It hurts so much to admit it because it says things about America that we all wish were not true (mainly, that we still have a long way to go to be the same) but they didn’t only right to put all the chips on Biden, but he might be the only Democrat who could have beaten Trump last year. Because of his race, gender, and sexual orientation, Biden avoided the visceral, life-threatening hatred that conservatives would bring up against anyone who doesn’t look or love like them. Given the historically progressive turnout and tight margins in key states, would anyone really want to bet that Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, or my own political love, Elizabeth Warren, would have done as well or better? It really was Biden or Broke, and South Carolina’s Black Community pulled the right lever.
But amazingly, the types of conflict between the left and a democratic president we all expected never materialized. Can anyone claim that Biden’s agenda would be very different from Warren’s or even Bernie’s? The man with a career in solid institutional centrism is now forging the most progressive presidency since the FDR. And nobody saw it coming. Biden didn’t even wink at us during elementary school. There were no dog whistles. He fooled all of us progressives … in a great way!
And Republicans are stunned and powerless in the face of these dramatic and ongoing efforts to redistribute our nation’s wealth. Your media organs can do nothing but find out about Dr. Seuss and Mr. Potato Head outraged. Knock out, Fox News! It’s so hard for conservatives to get angry with an old white man that they ignore the substance of his (popular) agenda and literally make up nonsense out of nowhere, such as “Joe Biden wants to take your meat away”.
Imagine everyone who has exactly the same agenda. Imagine if it were President Harris or President Warren or President Sanders with the exact same US $ 1.9 trillion bailout plan and the exact same billions of dollars in infrastructure, childcare and health plans. Imagine you utter the same words that Biden has. Just swap the president and leave everything else the same. And tell me there would be no massive nationwide protests by the Conservative Tea Party 2.0 against them. But with Biden, that old, relatively boring white man? Grilling.
In the meantime, progressives cannot believe what is happening. “One thing I’m going to say is that I think the Biden administration and President Biden have exceeded progressives’ expectations,” said MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “I’ll be honest, I think a lot of us expected much more conservative administration.” Sanders said: “[Biden] was a moderate Democrat throughout his tenure in the Senate who had the courage to look to the moment and say you know what? The future of American democracy is at stake, tens of millions of people are struggling economically. You are really in pain. Our children hurt. Seniors hurt. I have to act brave. And for that, Biden deserves recognition. “
Meanwhile, Biden’s national popularity is not only in positive territory – 48-46 in Civiqs and much higher in some other polls (which Trump never managed to do), but the legislation and guidelines he follows are off the charts. And as Kerry Eleveld pointed out a few days ago, there is hardly any grassroots reaction from the opposition – no new tea party or women’s march or any other organized opposition. All we have is a dead end Q movement and a seditionist militia movement that is being systematically dismantled by the FBI and judicial authorities. Mighty comfort of them to come out with their failed coup.
Best of all, no one outside of West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin is playing the “bipartisan” game anymore. Certainly not Biden, who successfully and precisely redefined “non-partisan” as “supported by most Americans, including Republicans”. Senate ghoul Mitch McConnell can no longer unilaterally determine whether something is bipartisan because – spoiler alert – nothing substantial will ever be bipartisan on his watch. And the Senate Democrats happily push this new narrative forward.
Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.), A close ally of Biden, has little hope that the Democrats will reach an agreement with the Republicans on the “big, brave” agenda the party is announcing. He predicted that the most likely way forward will be one big package, all carried out through what is known as a budget vote to bypass a filibuster in the Senate.
Democrats don’t have to “do something just so we can say,” Well, that play over there was non-partisan “and wait for the pat on the back,” Casey said. “People want us to do big things – and if that means we can do it non-partisan, that’s great. I just have no confidence that this will happen. “
In case you forgot, Casey is considered “moderate” in the Senate. He’s not a Bernie or Warren brand. And even he has given up the “bipartisan” fantasy.
Republicans took advantage of this past Democratic desperation for bipartisanship to great effect and delayed the passage of Obama’s Affordable Care Bill by 14 months by pretending to be bona fide negotiators. Biden was in the middle of this mess and learned from it. He didn’t let us in! Not even a hint!
But he learned from it.
And so, after 100 days, we are experiencing a transformative presidency that has been more consistent than anything else for ages. (I let historians set a current date.) And that’s despite a 50:50 Senate with zero Republican votes, damn Joe Manchin gumming up everything he can and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema who owns their state completely misinterpreted. Imagine what we could do if the Senate Democrats could get some breath and hold the house next year.
So here’s a toast to being wrong, so completely wrong, so wrong, wrong, wrong. You too, even if you supported Biden. You didn’t see that coming. That’s okay! Nobody else either. While it never waned, it was progressive energy that brought Biden’s victory and he pays back that effort. That doesn’t mean we let go of our guard or give Biden a pass if he deviates, but wow, it’s nice to wake up in the morning to see what good things have been announced instead of dreading the damage the last guy will do would.
And let us remember that everything is precariously on the edge and an unfavorable restructuring environment is ahead of us. If we want this party to go on for years, get ready to get going again next year. Now we know what we’re fighting for, and it’s damn good.