The New York Times wasn't laughing at Joe Biden's infrastructure plan. But the host of the paper's podcast was laughing at how popular the president's team thinks it is.
In a sit-down with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the former candidate estimated that "20 or 30" Republicans might vote for the president's $2 trillion dollar joke of a public works bill.
"Thirty?" host Kara Swisher guffawed. "Thirty?" she repeated. "Well, Secretary Buttigieg I'd like to be five-foot seven, but it's not going to happen," she joked. And maybe, the White House is starting to realize, their 13-digit spending dreams won't either.
On Tuesday, the president's team seemed to take a step back from their big-money proposals and return to safer ground. Instead of harping on "infrastructure" and government daycare, the White House went back to the one area where they had the public's backing: the coronavirus. And yet, after a series of missteps and mixed messages, even that support may be starting to wane. There's abundant frustration over the CDC's insistence on outdoor masking, even for people who've been vaccinated or kids at summer camps. Then came the rolling outrage over new rules in some places: a wedding reception dance ban in D.C. and continued school closures in others.
But it was the president's address to a half-empty Congress that really set conservatives ablaze. It was, as John Nolte wrote in a scathing rebuke of the Democrats, "a nationally-televised piece of performance art with one blaring message: The coronavirus vaccine does not work! Do not get vaccinated! Look at us! LOOK AT US, we're vaccinated and nothing's changed!!!" From the president to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), everyone in the chamber has been vaccinated, and yet, Nolte goes on, "through their own actions they screamed out their belief that the vaccine is, at best, worthless."
Just yesterday, Biden said his goal is to have 70 percent of adults through at least one dose of the vaccine by the Fourth of July. But you can't blame people for wondering, what's the incentive? Even if we're vaccinated, the government will still make us wear masks. (Maybe two!)
"It's like having someone tell you the local water is safe in between sips of bottled water," Nolte mocked. And yet, Joe Biden, the same president who pooh-poohed the vaccine under Donald Trump, insists now that he's in charge, "you do need to get vaccinated." But once you do, he says, wearing your mask will still be your "patriotic duty." To most people, it just doesn't add up.
And now, to add to the absurdity of it all, the Left is blaming evangelicals for creating distrust about the vaccine -- when it's the Democrats' own optics that make everyone wonder: what's the point? People get vaccinated and the ridiculous government restrictions remain unchanged. Now, let me just say up front -- I'm not opposed to the vaccine. I think if you're in an at-risk category, you should strongly consider getting one of the ethical shots (Moderna or Pfizer). I'm not opposed to the science either. What I am opposed to is any government forcing people to get the vaccine -- or shaming them into getting it, which is what the New York Times, MSNBC, and others are trying to do by claiming Christians are putting the entire nation at risk. That's just another attempt to marginalize believers in the eyes of the broader community.
Of course, there's plenty of blatant hypocrisy in the Democratic Party that isn't helping their cause either. Increasingly, Americans are noticing that those who advocate for science on one hand happily discard it when it's not convenient.
The Family Research Council's David Closson pointed out the double standard late last month.
"People are talking about climate change and global warming. That was a big focus of the White House. But again, this is the same White House through executive orders and public statements that is radically pro-abortion, and that doesn't recognize the personhood of the unborn."
This is the same administration, he argued, that insisted on "executive orders that don't recognize that the biological sex of male and female. So when you're so selective in the reading of the science, well...it just doesn't engender very much trust among [anyone]" -- let alone conservatives or evangelicals.
Truth is truth. It doesn't change with whatever crisis we're facing, or which party is in office. That's why as Christians, we can't shrink back in silence or hide in the shadows. We have to stand up and speak up when our faith is challenged.
Tony Perkins is the president of the Family Research Council.
Editor's Note: This piece originally appeared on the Family Research Council.