With only two days before he takes office, Biden is already disappointing supporters and citizens alike.
With the inauguration right around the corner, President Elect Biden is already proving that his administration will be a huge disappointment for Americans looking for effective leadership in difficult times.
In a Thursday, January 14th speech where he unveiled his Covid Relief Bill, the “disappointment — in — waiting” stated:
“I look forward to working with members of Congress from both parties to move quickly to get the American Rescue Plan to the American people,” Biden said. “And then we can move with equal urgency and bipartisanship to my Build Back Better Recovery Plan that I will call for next month to generate even more economic growth.”
There are two major problems with Biden’s statement. The first, is that it is unnecessary to work with Republicans to get his Covid relief bill passed. Biden and Senate Democrats do not have to follow traditional methods to pass legislation which would require 60 votes to pass. Instead, congressional Democrats could pass Biden’s Covid relief package through a process called reconciliation, which is not subject to the filibuster. All that is needed is a simple majority. The bill could be passed in a very short period of time. So why drag out needed relief by allowing Republicans to slow the process down through political ploys?
Pursuing traditional legislative avenues ignores the reality that Republicans have shown that they have no interest in working with Democrats. One has only to look at Senator McConnell’s actions such as the hurried confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Barrett where he showed no interest to reach across the aisle in a show of bipartisanship, or how McConnell used the reconciliation process to pass tax cuts for the rich in 2017. Perhaps the question the Biden Administration should ask is “what would Mitch McConnell do in this situation? Answer: he would pass the bill using the reconciliation process faster than he could say “tax cuts for the rich”.
The second reason is that since the events of January 6th at our nation’s capitol, the Republicans are suffering an image problem. Their brand is tarnished. There exists internal division inside the Republican Party which could lead to a civil war between factions who want to move on past Trump and those loyal to Trump. The time for Democrats to act is now and not later.
Another area where Biden has already disappointed is with the promised $2000 in stimulus relief checks. Biden thought the $600 relief checks sent out by Trump was not enough and went on the record to say it was not enough and instead supported $2000 checks. He further supported a $2000 relief measure figure when he publicly declared in the lead up to the Georgia Senate run-off election that $2000 checks would “go out in the mail” if Ossoff and Warnock won their election races.
The austerity loving Biden is now saying he meant a “total” of $2000 (1400 + the 600 already sent out). Biden’s back peddling has produced an outcry from Democratic voters, social media outlets such as Twitter, and the progressive wing of the party. Before he even takes office he has shown the American public, supporters and opponents alike, that he is a typical politician who will say anything he can to gain votes to win, and then go back on his word once elected into office. If Biden’s team were politically astute they would state that Biden had a “senior moment” and clarify that he does in fact support $2000 checks. But that is unlikely to happen as Democrats are masters of stealing defeat from the jaws of victory.
Another area of disappointment is with is cabinet picks. Although a handful of picks have been met with approval ( Rohit Chopra to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as an example) most have been a disappointment and a signal that substantial change is not coming, that corporate toadies will be rewarded, and that the foxes will remain in charge of the hen house. The most head scratching of all nominations is the one of Victoria Nuland for US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. In light of recent events, you would think a politically wise person (who Biden wants us to believe he is) would right now stay away from anyone who is associated with the words “coup” and “corruption in the Ukraine”. Victoria Nuland was last seen working for the Obama Administration in 2014 passing out cookies to U.S. backed neo-fascists trying to overthrow the Ukrainian government in a coup. Miss “Fuck the EU” Nuland is largely responsible for over 13,000 people being killed in Ukraine’s civil war which has left the country as one of the poorest countries in Europe. How will she perform her job if Russia won’t even let her into the country? With daily accusations (which are largely true) coming from Republicans about Hunter Biden collecting millions of dollars for sitting on a chair, does the new president really want more bad Ukrainian press?
Finally, the President Elect has decided to go with the theme of “America United” for his inauguration. Hasn’t Trump’s election, Supreme Court nomination hearings, the 2020 election, the resistance to wearing masks during a pandemic, and an insurrection on the nation’s capitol, pushed the phrase, “America United” to the realm of a not-so funny oxymoron? Wouldn’t a theme of “I promise not to use Twitter” go further to bringing the country together?
Americans should prepare themselves for four years (if he lives that long) of Biden being a huge disappointment. Progressives are going to be especially bummed as Biden runs to embrace centrist policies. Perhaps the disillusionment Americans experience with the Biden Administration will provide the final proof that the Democratic Party serves as an inauthentic opposition party. When that happens then the possibility will exist for the creation of a new political party that will represent the interests of the people and not the corporations that rule over us.