What’s Wrong With Joe Biden?

It seems like everyone’s mad at Joe Biden.

No matter what Biden does, somebody thinks he should be doing more. Barely two months into his administration, and folks are lining up to complain. Everyone seems to have forgotten the situation we’re in.

We’re in the midst of a pandemic. Over half a million Americans have died in just over a year. And many of the deaths could have been prevented. If the previous administration hadn’t denied and dithered for months. Then chose to ignore the problem for the most part.

Sure, there was “Operation Light Speed.” But keep in mind, the first vaccine approved was from Pfizer. A company that never participated in Lightspeed. So, let’s not give too much credit where little seems due.

It Just Gets Worse

Then there’s the economy. It’s in shambles. Again, the previous administration’s refusal to take the pandemic seriously crippled the economy. A national mask mandate might have made all the difference early on. But Biden’s predecessor wouldn’t hear of it. And Covid ran rampant through the White House.

Then there’s the government itself.

Hundreds of executive posts went unfilled – some for years. Many positions were filled with “acting” officials, as the administration never brought them up for Senate approval. Hundreds of other positions that were filled were filled with political hacks.

The administration nominated unqualified and ethically challenged people for scores of key positions. Including cabinet posts. Many were forced to resign amidst scandal.

This is what Joe Biden faced on January 20th. Along with an evenly divided Senate. Which means he needs every Democratic and Independent member of the Senate on board to pass anything. And then, only because V.P. Harris can cast the deciding vote.

Meanwhile, the sniping has started from all sides.

Facing the Disloyal Opposition

Almost every major bill introduced in the House has met with unified Republican resistance. Not a single Republican voted for Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid relief package. Most opposed renewing the Violence Against Women Act. The same with the For the People Act – major voting rights legislation.

For crying out loud, some Republicans even voted against honoring the Capitol Police for putting their lives on the line during the January 6th insurrection.

These are not the positions of a party concerned with the welfare of the average American. Or the continuance of our Democracy.

So, what are the GOP’s positions?

Well, they’re generally in a tizzy over a half-dozen children’s books going out of print. Because these Dr. Seuss books have racist undertones.

They’re concerned about “cancel culture,” because it discriminates against the Right. In fact, they say it’s absolutely silencing voices on the Right. A horror they broadcast on national television almost daily.

And, of course, they’re critical of Joe. Republican Party leadership is making a big deal that Joe hasn’t held a press conference in his first couple of months in office. “What’s he hiding?” they want to know.

But here’s a little tidbit to put that in perspective:

After his initial press conference after the 2016 election… Pres. Trump didn’t hold a press conference for over a year. That’s a modern record.

Yeah. The GOP is up in arms over Joe’s lack of press conferences, while their boy did much worse.

You know how else their boy did much worse? Golf. By the end of his 2nd month in office, Trump had visited his own golf clubs at least a dozen times. Biden’s record so far? Zero.

To be fair, the Obama Administration left Trump with a booming economy. So, Trump could afford to play golf. Joe Biden inherited an economy in tatters. He can’t.

For the record, the Government Accounting Office estimates Trump’s golf outings cost taxpayers about $145 million dollars. Know what else costs about $145 million?

1,450 Porsche 911s.

And Republicans aren’t the only complainers.

The Immigration Crisis and Other Stories

Folks on the Left are upset Biden hasn’t solved the immigration crisis. But let’s look at this rationally.

We’ve just endured four years of racist immigration policies. Biden has already reversed problems like the Muslim Ban. But the pressure has been building for four years.

Under Trump, a huge backlog of would-be immigrants built up along the border. Thousands of hopeful families wound up in squalid camps just over the border.

Meanwhile, Trump slowed immigration courts almost to a standstill. Case-loads built and built. He tore kids from their parents and housed them in cages. Many still haven’t been reunited. And Joe Biden walked into this mess.

In the midst of a pandemic and an economic crisis. To make matters worse, the Trump tax cuts cost the U.S. Government almost $2 trillion in revenue. Meaning the government has to do a lot more with a lot less.

So maybe folks should give Joe a break. He’s a human; not a wizard. Congress could help… But you know the GOP will fight tooth and nail to spoil any humanitarian moves.

