Inside the Beltway: Biden ‘honeymoon’ already on the wane


Looks like President Biden is being schooled on schools at the moment. The nation is now aware that Mr. Biden’s promise to have children back in their classrooms during the first 100 days of his presidency has faded. So far, the White House has only proposed that half the nation’s schools will offer limited in-class teaching, at least one day a week. 

Mr. Biden’s “honeymoon” with the nation appears to be brief.

“President Joe Biden is in a political fire storm over how and when to get more schools open during the coronavirus pandemic, with Republicans seizing on confusion surrounding Biden’s goal to reopen a majority of schools within his first 100 days to paint the president as beholden to teachers’ unions at the expense of American families,” noted The Associated Press, calling the White House response “muddled.”

“This lack of clarity and ambition is a grave disservice to the country’s children,” said a Bloomberg Opinion editorial, which cites evidence that schools are not necessarily hotbeds for COVID-19 and that the pace of vaccination — particularly for teachers — is accelerating.

“A school that’s giving in-person instruction once a week isn’t open. Distance learning doesn’t work, and the resulting educational deficit is going to inflict terrible and possibly irreparable damage on the poorest and most disadvantaged children,” the editorial said.

“The biggest impediment to getting this right is the resistance of teachers’ unions. Biden and his soon-to-be-confirmed secretary of education need to make the case more forcefully — in addition to getting funds out the door and into schools. The president’s respect for the teaching profession is well-known, but that doesn’t justify submitting to plainly unreasonable demands or causing such harm to the nation’s children,” the editorial concluded.

“Biden is marked absent from school. When it comes to providing clear leadership on safely reopening schools, Joe Biden is the chronically absent president,” notes Tommy Pigott, rapid response director for the Republican National Committee.


A media analyst now wonders whether former President Donald Trump could replace the late Rush Limbaugh on talk radio.

“To be fair, no one can truly replace Rush Limbaugh, can they?” wrote Tom Jones, a senior writer for the Poynter Institute, a media think tank in Florida. “He was beloved by his listeners. Not just anyone can be thrown into that spot and have the same following, loyalty and — what matters most — ratings as Limbaugh. The first name to jump out is a strong conservative who is beloved by the right and is currently out of work: Donald Trump.”

Mr. Jones wondered, however, whether the 45th president is up to the rigorous demands of the field.

“For starters, radio is hard. Part of what made Limbaugh so good was his work ethic. While it often appeared that Limbaugh was just winging it for three hours, it was his preparation that made his program appear so smooth and effortless. Would Trump be willing to put in the time to be good at radio?” he asks.

Then there is another possibility.

“A couple of months ago, a natural choice to replace Limbaugh would have been former Vice President Mike Pence, who has experience as a radio and TV host. But Pence’s reputation among Trump loyalists is mud, and that eliminates chances he could host Limbaugh’s show, assuming he would even be interested,” Mr. Jones says.


Some 14 million radio listeners remain in mourning over the death of Rush Limbaugh this week. The industry itself, in the meantime, has offered a genuine tribute to him.

“Greater than any other single talent, Limbaugh was widely credited for not only reinvigorating the politically geared talk show as we know it, but also for prolonging AM radio’s very existence. The aggregate amount of revenue he generated for operators of AM facilities carrying his daily talk show is nothing short of mindboggling,” wrote Mike Kinosian, managing editor of Talkers Magazine, which monitors the field.

He also notes that a recent Zogby International poll cited Mr. Limbaugh as America’s “most trusted radio personality.” 


South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has signed into law the South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act, which limits abortion in the state after the point by which a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

“We applaud Gov. McMaster’s pro-life leadership. The beating hearts of unborn children should awaken the conscience of our nation to the tragedy and reality of abortion,”  says Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a national pro-life group.

Georgia, Missouri, Louisiana, Tennessee, Ohio, Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi and North Dakota have adopted similar legislation.

“Many of these state initiatives are on a collision course with our nation’s current abortion jurisprudence. Someday soon we hope the Supreme Court will take the handcuffs off the states and allow them to pass pro-life laws — grounded in science and compassion — that reflect the will of their people,” Mrs. Dannenfelser observes.


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• 49% of U.S. adults agree more with this statement: “It’s a big, beautiful world, mostly full of good people, and we must find a way to embrace each other and not allow ourselves to become isolated.”

• 29% of Republicans, 47% of independents and 71% of Democrats agree.

• 34%  of U.S. adults overall agree more with this statement: “Our lives are threatened by terrorists, criminals, and illegal immigrants and our priority should be to protect ourselves.”

• 60% of Republicans, 36% of independents and 16% of Democrats agree.

• 17% overall are not sure about which statement comes closest to their view.

• 11% of Republicans, 17% of independents and 13% of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. citizens conducted Feb. 13-16.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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