The White House claims that bills passed with zero GOP input or votes, like the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, can still be bipartisan, if polls show support from some Republican voters. Sure, and Joe Biden created the vaccines, too.
America – we have been duped, again.
Just like Barack Obama in 2008, Biden campaigned on a promise to bring the country together and to "work across the aisle." And, just like Obama, Biden has done nothing of the sort. Instead, he has chosen, from Day One of his administration, to follow a narrow partisan path, embracing policies and rhetoric offensive to Republicans.
It’s intentional, and also unavoidable.
Much has changed in the 13 years since we elected our first Black president. Democrats’ embrace of the politics of division has not. Why would it? Why not turn red against blue, Black against White, Asian against non-Asian, rich against poor, and gay against straight, when it so effectively energizes and turns out voters?
Until voters rise up against Democrats’ identity politics, pitting one group against another will continue the party’s chief strategy.
At the same time, Biden’s Democrats have moved so far to the left that the gap may well be too wide to bridge even if the president were so inclined. Democrat thinking today seems crazy to many common-sense Americans; it might have even seemed untenable to then-candidate Obama.
Today’s Democrats believe:
*That freeing criminals from jail and taking cops off the streets will make our neighborhoods safer.
*That allowing hundreds of thousands of poor, uneducated people to enter our country illegally will make the United States more prosperous.
*That handing out "free money" will create a society where "work, not wealth" is rewarded.
*That teachers’ unions should not be held accountable for the deplorable failures of our inner-city schools, even as we pay more than almost any country on earth for public education.
*That raising taxes on employers will promote hiring.
*That the United States can run up endless amounts of debt, because "modern monetary theory" – an untested academic hypothesis – suggests that there will never be a reckoning.
*That we should sacrifice our productive and efficient energy industries on the altar of climate change, even though China’s emissions are twice those of the U.S. and growing rapidly, while ours are shrinking.
*That our country is "systemically racist" even though Black Americans have proportionate representation in Congress and we have twice elected a Black president.
*That raising taxes on the wealthy will make everyone else better off.
*That biological men should compete in women’s sports, because gender is an attitude, not a fact.
*That 16-year-olds should be allowed to vote but that people that age crossing the border illegally are "children."
*That censoring dissonant political voices, and a president of the United States, promotes freedom.
Many of these ideas don’t make sense. Some are downright offensive. But all help explain why President Biden will struggle to attract support for his progressive programs.
To see just how radical Democrats’ leftward lurch has been, it is interesting to review Obama’s acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination in 2008, which suggest where his party was then.
Obama talked about America’s promise and also the limits of big government, saying "the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth" while admitting that "government cannot solve all our problems."
Obama preached self-reliance in addition to community responsibility, a notion that some today interpret as racist. He said, "That's the promise of America, the idea that we are responsible for ourselves."
While Biden wants to hike taxes by $3 trillion to feed his emerging government goliath, Obama called to "eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and startups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow."
To see just how radical Democrats’ leftward lurch has been, it is interesting to review Obama’s acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination in 2008.
He further promised: "I will – listen now – I will cut taxes – cut taxes – for 95% of all working families, because, in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle class."
And though climate change was high on Obama’s agenda, he promised to "tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power."
To his credit, Obama recognized the horrific power wielded by the teachers unions – the organized labor groups that have kept our schools closed, in defiance of the science and the needs of families.
Obama promised as president he would "recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries… And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability." Biden has not asked for any reform or accountability, even as his $1.9 trillion "rescue" plan and earlier stimulus bills allocated nearly $200 billion to k-12 schools (read: teachers unions).
Obama also (reasonably) promised young people: "If you commit to serving your community or our country, we will make sure you can afford a college education." By contrast, Biden wants to make college free to all, no strings attached.
And here is Obama calling for parents to take responsibility:
"Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents, that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework, that fathers must take more responsibility to provide love and guidance to their children." Obama would be canceled for that remark today.
This trip down memory lane is not meant to portray Obama as a moderate. He was not and is not today. Rather, it is meant to demonstrate how far to the left progressives, who make up only about 15% of Democrats, have pushed their party, and Joe Biden.
And how impossible it will be for Biden to "heal" the nation. Even if he actually wanted to.