Should Joe Biden Run Again
From a Google Image Search - The Atlantic
Joe Biden has not made a bad President. He has been hit with more burdens than most presidents, fewer burdens than some. He is trapped in a political box by a political party determined to wipe Democrats/Liberals clear out of American politics. He was caught by the Omicron wave of COVID just as people were prematurely celebrating the pandemic’s demise.
Biden faced the presence in the Democratic Party of two Senators who wanted nothing to do with any progressive agenda items, who did not think that any more money should be spent to help our workers with things like childcare. It is unclear how any Democrat, after two years of a pandemic and working from home, could fail to see the importance of offering childcare in keeping parents in the workforce. It is also unclear how US senators could not know that low wages make childcare a less than viable career option for people who have degrees in Early Childhood education, people who would start even the poorest children on a path to success. There are other valuable offerings in the Build Back Better Bill brutally killed by only two Democrats. Clearly, given the low opinion most Republicans have for workers there never were going to be any Republican votes.
Why did America elect a Democratic president and then not give him a bigger majority in Congress? Were we hedging our bets? The media kept screaming that America needed a moderate. Did that affect the votes for people to represent states in Congress? Was it gerrymandering? Were the wrong seats up for election in 2019? I’m sure these questions have already been answered by some election geek. Maybe the data is on Ballotpedia.org.
To be given the highest office in the nation and then given a Congress that has your party trapped in limbo is the newest pattern for Democratic presidents. At first it may have looked like conservatives were deadset against letting any progressive policies take effect, eventually this began to look like a government takeover by the Republican Party, and most recently like a coup by a ersatz Republican with an authoritarian bent. Obama was obstructed, Biden is obstructed, and all the press can do is talk about Biden’s bad poll numbers. The media elected him and now they apparently have buyer’s remorse. Either the media has learned nothing about politics in all their years of reporting or they are so absorbed in their own existential problems that they do not dare speak the truth.
Trump may have set the date for the removal of troops from Afghanistan, but the Taliban arrived in Kabul early and caused the panic that Biden got blamed for. This is an error that will be remembered and probably could have been avoided if the exodus started earlier and people had the documents they needed to get transport out of the country. America does not leave troops behind, and we like to think that also goes for our allies in-country, even if that hardly ever happens. How much of Biden’s bad polling stems from our hasty and chaotic departure from Afghanistan?
Now we have the mass shootings and the crimes that look like turf wars, where two persons with a beef involve innocent bystanders in their killing spree, all being thrown in one pot and being sold as a rapidly rising crime rate. The only thing these two kinds of events have in common is guns, however we are not supposed to talk about that. Vowing to clean up crime plays very well in an election year, especially a midterm election where local politics plays such a big role. It plays even better in these midterms when Republicans can blame police reforms and bail reforms for the increases in killings. Blame anything except guns. It seems entirely possible that we could keep track of children who drop out of school early and see how we can get them in a training program, mentorship program, or just give them an ear and some company to help them transition to work or help soothe their anger and isolation.
Democrats are not responsible for rising crime rates, and neither is Joe Biden, our President. The NRA is responsible for keeping the gun industry alive and well by insisting that you can’t be an American male without a gun and hundreds of guns is even more masculine. The NRA certainly bears responsibility for rising crime rates.
The instability of our politics plays a role in our rising crime rates. The re-emergence of blatant racism has certainly influenced crime. The feeling that the middle-class is disappearing taking opportunities to thrive with it contributes to violence and discord. A pandemic, where America’s divisions were reflected in our reactions to public health guidelines, where fights over wearing a mask to prevent spread of disease sent us to the edge of civil war, did not help. The entire nation sometimes feels like a tinderbox about to explode. We don’t know what to say when we learn that 19 policemen with guns waited outside a classroom until they could get a key as a shooter ended the lives of ten-year-old children on the other side of that door. We do know that this explodes every myth about “good guys with guns.” Promoting the man who managed this tragedy is a slap in the face to the parents of the slayed children and to all of America.
The decline in the economy is laid at Biden’s feet. No one wanted to believe that a long pandemic would affect the economy. But the pandemic dribbled on, still affecting the reopening of public places and the return to offices. No one predicted the backup in the supply chain, ports clogged with shipping containers and not enough room or people to unpack them, or how our dependency on truckers would turn them into essential workers. The Republicans pushed tax cuts on the wealthy to levels that starved the federal budget so they could have small government just when we needed large government most. Economists worried that if the fed did not raise interest rates soon there would be high inflation and recession and then when they were raised, they worried that that would cause inflation and recession. Just blame it all on Biden because whoever is president is always blamed.
Did Trump prod Putin into deciding to go to war with Ukraine when he tested the mettle of Zelenskyy and Zelenskyy did not cave? Is there room for only one strong man in Russia and that includes any nation that was once part of Russia? Perhaps Putin already had taken his own measure of Zelenskyy and would have gone to war in any case. His brain doesn’t have a lot to think about these days except how the world has never recognized his genius and how he will show everyone. He will return Russia to its former glory.
So, Biden gets all these crises dropped in his lap and he has no useful majority in Congress and the press is dissing him. Other presidents have had enormous problems to untangle in a hostile political climate, but I don’t know if we had ever before reached this level of persistent obstruction by one political party and their willingness to break their oath to protect and defend the US Constitution that we are seeing now. Republicans have invented a new ideology called Originalism to make trashing the Constitution seem like ultra-patriotism.
What will it take to end this coup, to get both parties on board to make our democracy/republic function once again? I don’t believe that Joe Biden’s sunny nature and willingness to work across the aisle is going to work. Joe looks frail. If Dems don’t improve their numbers in Congress in the midterms President Biden may have to think about picking an heir apparent, or a few heirs that the most active members of his party believe could win in 2024. Perhaps he might choose someone like Stacey Abrams, or Andrew Yang, or Sen. Chris Murphy to carry the torch and put new life into the party. There is no shame in serving only one term if that is your own choice and if it is done for the good of the party and the American people. Joe Biden has served long and well. Maybe Stephen Colbert could put on his sunglasses and his smirk and do his Joe Biden impression for us on occasion if he gets elected. Stephen Colbert has his politics in the right place, and he was born right in Washington, DC. He says he wouldn’t run but others have made the same disclaimer.
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