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The political press found something new to blame on President Joe Biden. Itching to maintain the Dems in Disarray narrative, being egged on by Fox News, and stretching common sense to the breaking point, the press is claiming the Democrat faces a “Christmas crisis” of confidence over something he has no control — clogged supply chains.
“Holiday delays could prove politically problematic for the president,” ABC News claimed. “With global supply chain bottlenecks threatening the Christmas shopping season, President Joe Biden will…try to stave off the potentially politically explosive headaches Americans may face as delays threaten holiday gift-giving.”
According to ABC News, if Americans encounter gift-giving delays because retailers are not able to supply purchases in time, it’s going to cause “explosive headaches” because, apparently, voters will blame the West Wing if store shelves aren’t stocked with Barbies.
This twisted logic continues to spread. “White House Scrambles to Address Looming Christmas Crisis,” an ominous Politico headline announced. At Wednesday’s White House press briefing, CBS’s Ed O’Keefe demanded to know if the White House could guarantee that holiday packages will arrive on time.
“If you think President Biden's approval ratings are bad now, just watch what happens if Christmas turns out to be a huge national bummer,” warned The Week. Pointing to “supply chain snarls,” the outlet warned that, “If Americans find themselves unable to celebrate the holidays in the manner to which they've become accustomed they're probably going to be angry. And they're probably going to blame the president.”
Talk about torturous logic. If private suppliers cannot produce on-time goods this gift-giving season because of a Covid-fueled shipping backup, Americans are going to blame the president. “That means Biden must do everything in his limited power to save Christmas — if only to save his still-young presidency,” according to The Week. Now Biden’s entire presidency hangs in the balance.
When did the U.S. stop being a capitalist country? When did the press start assuming the White House controls private industries, including the shipping and handling operations for retailers and suppliers?
For the record, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says she isn’t that concerned. “There may be isolated shortages of goods and services in the coming months," Yellen told CBS News "But there is an ample supply of goods. I think there's no reason for consumers to panic about the absence of goods that they're going to want to acquire at Christmas.”
This is an almost comical example of the absurd double standard the Beltway press uses to grade Republican and Democratic presidents. The previous guy had a hard time stringing together three coherent sentences. But the same press corps looks at Biden and says, ‘Of course he’s responsible for unclogging the global shipping lanes, including U.S. ports and rail yards, so Christmas gifts can arrive on time.’
Are there things the federal government can do to ease the historic port congestion? Short of mobilizing the military, not really. But the White House has been leaning on private players to move aggressively try to relieve the bottleneck — the Port of Los Angeles will now operate around the clock and major companies such as Walmart, UPS and FedEx will expand their working hours.
Just from a common-sense perspective, why would it matter to Biden’s presidency if store shelves this December were not stocked with toys? Where is the tangible connection between those two things? It’s only become a media thing because journalists are trying to find something else to ding Biden with, even though nobody in the shipping business thinks the White House will ultimately be responsible for untangling this problem.
“The commercial pipeline that each year brings $1 trillion worth of toys, clothing, electronics and furniture from Asia to the United States is clogged and no one knows how to unclog it,” the Washington Post reported. (Still, the paper stressed the disruption means Biden “has a Christmas problem.”)
The entire global shipping industry isn’t sure how to unclog the Asia-to-America pipeline, but Biden has to fix it or else? Are writers at the Post really claiming that because Biden promised “in 2020 was that he would be a steady hand, singularly focused on smothering the pandemic and reviving the economy,” that means he has a solve a once-in-a-lifetime supply backlog that’s bedeviling the global economy?
The story of today’s broken supply chain is a fascinating one and some business journalists have done excellent work explaining it. From Yahoo! Finance’s Brian Cheung:
Fallout from the once-in-a-century health crisis is the chief culprit behind soaring freight bills and delivery delays. Americans trapped at home slashed spending at restaurants, movie theaters and sporting events and splurged on goods such as laptops and bicycles, triggering an import avalanche that has overwhelmed freight channels.
Meanwhile, factories and ports in Asia have had to close due to Covid-19 outbreaks, extreme weather, and electricity outages, which are all contributing to the delays.
The problem is, Beltway pundits and reporters have now glommed onto the story and decided it’s also a political one, and It’s All Biden’s Fault. It’s not.
(Photo: Joe Giddens/Getty Images)
From Jonh Stoehr’s insightful piece at The Editorial Board newsletter, “Whatever Joe Biden And the Democrats Decide Will be the Best Outcome Democracy Can Produce While Bein Sabotaged”:
All is not yet lost, as Robison said, and in any case, I think we should cut these Democrats some slack. Yes, they can be maddening. Yes, there’s so much at stake. (Yes, no one knows what Kyrsten Sinema wants!) But let’s be clear. The Republicans are doing everything they can to take power in the next election without being responsible for having done anything to justify taking power in the next election. The GOP represents the full range of illegitimate politics. They don’t want anything to do with governing. Frankly, that’s how it ought to be.
FUN STUFF — BECAUSE WE ALL NEED A BREAK
Paul Simon, “Hearts and Bones”
I almost crashed the car yesterday when I heard on the radio it was Simon’s 80th birthday.
My only Simon story: A million years ago I was walking up Central Park West on a very cold January night when up the block, coming the other way, walked Simon and his then-wife Carrie Fisher, wrapped in each other’s arms and battling the elements.
Simon and Fisher’s marriage was a brief one, but Simon did write an extraordinary song about their time together, “Hearts and Bones.”
She burned like a bride
These events may have had some effect
On the man with the girl by his side
The arc of a love affair
His hands rolling down her hair
🎙 Click here to listen to the music that’s been featured on PRESS RUN, via a Spotify playlist.
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