Meanwhile, the Left also complains about Biden failing to address their environmental concerns. Well, he’s already begun to reverse some of the Trump Administration’s worst ecological and environmental damage. He’s done what he can with executive orders.

But Congress has to help by closing loopholes in laws that let polluters and other abusers get away with literal murder.

So what’s the bottom line?

The Left Needs to Work With Joe… Not Criticize Him

The political Left has been riding high, thanks to a few big wins and almost legendary heroes, like “the Squad.” But there’s also a lot of dirty work to be done in the trenches.

And that doesn’t always involve big wins.

Sometimes, incremental change is all we can expect. Especially when there are other big issues involved.

Like a deadly pandemic and a crippled economy.

Even a fairly popular president like Mr. Biden has limits. He can’t change everyone’s mind on everything all at once. But, the more he accomplishes in areas that concern the average American, the more capital he’ll have to make changes that don’t concern them as directly.

So, give the guy some slack. He beat his initial promise – 100 M Covid vaccine doses in 100 days – by 6 weeks. The guy has skills. Stop beating on him and start supporting him. The more you back his plans, the more yours will make progress.

 

Sources:

“President Trump’s New Record: The Longest Time Without a Formal Press Conference in Half a Century,” The Daily Beast. Feb 16, 2018.

“Trump Golf Count: 298,” TrumpGolfCount.com. Mar 2, 2021.

“2021 Porsche 911,” https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/porsche/911. Aug 14, 2020.

The New American Exceptionalism

One thing you have to admit about Donald Trump and his cronies: They’ve changed the definition of American Exceptionalism.

  • Conservatives around the world believe in a pay-as-you-go government… except Americans.
  • The people of developed nations all agree healthcare is a right… except Americans.
  • Everyone agrees the Covid-19 pandemic is a tragedy… except the richest Americans.

Because, as a new report reveals, America’s billionaires have made out like the bandits so many of them are.

Tens of millions have lost their jobs. Nearly 100,000 have lost their lives. Many are now looking at losing their homes. But this international tragedy has yielded windfall profits for a relative handful of Americans.

A 2-Month Profit Bigger Than the GDP of Half the Earth’s Nations

According to Statistics Times, about half the nations on Earth have a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) under $34 billion. Yes, most are smaller countries. But this number includes developed nations like Estonia and Iceland.

Well, that’s less than Jeff Bezos has seen his fortune grow during the pandemic – so far. So says a report from the Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness.

The report found Bezos’ fortune has grown $34.6 billion during the pandemic. Mark Zuckerberg came in second with a $25 billion boost to his personal wealth.

In all, the report found America’s 600 billionaires raked in $434 billion in just two months. In 2019, only 39 countries had an annual output that valued higher.

Think about that: 600 people saw their wealth grow more in 60 days than the output of about three-quarters of the nations on Earth!

Which brings us to one more example of the new American Exceptionalism.

Why Are They So Hot to “Open America” Again?

The answer is simple: To protect their gains.

You see, most of these billionaires keep their fortunes growing through investing. They can sustain short-term stock-market losses. But a true crash could erase most – or all – of their gains.

So, America’s economy hasto get going again. Otherwise the market will plunge… and so will all those juicy profits. When you look at the situation this way, Trump’s actions make perfect sense.

The medical experts we should take it slow. But Trump pushes us to rush back to “normal.” Even when no states had yet met his own White House guidelines.

Trump tweets inflammatory messages like “Liberate Michigan!” knowing full well it will encourage his followers to protest. And, even though they’re a clear minority of Americans, they get almost all the news coverage.

Meanwhile, Trump’s allies do their part. The governors of Georgia and Florida muddy or cover up the numbers. Infectious disease experts are sidelined. Their recommendations ignored – or changed under pressure.

And Trump leads the charge to minimize the importance of testing. One day, somebody’s well; the next, they’re sick. Somehow, in Trump’s mind, this means testing is pointless. Plus, being the world leader in Covid-19 cases is a “badge of honor.”

Which adds one more first for American Exceptionalism. Every other nation on Earth would be horrified to lose 100,000 citizens to a disease. But in Trump’s version of America, it proves we’re doing a good job.

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“List of Countries by GDP (Nominal),” statisticstimes(dot)com. Jan 12, 2020.

Frank, R., “American billionaires got $434 billion richer during the pandemic,” CNBC(dot)com. May 21, 2020.