Reviving the Biden Presidency

William Galston has stunning advice for President Biden in his latest Wall Street Journal column on how the president can recover the popularity he’s lost since January which I feel confident he will not take—do what he campaigned on doing:

To retain a share of power in Washington, Democrats must craft a three-year plan to climb out of the deep hole they have dug for themselves, by limiting their losses next year and then cooperating with the president to restore his public standing. This means paying attention to what most Americans think, not only the party’s base.

and even that is a misstatement of what has happened. Far from honoring the wishes of “the party’s base”, he has done precisely what I predicted he would: moved to the ideological center of the party. As the progressive caucus has bolted leftwards with Bernie Sanders who isn’t even a Democrat leading the charge, so has President Biden, leaving the actual base which largely consists of moderate and social conservative Democrats far behind.

The most important issues for Mr. Biden today are COVID-19, inflation, order on the border, and crime in the streets. With glacial slowness he’s doing a course correction on the only one of those actually within his power to change, order on the border. Without much fanfare his policies on that are coming to resemble those of his despised predecessor. If no one notices it won’t give him the boost he needs.

9 comments… add one
  • jan Link

    ” With glacial slowness he’s doing a course correction on the only one of those actually within his power to change, order on the border. Without much fanfare his policies on that are coming to resemble those of his despised predecessor.”

    Question: how are Biden’s border policies beginning to resemble “his despised predecessor?” I’m assuming you mean Trump.

  • He’s returned to “Remain in Mexico” for one thing.

  • CuriousOnlooker Link

    Maybe Mr Galston watched only the primaries for skipped the rest of Biden’s campaign.

    My recollection was Biden swung hard left after winning the primaries as a moderate. Recall the unity platform which was heavily taken from Sen Sanders platform. Biden said in a debate he would end fracking. He also promised to reverse Trump’s asylum policies.

    Even his spending bill, much of it is campaign promises. Paid parental leave, free preschool, net-zero by 2050.

    Even with COVID, by and large Biden is doing what he campaigned on. Biden said he would better manage COVID by listening and following the experts. You can’t accuse Biden of not listening to the experts (the problems are when experts disagree, or ask for the impossible/illegal).

  • Drew Link

    “He’s returned to “Remain in Mexico” for one thing.”

    I think there are only two. Title 42 (which never changed) and “Remain in Mexico.” I’ve been busy closing a deal, but I think the latter hasn’t even been implemented yet and negotiations are still ongoing with Mexico. Claiming that is a bit disingenuous. Glacial is one thing. Needing a time machine is another.

  • Drew Link

    On the larger issue. Clearly Biden turned left during the campaign as CO observes. I understand the stock answers as to why. But how’s that workin’ out for him?

    Being the cynic I am, it was all a brokered deal. Sanders would pipe down for the campaign, and Biden would champion his causes. I think that’s flat damned stupid. But I think its what happened. And I think Dave is correct, he won’t change it. Won’t even attempt to. Deny. Deny. Deny. Rely on friendly media, and hope for a shiny object event………or create one.

  • jan Link

    The Remain in Mexico Policy was ordered to be reinstated by the Supreme Court last August. Biden did not voluntarily revert to his predecessor’s border policy which had worked.

  • bob sykes Link

    While the party’s voters remain largely FDR/JFK types, the activists and many elected officials that constitute the working party are hard left socialists with a dominant communist wing. Sanders, AOC, and others are actual marxist communists. Sanders is a traditional orthodox Marxist-Leninist, while AOC and many others are modern cultural marxists.

    Biden is clearly mentally impaired and physically feeble. There is no evidence that he is directing anything and plenty of evidence that he is a sock-puppet.

    The leftist extremists who control the Democrat Party, and to a large extent comprise the Party, cannot let go of their delusions, and they will double down on every inane, dangerous policy they have proposed. They will rely on the MSM covering for them in the hopes that they can slide by the midterm elections. I think they will, although they might lose one House of Congress.

    Their bigger problem is 2024. Biden will have suffered further decline (which will no be hidden) and he will not be able to run. Harris is categorically unacceptable even to Democrats, so sometime in the next year or two, the Democrats must contrive to get rid of her. That will be fun to watch.

    Dmitri Orlov has a post (behind a paywall) arguing that the Progressive destruction of Western values and the degradation and depravity of the culture and people is so complete in both the US and EU that Russia is now the home of all that we once cherished. Russia does not have large gangs openly looting its cities. It Ruling Class is not sunk in pedophilia and sexual perversion. Russia’s Ruling Class does not exacerbate racial and religious tensions. It respects religion. It has functioning schools…

  • I have no idea what Bernie Sanders actually thinks or believes because what he does is so different from what he says. Example: he claims to be a “democratic socialist” pointing to countries like Sweden or Denmark but he has never sponsored any legislation that even vaguely looked like what was Swedish or Danish policy nor have such things been on his “Sanders for President” web page.

    As to Russia I would take any claims about Russia now bearing the standard of liberal democracy with a grain (maybe more than a grain) of salt. Russia does not now have the rule of law and never has.

  • jan Link

    I find it bizarre to be quibbling about which quarter has the greater remnants of decency or democracy – Bernie Sanders or Russia. Have we gone down the tubes that far, where we are left to grasp at scraps of what we used to consider as a “normal” lifestyle with intact freedom of choices?

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