With its recent passage of a historic $1.9 trillion relief bill that will drastically reduce poverty, the Biden administration has made it clear that the White House is once again focused on doing the work of the American people. After four years of plutocracy, incompetence, and weaponized racism under Donald Trump, the Democrats are rightsizing the ship of state.
The ascension of Biden and the return of responsible governance has placed the right-wing media machine in an unenviable position. During the Trump years, outlets like Fox News did everything they could to whitewash the atrocities and mistakes of his administration. Now that he’s gone they’ve pivoted back to attacking the presidency in predictable partisan fashion but since Biden has no scandals and no blunders thus far they’re forced to invent wedge issues.
Immigration has quickly become a favorite topic of the conservative talking heads again and they want us to believe that there is a full-blown crisis on the border caused entirely by the Biden administration. The same people who turned a blind eye as Donald Trump separated families, locked children in cages, and hurled racist rhetoric left and right now want to pretend that they’re the moral authorities on the border situation.
Today, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was pressed on the border issue by Fox’s Peter Doocy. He asked if FEMA’s deployment to the border means that the situation down there has turned into “a disaster,” clearly fishing for a rhetorical slipup that his network could then loop ad nauseam for their xenophobic viewers.
“I know that we always get into the fun of labels around here but I would say our focus is on solutions and this is one of the steps that the president felt would help — not become a final solution — but help expedite processing,” said Psaki. “Help ensure that people coming across the border have access to health and medical care. Clearly, the numbers are enormous. This is a big challenge and it certainly is a reflection of using every lever of the federal government to help address that.”
“With FEMA though specifically, their mission is helping people before or during and after disasters. We’ve heard you say that it’s ‘a problem,’ that it’s a ‘challenge.’ Is it now a ‘disaster?'” asked Doocy, shamelessly reaching for that soundbite. Psaki pushed back again, explaining that FEMA is on the ground along the border to provide much-needed resources to people making the crossing. By refusing to play Doocy’s little word game and instead focusing on the material efforts being made by the administration to improve the situation along the border she expertly avoided handing the right-wing media more ammunition.
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