Blue State Blues: The Biden Administration Is Officially Out of Ideas
This past week, Democrats shelved the so-called “Build Back Better” bill until next year, after it failed to gain the support of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).
Because the Senate is split 50-50 between the parties, Manchin’s vote is crucial. Given that every Republican plans to oppose the multi-trillion dollar bill, which will evade the 60-vote filibuster rule through “reconciliation,” every Democrat’s support is needed to match the GOP and allow Vice President Kamala Harris to cast the tie-breaking vote.
The bill was not originally Biden’s own. At first, it was a $3.5 trillion plan drafted by socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who heads the Senate Budget Committee. It was a vehicle for the utopian social programs and “Green New Deal” initiatives that Sanders and the “progressive” left had dreamed of implementing, but which were left out of Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Biden only adopted it later, lending it his 2020 slogan, making it the centerpiece of his political agenda.
It was all that Biden had left of his agenda, after several of his campaign promises faltered or failed.
He promised to bring the coronavirus under control, but more people have died on his watch than on his predecessor’s — and while Trump accelerated the development of vaccines, he did not have them at hand to fight the pandemic.
Biden’s vaccine rollout has faltered, amidst mixed messages and stalled mandates. In California, Democrats are requiring almost the entire state to wear masks again.
Biden promised to spend more money on so-called coronavirus relief — and he did so, though hundreds of billions of dollars from 2020’s various relief programs had yet to be fully spent. Many blue states, which were once said to be running low on money, suddenly found themselves sitting on massive surpluses.
The Biden spending accelerated inflation to levels not seen in forty years, adding sudden uncertainty to an economic recovery that had begun, experts admitted, under Donald Trump.
Biden promised to leave Afghanistan, and he did so — after delaying Trump’s original deadline, giving the Taliban months to launch a summertime initiative that hastened the collapse of the country’s government and prompted a disorganized pullout, without warning to NATO allies.
Thirteen American troops died, and many more were injured, in the haphazard evacuation. Hundreds of Americans were left behind — contrary to what Biden told the nation — and the country’s global stature suffered.
The Biden administration pledged to renew the Iran nuclear deal, but after a year of fruitless attempts to beg the Iranians to talk again, Biden’s diplomats concluded that the regime was not serious. Meanwhile, Iran had used the time to accelerate its nuclear program to near-breakout.
In Ukraine, which Democrats had once accused Trump of undermining, Biden watched haplessly as Russia massed troops on the border. And China laughed as Biden struggled to figure out his own Taiwan policy.
The one thing Biden has managed to do is sign an infrastructure bill — most of which has nothing to do with infrastructure. The White House’s gender agenda and racial “equity” (as opposed to “equality”) ideology is not resonating with voters.
The border is still a mess, with thousands of migrants coming across daily. Reluctantly, the Biden administration is restoring Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, under which migrants applying for asylum in the U.S. must wait across the border for their cases to be adjudicated rather than disappearing into the proverbial “shadows.” The one thing the Biden administration will not do — despite “infrastructure” spending — is finish Trump’s border wall, the one policy that might stop the torrent.
With inflation on the rise, the Biden administration has no idea what to do. For months, Biden has been pushing the claim that the Build Back Better bill will lower inflation by spending more money. His press secretary, Jen Psaki, calls projections by the professional economists at the Congressional Budget Office “fake.” Yet now that the bill has been postponed, Biden lacks even that fig leaf. Only the Federal Reserve — with interest rate hikes that could kill growth — has a plan to respond.
The Biden administration is officially out of new ideas, and will enter 2022 with the same proposals it failed to pass this year. The talk in political circles is not what Biden will propose next year, but which Democrats might replace him in the White House.
Every day Biden is in office makes Trump’s presidency look more and more successful. But there is danger ahead for Trump, too.
While Republicans want more transparency in elections, voters in general are not thinking about what happened in 2020. Trump’s myopic focus on 2020 is distorting his policies in the present: did he really need to pick a fight with Israel?
Now is the moment for new ideas, and if Trump cannot provide them, voters will begin to look to other Republican candidates.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.