Pelosi: Reporters need to do a better job selling Biden's agenda

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Our latest edition of the ongoing saga of politicians “saying the quiet part out loud” features House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She’s recently been acknowledging that the massive, $3.5 trillion reconciliation package isn’t as popular as her party’s rhetoric would suggest, and her annoyance over being asked about it is beginning to show. She was asked yet again yesterday if the Democrats have failed to persuade the public of the need for a massive social and climate overhaul costing a ridiculous amount of money. Rather than taking responsibility herself, the Speaker lectured the reporters who were present, suggesting that they hadn’t done a good enough job convincing people to support the plan. Amazingly, most of them didn’t seem all that put off by the comment.

With the House and Senate in recess, and the progressive-spearheaded $3.5 trillion social spending package left hanging in the balance, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi scolded the media Tuesday for not doing more promotional messaging for the program.

Asked whether Democrats have failed to effectively persuade the public that a massive influx of social spending is necessary, Pelosi turned the question around on the reporter.

“Well I think you all could do a better job of selling it, to be very frank with you, because every time I come here I go through the list: medical leave, climate, the issues that are in there,” Pelosi said.

As I already said, this was yet another case of a Democrat saying aloud what everyone already knows but isn’t supposed to talk about. It’s simply assumed in Democratic circles that the vast majority of the mainstream media is firmly on their side and will slant their coverage to be favorable to Pelosi’s party and their agenda. There have been some rare but refreshing exceptions to that rule this year, such as the coverage of the Afghanistan evacuation debacle, but for the most part, the Democrats’ media stenographers have followed the script.

But what happens when one of the highest-ranking Democrats in Washington comes out and says these things on camera? Not much, really. Take a listen for yourself.

As you can hear for yourself, none of the reporters in the briefing seemed to even bat an eye. There was no uproar from the reporters and the next person picked to give a question smoothly moved on to a query about how the size of the bill could be reduced so it might pass.

Pelosi might have an argument to make against any criticism of her statement, albeit a rather thin one. While she clearly said “you all could do a better job of selling it,” the reporter who asked the question was specifically asking about a recent poll showing that only 10% of the public feels they know “a lot” about what’s in the bill. She also used the phrase “sell the bill” in her question, but it sounded as if the real problem was that the Democrats haven’t explained it well enough so the public doesn’t even know what the money is being spent on.

As I said, however, that’s a rather thin defense. Nancy Pelosi is able to stand in front of a gaggle of Washington reporters and accuse them of not “selling” her agenda, and nobody evens breaks their stride. That’s rather remarkable.

As to the other half of the question, I definitely agree with both Pelosi and the reporter who lobbed the question at her. People undoubtedly don’t know all the details because the bill is being pushed before it’s even been fully written. And the parts that have been spelled out to some degree encompass far too many things and far too much money for anyone to digest. This is yet again another example of Congress trying to jam through massive spending bills in a rush, essentially under the cover of darkness.

If that bill ever does pass, I can assure you that there won’t be one member of the entire House who has read the thing from cover to cover. Some will be familiar with the pieces they had a hand in crafting, while others will have aides who were assigned to read parts of it and brief them on it. But the majority will be voting to spend trillions of dollars while not even understanding where the money will go. The public will be similarly in the dark. And that’s no way to run an airline, folks.

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