(nationalreview) – One hundred days in, Biden’s radical presidency makes clear that his campaign was, in fact, a fraud.
‘It’s the unspoken Biden formula,” reports Axios. “Talk like a rosy bipartisan; act like a ruthless partisan.”
Indeed, it is. And to this maxim we might add a few others. Talk like a moderate; act like a radical. Talk about normality; act like a revolutionary. And, at all stages, aggressively hide the ball. Progressive pundits have taken to saying that Biden poses a problem for conservatives because he is so “boring.” That’s one way of looking at it, certainly. Another is that he is a fraud. The man who ran on a return to normalcy — and whose party avoided unified Republican government by only 90,000 votes — now says he wants to be FDR. Heaven help us all.
If anyone truly thinks that Biden is “boring,” it is because, having been intoxicated by the Trump Show, they are looking only at this president’s style. One hundred days into Biden’s presidency, and there is scarcely a single part of American life that the man isn’t trying to change. At the latest count, he wants to spend 6 trillion new dollars; to raise taxes to their highest level in three decades; to raise the minimum wage to $15 nationally; to turn the Senate into the House and turn the Supreme Court into the Senate; to oversee a federal takeover of elections and the police; to force as many workers as possible into unions, while banning right-to-work; to prohibit the most commonly owned rifle in the United States; and much more besides. Some of this, Biden is now open about. Much of it, however, he is still not. That $2 trillion “COVID relief” bill you’ve heard about? It wasn’t really about COVID relief. The “Infrastructure” bill? It’s not really about infrastructure. The “Families” bill? You get the picture. Nor are the contents described accurately. Two hundred billion dollars in new spending on Obamacare. That’s a “tax cut,” apparently. “No increase” in the estate tax? Well, unless you count the step-up basis, which is really the whole game. It’s as if, having finally been elected president after 50 years in politics, Joe Biden has decided to push every priority his party ever failed to get through.
The arrogance is breathtaking and alarming in equal measure. Joe Biden won the White House by about 40,000 votes. The Senate is tied 50–50. The Democrats lost a bunch of seats in the House, and they made no progress whatsoever in the states. Who in their right mind believes that the electorate was sending Washington, D.C., a signal to tear up the political map?
Thanks to Senators Manchin and Sinema, much of Biden’s ambition may remain unrealized. In its place, though, we will get great gobs of spending, the long-term consequences of which are almost impossible to overstate. From our current level, digging ourselves out of the hole will be a challenge. After Biden has finished, the procedure will tie lawmakers’ hands for decades yet to come. On the day Biden took his presidential oath, the federal government was projected to spend $1.8 trillion more than it took in, health-care and retirement costs were continuing on their upward trajectory, and the national debt had exceeded annual GDP for the first time since World War II. Between the revenue-killing tax cuts of 2017, our bipartisan unwillingness to meaningfully touch entitlements, and the expensive disaster that was COVID-19, the Treasury had been pushed to the breaking point. The moderate response to this, at the start of the year, would have been to do nothing — except, perhaps, to wait to find out what specific, and potentially unforeseen, problems the pandemic had left in its wake. Instead, Biden has channeled his inner Rameses II.
CHARLES C. W. COOKE
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Biden’s candidacy always existed in split-screen, with the man himself insisting he was a moderate and the pundits who supported him winking at the crowd. But there is no use in our pretending that he did not cast himself as a respite from the relentlessness of the Left’s ambition. “I am the Democratic Party right now,” Biden told Donald Trump, after Trump suggested that he was a radical. “The platform of the Democratic Party is what I, in fact, approved of, what I approved of.” To press home the point, Biden added: “The fact of the matter is, I beat Bernie Sanders.” This is true. But if he hadn’t, what outside of the Democrats’ viability in the last election would have changed? Sanders himself has gone from telling Biden that he must do more to excite progressives to praising him. And why wouldn’t he? Biden’s tenure, the New York Times reports, has yielded “a rapid advance in progressive priorities but also a realignment of economic, political and social forces” — a surprise, given that Biden “campaigned as a moderating force.”
A surprise, indeed. But not, one suspects, a twist that will pay him political dividends for too much longer. The Biden con has been exposed.