Five Guys has always been Cockburn’s first choice for a greasy cheeseburger — breakfast of champions, says he — but Good Stuff Eatery, a Capitol Hill joint, is a solid second. So it is that Cockburn finds himself with a new respect for Congressman Ro Khanna, Democrat of California, who was recently interviewed by Politico while eating at Good Stuff.
Yet for sheer artery-clogging goodness, you can’t beat the story Khanna told about President Joe Biden.
Per Politico, Khanna said he was once chatting with the president about the difficulties facing the Democratic senatorial caucus (as one does). “Mr. President,” he said, “why don’t you just get Bernie Sanders and Joe Manchin in the room and hammer this out?” Of Biden’s troubled Build Back Better legislation, he said, “Just cut the deal, and whatever those two agree with, with you, that’ll be the road map.”
Cockburn notes that he’d love to have been a fly on the wall for that conversation. Bernie Sanders is arguably the most left-wing member of the Senate, a self-identified social Democrat from Vermont who once got kicked out of a hippie commune, while Manchin is the reddest of Blue Dogs. It was Manchin who ultimately delivered the death blow to Build Back Better, almost certainly because BBB was chiefly a climate bill and Manchin is from coal-reliant West Virginia.
Yet even allowing for the unlikeliness of Khanna’s proposal, Biden didn’t mince words. He turned to Congressman Peter Welch of Vermont and said, “Peter, you and I know Bernie, right? What Ro’s asking for is homicide, to put them in a room.” He then turned back to Khanna: “It’d be like, Ro, you and me boxing: I’d beat the hell out of you, but why would we want to see it?”
Cockburn thinks that — with all due respect to Khanna — he’d very much want to see that. And surely there was some credence to Biden’s tough talk, given that he once almost came to blows with an autoworker in Detroit. Yet Cockburn also can’t help but think that Khanna should have embellished this story of White House fight club antics. Cut to Will Smith walking into the Oval Office and approaching the president’s desk…
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