The marketing of Joe Biden as a centrist alternative to Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was completely wrong. That brand was sprinkled throughout his campaign and his inaugural address, in which he called to unite the nation and promised to be a president for all Americans.
So far, the promise of Joe Biden and the reality are two different things. There is nothing bipartisan or moderate about the way the Biden-Harris administration has governed in the first 100 days.
Instead, we've seen Biden go it alone with an unprecedented number of executive orders this early in a presidency. We've seen massive deceptively marketed spending sprees passed on a party-line vote. We've seen many of Biden's long-held "moderate" positions abandoned. What we haven't seen is bipartisanship.
The promise of Joe Biden as president was supposed to be his ability to bring people together. His Senate experience allegedly suited him to be the great negotiator – the mainstream Democrat who could leverage decades of political relationships to push through reforms with broad bipartisan and public support.
There has been none of that.
Bipartisanship is no longer even a pretense. Biden still has not met with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., with whom he brags of having influenced in previous legislative battles. Nor has he had a single conversation with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., whose requests to meet have been ignored.
In his one early nod to bipartisanship – a Feb. 1 White House meeting with 10 Republican senators whose votes Biden hoped to pick off for his COVID relief spending spree – was little more than window dressing. The senators afterward released a joint statement describing an administration that "roundly dismissed our effort" to curtail non-COVID-related spending in the bill.
The good faith that accompanied that meeting now squandered, Biden has even less hope of winning votes for his bloated infrastructure package. So much for the great negotiator.
The policies of Biden and Harris must also come as a surprise to those who voted for the ticket hoping for some kind of reasonable middle ground. Instead, Biden has dispensed with his own long-held positions on abortion, court packing and the filibuster. And he has taken extreme positions on the Green New Deal, border security and the Second Amendment.
Biden's alleged moderate agenda was marketed to appeal to Reagan Democrats, centrist independents and Trump-weary Republicans. But that agenda has been supplanted by one socialists and anarchists now applaud. Biden has come to reflect the extreme wing of his party, with self-proclaimed socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., saying Biden has "exceeded expectations that progressives had."
He is a weak leader through whom extremists in the Democratic Party can push their most unpopular ideas.
The would-be president "for all Americans" supported legislation punitive to Americans who didn't vote for him – and to Americans who did.
In killing the Keystone Pipeline on his first day, he killed thousands of good jobs. His COVID relief package was formulated to concentrate aid (what little there is of it after the bill was loaded up with pork) to large Democrat-voting urban centers. His failure to stem the tide of illegal (and sometimes COVID-positive) border crossers has placed significant burdens on border state taxpayers and complicated their efforts to contain the pandemic spread.
Just 100 days in, the Republican narrative of Biden was right. He is a weak leader, possibly in mental decline, through whom extremists in the Democratic Party can push their most unpopular ideas. Massive spending, rising crime rates, proposed economy-killing tax increases, destruction of jobs and energy independence – thus far these are the prize fruits of the Biden-Harris administration.
We are not safer. We are not more financially secure. Joe Biden has objectively failed thus far. Set aside the immovable positions of partisans at either extreme and just consider the people in the middle. For them, Biden has been an abject failure.
The Biden brand was a lie.