It’s late Sunday morning as I commence penning this. I have been thinking about Joe Biden. I have to wonder why any honest man or woman wants the job of being President of the United States. While most men his age are enjoying their weekend in retirement he has more problems on “his desk” than he can possibly solve.
In the last few minutes the news of a second over the horizon attack against terrorist forces in Kabul just broke. Afghanistan is a mess which he largely inherited and to say the situation on the ground is dynamic is like saying Usain Bolt is fast. That alone was enough to cancel his last two weekend “getaways” but wait, there is much more.
The weather forecasters are predicting a Hurricane Ida to hit a major American city as a category 4 in the next few hours. This will bring death and destruction and calls for a major relief effort much of which must be staged and ready to go well in advance of landfall.
Upon entering office last January Biden inherited a pandemic and an economy on the brink as a result of it. He, along with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, pushed through a massive relief package that saved large portions of the economy. Simultaneously he made vaccines free and readily available to the population over 16, later 12. The former guy and his minions (why are they staying loyal at this point?) fought him at every step along the way on both the bailout – which was largely necessary due to the failures of the Trump administration – and the vaccination program.
In fact, Biden almost didn’t become president because of a domestic terrorist invasion of the Capital Building in large part planned and motivated by Trump. Domestic terrorism remains one of the largest threats to America today. I won’t say it is 100% Trump enabled but it certainly gained momentum under him who at this point they still hold out as a symbolic (at least) leader and figure to rally around.
I touched on it earlier but the current Republican Party is little more than a collection of obstructionists with a primary goal of hindering anything that can be perceived as a Biden political win. (Is this much different, in principle anyway, than the way they acted during Obama’s time, particularly his first term?) In terms of the pandemic this includes Republican governors who have hindered masking and vaccination programs. They value political victories over their constituents’ lives.
Both voting rights and infrastructure packages are stalled in Congress mainly due to any appreciable Republican support. You know some backslapping and arm twisting by the President will be needed to bring these home but where does he find the time?
In the case of voting rights there is another enemy that hasn’t really gotten any mentioning in the press – the Supreme Court majority. If you look at recent history the “conservative” majority on the Court has tossed the political left an occasional bone on social issues but when it comes to voting they toe the strict Republican Party voter suppression line. If legislation is enacted – and that is a huge if – I feel there is a very good chance the Court, by a 6-3 vote, will strike parts of it down. That has to be in the back of several prominent Washington Democrats minds including Biden’s.
Trump destroyed America’s credibility with its foreign allies. Biden is trying to rebuild it. It is obvious they trust Biden (who they have known for decades) but are skeptical of what direction America will take in the near future. The American Republican Party is so far out of the mainstream that it is the only political party of consequence regardless of underlying philosophy in the world that denies climate change and man’s role in it.
I could go on but if I haven’t made my point by now I never will. Being a guy in what he calls Phase II of retirement writing five columns a week isn’t all that bad. Why does anyone want the headaches of the presidency?
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