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President Biden is considering an order that would protect national access to abortion pills – that according to a leak to Politico.
At the same time, Biden said in Massachusetts yesterday that he will issue an executive order on climate change, which has been bandied about in the press, since Congress won’t do anything. “We have to act,” he said. The fact is the Democrats don’t have the votes, thanks to Joe Manchin.
Politico says an abortion-pill order “could have the most immediate on-the-ground impact while also quelling Democrats’ demands for stronger action” but “still faces deep skepticism from senior aides who are unconvinced it would survive the inevitable legal challenges.”
Of course these things should be fully vetted. So why did three unnamed sources put this one out there? As a trial balloon? To pressure Biden into doing it?
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Rather than taking a bold step by announcing a dramatic move, the president lets these ideas play out in the press before acting or not acting. His earlier executive order on abortion rights was so vague that nobody talks about it much. He has proposed a gas-tax holiday and a filibuster exception to codify Roe v. Wade, only to drop both proposals when his party refused to go along.
The result is that he’s almost always playing catchup and looks ineffective.
Now let’s look at the news that Donald Trump has been making in the last couple of days. It’s almost all negative toward him, but he thrives on the conflict.
The Republican speaker of Wisconsin’s Assembly says Trump called him “within the last week” to urge him to overturn the 2020 results in his state. Placing the call after the state’s highest court ruled that absentee-ballot drop boxes can’t be used in the future, Robin Vos said that “he would like us to do something different in Wisconsin. I explained that it’s not allowed under the Constitution.” Trump then posted a message calling Vos a RINO.
Georgia prosecutors have told 16 Trump supporters who created an alternate slate of 2020 electors that they could face criminal charges in the investigation – and legal experts say Trump is in jeopardy. The former president asked Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, to “find 11,780 votes” to erase a Biden victory. Trump said on Truth Social yesterday that his two Georgia calls were “PERFECT” and “it is the election itself that should be under investigation.”
In another posting, Trump appeared to liken Stephen Colbert’s TV crew, which was arrested at the Capitol for sneaking back in after doing approved interviews, to the Jan. 6 rioters:
“Wow! Prosecutors have just dropped all charges against ratings challenged Colbert Show staffers, who entered the Capitol illegally, disregarded police warnings, wouldn’t leave the premises, and were very loud and disruptive late into the evening, with no security present as is mandated by law. These Radical Left lunatics, from a failing show, were treated so differently.”
He also weighed in on Pulitzer Prize officials rejecting his request to yank the awards from the New York Times and Washington Post after its two independent probes found no factual inaccuracies.
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“Instead of acting with integrity and providing transparency, the Pulitzer Board is running cover for the biggest reporting failure in modern history: the fake Russia Russia Russia collusion hoax,” Trump said.
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And, of course, there is tonight’s prime-time House hearing on what the former president did for 187 minutes on Jan. 6 before posting a video asking the rioters to go home.
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Now, any other politician facing such a barrage would probably be toast. But Trump has made clear he’s announcing a third White House bid, likely before the midterms, and will probably win the nomination because his base sees him as fighting back against unfair enemies. At the same time, much of the media is not buying Biden’s insistence that he’ll run again because of plunging Democratic support.
It may sound strange to compare one president who is arguing unproven allegations of election fraud to another president trying to grapple with the actual slog of governing. But it also helps explain why the two men, both in their late seventies, draw such different coverage.
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