I was pretty critical of the Biden government – as I promised to be on inauguration day. I believe it is my job to tell my own “team” the truth as well. Maybe especially for my own team. But even if I didn’t believe it, I’ve largely resigned myself to dying a bitter old man who was never satisfied with the pace of progress. Call me unforgiving.
But this week is Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I realize that’s worrying because the American myth-making behind the vacation is pretty terrible. I don’t have time for feel-good stories about genocidal colonizers. Instead of all that junk, I try to focus on what the vacation means to me: a day of appreciation. No gifts, no god, just eat and be happy with what you have without worrying about what you will get (in this life or in the next).
So, out of gratitude, I address these words of thanks to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Well worth taking your time to appreciate what we have.
The vaccines. The fact that Covid-19 vaccines are here, safe and freely available, is due to the work of many people including, yes, people in the previous government. Doctors, scientists, truck drivers, logistics workers, clinic operators, nurses – there are literally thousands and thousands of unsung heroes who have got us to this point. For the most part, Biden was just the guy who was around while all of this fine work was going on.
But he was the type that was there. And he didn’t screw it up irrevocably. He wasn’t in the way. He didn’t turn the whole process into some kind of political Rorschach test. He didn’t tell people to inject bleach or horse wormers.
Others did it politically. Other people turned down medicine in order to “own the libs”. Other people have increased the internet conspiracy and contrarianism over science and safety.
But, you know what? These other people aren’t invited to my house on Thanksgiving. Biden is. Because he’s vaccinated. And he’s not an idiot. That’s because he didn’t make being a drooling fool the core of his political strategy. Thanks, Joe Biden.
Lucky number 13. Vice President Kamala Harris cast 13 tied votes in the US Senate, the most in a year from any Vice President in US history. Can you imagine Mike Pence being able to cast those votes? Things would be worse.
But here’s something to really bend your noodle: the largest number of votes cast by a vice president was 31, and those were cast by noted slave trader and Confederacy intellectual father, John C. Calhoun. Just think of how much progress Calhoun halted by just that one constitutional power bestowed on the VP.
Thank you, Kamala Harris, for not being a bastard slave and trying to move the country forward despite the relentless bigotry and misogyny of the Beltway Press Corps. We see you.