Jen Psaki is not here for your insipid gotcha questions, Mike Shear.
The New York Times reporter wanted to know why President Biden had not extended what he called a "fig leaf" to Republicans. Forget that the entire premise of the question is an entire sack of BS, because if anything, it's Republicans who need to be extending an olive branch (isn't the fig leaf what you cover your genitals with?) after the last several decades, let alone the last four years, and the last two weeks. So the premise is crap, and it's also untrue, as Psaki later informs him, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Shear extended his question, naming all the things President Biden is doing to allegedly undermine his stated goal of unity and bipartisanship. "You don't have a Republican cabinet member, like President Obama, and I think President Clinton had," he said. "The executive orders that he's come out the gate have been largely designed as erasing as much of the Trump legacy as you can with executive orders, much of which the Republican party likes and agrees with," he continued.
Can we talk about the fact that a reporter for the New York Times is speaking about the racist, fascist executive orders and policies Trump put into place, as if undoing them was the thing causing disunity? As if Republicans in favor of them should be coddled and mollified in the name of unity by allowing Trump's fascist legacy to continue for one millisecond longer than possible?
Shear then listed something most Americans are in favor of, by the way — immigration reform — as causing friction. "You've put forth an immigration bill that has a path to citizenship that doesn't do much of a nod towards the border security, and a $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill that folks have said has already drawn all sorts of criticism." (People DON'T want COVID relief?) Then he concluded with what I'm sure he considered a flourish, "Where is the actual action behind this idea of bipartisanship, and when are we gonna see some of those substantial outreaches that said, you know, this is something that the Republicans want to do, too?"
Press Secretary Jen Psaki was ready.
"Is unemployment insurance only an issue that Democrats want? Or do only Democrats want their kids to go back to schools? Do only Democrats want vaccines to be distributed across the country? We feel that package -- he feels that package is designed for bipartisan support," she answered much more calmly than I would have. But she wasn't done.
"I would also say we've had some positive developments on our confirmations, and our nominees. Last night, as you saw, the president's nominee, now confirmed, first female leader of the intelligence community was confirmed with a vote of 85-10, 84-10, you can check me on that, but an overwhelming vote," she said. "We've seen progress today on the nomination and hopeful confirmation of Lloyd Austin. So, there is movement supported by both sides of the aisle and members of both parties," declared my new best friend.
Then, she finished him.
"I think if you talk to Republicans on the Hill, which I know many of you do, they would say they are not looking for something symbolic. they are looking for engagement, they're looking to have a conversation, they're looking to have a dialogue. That's exactly what he's going to do."
Yeah, I'm gonna really enjoy these press briefings.