Left to his own political instincts, Mr. Biden could be the man for this moment. He is a moderate liberal with sympathy for the working class who is inclined to reach across the political aisle. With a 50-50 Senate and a narrow House majority, he also has good practical reason to do so. At 78 years old, he realizes he is likely to serve only one term and could create an admirable legacy as the man who calmed the Trump-era furies. That, at least, is our hopeful case for the Biden years.
Yet Mr. Biden also comes to power with a Democratic Party whose ascendant progressives have other ideas. Their goal is to use the federal government as a battering ram to drive economic and cultural “transformation.” Progressives in the House and Senate, urged on by the Democratic media complex and Silicon Valley, view the defeat of Donald Trump as the opening to assert a new level of government control over the economy and cultural dominance over American society.
Mr. Biden’s rhetoric in particular has been more condemning than unifying. He was right to blame Mr. Trump for contributing to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, but comparing Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz to Joseph Goebbels is Trump-like excess. His speech writers seem infused with woke ideology, as they cast the riot and most other events in the language of identity politics. Mr. Biden’s early legislative priorities also seem odd given that he has no great election mandate and a narrowly divided Congress. Ron Klain, his new White House chief of staff, described the top priorities as addressing four “overlapping and compounding crises”—Covid, the economy, climate and racial justice. The rhetoric of “crisis” is the familiar progressive trope to scare the public into accepting radical change…
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore.