For many, Biden was elected for one thing and one thing only: to walk our nation — our democracy — back from the cliff edge where former President Donald Trump and his cronies had led it, and where below waited fascism, demagoguery and totalitarianism. Simply put, Biden’s mandate was to ensure that Trump would never, ever, occupy the White House again — and ideally leave the political stage for good.
But somehow since that moment, the Biden administration seems to have forgotten its mandate. Through a series of self-inflicted wounds, miscalculations and gaffes, the Biden administration is “priming the pump” for a Trump presidency, part deux.
President Biden, meanwhile, has blown a steady gust of wind into Trump’s sails. Let’s count the ways:
- Unlike his predecessors Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and even Barack Obama, Biden failed to name a single person from across the aisle to his cabinet (at least not anyone with public political affiliations to the GOP) — an especially important signpost about rebuilding the country in a bipartisan manner.
- He took way too long to wield all the tools at his disposal to confront the pandemic, which allowed Covid-19 to become even more politicized than it was under Trump. He had executive orders for masks and testing, but his delay in enacting tougher policies, like his recent vaccine mandates — a positive step that could cover over 100 million Americans — arguably allowed the Delta variant to spread and gave Trump and his acolytes an opening to allege that Biden has failed.
- The chaotic withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, where Biden strangely declared an “extraordinary success,” has made his administration look inept. The US has appeared weak and disorganized, ensuring that Trump’s “America first” rhetoric will gain newfound meaning as we approach 2024.
- Instead of looking merely to get on first base, Biden swung for the fences with a transformative legislative agenda that has yet to make its way through Congress at a time when the country needs Washington to show it’s capable of getting the country back on track. And his proposed multi-trillion dollar package to expand the social safety net has left many of his small-government, independent supporters with a sense that the size of the federal government is growing too large — and that Biden is captive to the Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wing of the party.
Biden needs to do America an urgent favor and begin addressing Covid-19 like the existential threat that it is by using the awesome powers vested in his office. He needs to start governing in a bipartisan manner, embracing some of the GOP agenda as his own to widen the fissure between Trump and the rest of his party.