Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Media’s Both-Sides Brigade Is Wrong About the Covid-19 Stimulus Deal

The Media’s Both-Sides Brigade Is Wrong About the Covid-19 Stimulus Deal

One of the more irritating manifestations of both-sidesism in the political press in recent days has been the vilification of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for refusing to accept the compromises that the Trump administration has, thus far, been willing to offer on a second Covid stimulus bill.

Let’s review the story so far. In May, the House passed the Heroes Act, which would add $3 trillion to the $2.2 trillion in Covid stimulus that Congress passed, and that the president signed off on, back in March. In July, the Trump administration and Senate Republicans belatedly put in a counter-offer, a proposed bill that would add only $1 trillion in additional stimulus.

The House subsequently passed a revised Heroes Act that would add $2.2 trillion in stimulus dollars, or $800,000 less than its previous bill. The Trump administration then signaled it would be willing to go as high as $1.8 trillion; that is, raise its bid to the same amount that the House had lowered its bid. Pelosi, at this point, said no.

That was not good enough for CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, who scolded Pelosi on Tuesday for not being willing to meet Republicans in the middle. “Even members of your own caucus, Madame Speaker, want to accept this deal,” Blitzer said. Pelosi replied that she was trying to keep state and local workers from losing their jobs. Blitzer, unimpressed, pointed out that Trump had just tweeted that he’d be willing to spend even more. (As is his wont, his twitter account bellowed, “STIMULUS! Go big or go home!!!”) “Don’t let the perfect, as we say here in Washington, be the enemy of the good,” Blitzer lectured.

Pelosi’s supposed intransigence was also too much for Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria, who wrote that Pelosi was being “defensive and combative” with Blitzer and that nothing she said “added up to a coherent position in a time of national emergency.”

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