Tuesday, November 16, 2021


This moment of Beltway tunnel vision happened on MSNBC today:
During his Meet the Press Daily program, [Chuck] Todd reflected on Monday's signing of the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

"It just felt like an event out of time," Todd opined. "That event might have been impactful in August or September or October. It feels more like an epilogue to the ending of what's going to -- might not be a good story for Democrats in 2022."

Look, I get it -- passage of the infrastructure bill before this month's elections might have helped Democratic candidates. The long weeks of bickering -- with the press mostly reporting on the bickering rather than the content of the legislation -- didn't help the party. And the reconciliation bill is still a work in progress.

But do real people see passage of this bill as "an epilogue to an ending"? Real people don't live in Chuck Todd's world. If you're a high-end Beltway pundit, life proceeds in election cycles. If you're a normal person, life is ... life. It goes on. And an infrastructure bill that was just signed will have an impact in the future.

Whether it's an impact voters will notice, or notice anytime soon, isn't clear. In the near term, they seem to care more about getting prices under control, getting goods onto the shelves, and putting the pandemic behind us at last (although the president and his party don't have much control over the spread of the virus in a country full of vaccine refusers, and don't have as much control over the other items as some Americans believe they do).

Nevertheless, this bill is the start of something, and it should come to be seen as the start of something good. It only seems like the end of something to Chuck Todd because election cycles are how he sees the world. That's a not a perspective he shares with the ordinary citizens whose perspective he claims to understand.

No comments: