'Sympathy-for-the-enemy’ rhetoric is not a good look for Biden officials: reporter

'Sympathy-for-the-enemy’ rhetoric is not a good look for Biden officials: reporter

When George W. Bush was president, members of his administration drew a great deal of criticism for essentially saying: either you’re with us, or you’re with the terrorists. Accusing anyone who questions a president’s foreign policy of supporting the enemy, critics argued, isn’t a good look for either a Republican of Democratic administration. And in an article published by Mother Jones on February 3, journalist Dan Friedman takes some Biden Administration officials to task for some of the rhetoric they have used when discussing the president’s foreign policy.

“In America, you can question or criticize your government and its claims, even if your views overlap with the views of foreign adversaries,” Friedman explains. “The First Amendment, as they say, protects the assholes. But some people could use a refresher course.”

Friedman is referring specifically to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price. The Mother Jones reporter is no fan of far-right Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, but he believes that Psaki crossed the line when she accused the GOP senator — who has been highly critical of President Joe Biden’s Ukraine/Russia policy — of “parroting Russian talking points.”

“For this comment,” Friedman notes, “Psaki was rewarded with a smattering of criticism, but plenty of press and social media amplification. Hawley, a Missouri Republican who appeared to cheer on the Capitol insurrectionists last January 6, and then voted against certifying President Joe Biden’s election win, is easy enough to paint as anti-American. And Russia’s belligerent behavior toward Ukraine makes it easy enough to dismiss serious consideration of the Kremlin’s concerns about NATO expansion.”

Friedman continues, “But Psaki didn’t stop there. On Thursday, she and State Department spokesman Ned Price both seemed to suggest that people who refuse to accept the Administration’s claims as gospel are trusting America’s adversaries over their own government.”

On Thursday, February 3, Friedman notes, Price told Associated Press reporter Matt Lee, “If you doubt the credibility of the U.S. government, of the British government, of other governments and want to, you know, find solace in information the Russians are putting out, that is for you to do.”

This type of rhetoric, Friedman argues, reflects poorly on the Biden Administration.

“Josh Hawley may not, as Psaki asserted, support ‘longstanding bipartisan American values,’” the Mother Jones reporter writes. “But his views on NATO aren’t evidence of such. Nor are they treasonous. Hawley’s critics would be wise not to let his noxiousness cause them to overlook the problem with the White House’s attack on him. Equating healthy skepticism to sympathy with America’s enemies is a disingenuous — and dangerous — direction for the Biden Administration.”

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