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Democrats, Republicans, and the Media Squabble in a Post-Trump Malaise

Nancy Pelosi
Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
Julia Ioffe
October 4, 2021

It’s hard to write about something that hasn’t happened yet, or something that is in the process of happening—or in the process of not happening—and yet here we all are: me, writing about it; you, reading about it. It’s a situation in which dozens (hundreds?) of journalists in Washington now find themselves, trying to cover a legislative process that would be complicated just on its face—the Build Back Better spending package currently clocks in at just under 2,500 pages—and that’s before you factor in the political posturing of the White House, plus 535 congresspeople and senators (and thousands of all of their on-background staffers). 

How do we make sense of it, even if it seems like there is both nothing to make sense of yet (the bills are still being negotiated), or if there’s too much chaos, minutiae, and maneuvering to see things clearly?