure" goody bag, are now threatening to walk. And the larger problem remains: Democratic senators Joe Manchin (W. Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), both opposed to the progressive bill, aren't budging.
Consider the precarious Democratic agenda against the backdrop of COVID resurgence and the specter of inflation. The Biden presidency is hanging by a thread, and Americans would be right to fear that reality isn't yet done mugging the old man.