Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) took the bold step of expanding the definition of infrastructure to an unrecognizable state on Wednesday, as she and other Democrats work hard to sell Americans on President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion “infrastructure” plan that includes a whole lot of non-infrastructure-related initiatives.
But social media had a field day with the New York senator’s attempt, mocking her with expanded definitions of their own.
What are the details?
Gillibrand declared on Twitter, “Paid leave is infrastructure. Child care is infrastructure. Caregiving is infrastructure.”
Fox News pointed out that politically, infrastructure “is often considered to refer to transportation, roads, bridges and items of that nature.” Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary says infrastructure is “the system of public works of a country, state, or region,” or “the underlying foundation or basic framework (as of a system or organization).”
Baffled observers were quick to play along with Gillibrand’s game, with The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro replying, “Unicorns are infrastructure. Love is infrastructure. Herpes is infrastructure. Everything is infrastructure.”
Concordia University professor and author Gad Saad tweeted, “Exactly. Violent crime is climate change. Open borders is climate change. Defund the police is climate change. People menstruate is climate change. Voting fraud is climate change.”
The Libertarian Party of Texas added, “Lower taxes is infrastructure. Gun rights is infrastructure. Ending the drug war is infrastructure. Are we doing this right?”
Even fellow Democrats scolded Gillibrand for her stunt. One person tweeted back to the senator, “Words mean things. If you use ‘infrastructure’ for everything, then it means nothing. This is just dumb pandering. BTW, I’m a lifelong democrat. I’m for all of those things. But they need to stand on their own merits.”
Someone else told the senator, “As a Dem I would love it if we stopped making important words meaningless.”
NBC News published an analysis Wednesday acknowledging in that Biden “threw everything, including the kitchen sink, into his $2 trillion-plus ‘infrastructure’ proposal,” adding that “loading up a bill with Democratic priorities in addition to more bipartisan policy goals, such as rebuilding roads and bridges, has put Biden in danger of capsizing his own plan.”
But the outlet rightly pointed out that catch-all bills that bundle unrelated policy initiatives are not an uncommon practice in Washington.