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Joe Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to the media on the south lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C. on May 30, 2022. (Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

'What in the Neoliberal Hell Is This?' Biden Suggests 'Rational' GOP Senators Will Act on Guns

"I beg of Democrats to start dealing with Republicans as they are and not the made-up version you wish they were," said one critic.

Jessica Corbett

U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday sparked anger and frustration in the wake of a Texas mass shooting with remarks about gun safety reform that included describing two GOP congressional leaders as "rational."

"We're in the midst of a civil war, but most Dems don't seem to realize it."

The president said on the White House lawn that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is "a rational Republican," and he thinks Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is too, according to multiple reporters present.

Biden's comments came after McConnell told CNN last week—after the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde—that he "encouraged" Cornyn to talk with Democrats to "come up with a bipartisan solution."

Responding on Twitter to the president's Monday statement, Our America co-host Sawyer Hackett simply said, "Wait, what?"

Writer Thor Benson was similarly concise, tweeting, "Hmmm..... no."

Former Democratic Ohio congressional candidate Nina Turner asked, "What in the neoliberal hell is this?"

Jeet Heer, a national affairs correspondent at The Nation, said that "this might be justified if it yielded results in Republican lawmakers voting for parts of Biden's agenda, but it won't."

"As it stands," he warned, "it's giving centrist voters permission to vote for any Republican who is not" former President Donald Trump or Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).

Noting that "Cornyn was tweeting a few days ago about making schools like airports," journalist Aaron Rupar said that "I'm skeptical of his rationality on guns."

"I beg of Democrats to start dealing with Republicans as they are and not the made-up version you wish they were," he added.

Last Tuesday, Salvador Ramos used an AR-15-style-rifle that he legally purchased in Texas after his 18th birthday to murder 19 children and two teachers at the Uvalde elementary school. The teenage gunman was then killed by law enforcement. Biden's Department of Justice is now reviewing the police response to the shooting.

The president told reporters Monday that "I think things have gotten so bad that everybody's getting more rational about it, at least that's my hope."

"The Second Amendment was never absolute," he said, according to the Associated Press. "You couldn't buy a cannon when the Second Amendment was passed. You couldn't go out and buy a lot of weapons."

Biden also explained the limitations on his powers, saying that "I can't dictate this stuff. I can do the things that I've done—and any executive action I can take I'll continue to take—but I can outlaw a weapon. I can't... change the background checks. I can't do that."

When Biden visited Texas over the weekend, onlookers shouted "Do something!" at him. In a Sunday letter, the Principal Recovery Network made a similar demand of all U.S. elected officials.

Faced with nationwide calls for action and data on firearm deaths in the United States, House Democrats have repeatedly moved to strengthen gun laws in recent years, but unless the party's entire caucus in the Senate decides to end the filibuster, most legislation cannot make it through the evenly split upper chamber without GOP support.


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Ilhan Omar Says Plan to Fix Supreme Court Must Include Impeachment Probes

"We need an impeachment investigation into Clarence Thomas' role in the January 6th coup, as well as into Gorsuch, Alito, Barrett, and Kavanaugh's testimony on Roe during their confirmation hearings," said the Minnesota Democrat.

Jake Johnson ·


Right-Wing Justices Should Be Impeached for Lying Under Oath, Says Ocasio-Cortez

"We have a responsibility to protect our democracy," said the New York Democrat. "That includes holding those in power who violate the law accountable."

Kenny Stancil ·


'Infuriating': Biden Rebuked for Continued Opposition to Supreme Court Expansion

"What does Biden 'agree' with doing?" Mehdi Hasan asked. "What does the leader of this country want to do to stop the increasingly fascistic assault on our democratic institutions and basic rights?"

Kenny Stancil ·


'We Need Action': Biden, Democrats Urged to Protect Abortion Access in Post-Roe US

"The Supreme Court doesn't get the final say on abortion," Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith wrote in a new op-ed.

Kenny Stancil ·


Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·

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