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The Biden Presidency after Two Years

Joe Biden has been President for just over two years. During his rather amazingly fruitful tenure, we have seen the economy get much stronger than it was when he took office. The unemployment number is currently the lowest in history, though it may go up just slightly in the upcoming report. Job growth has been remarkable. Consumer spending is strong.

We haven’t really seen the effect of the bill which will pour billions into infrastructure projects. The only negative economic number is inflation, and that is declining. And that has been a worldwide problem, due primarily to the pandemic. Virtually any unbiased economist will say that.

And yet such is the relentless Republican noise machine, and such is the mostly reflexively echoing media, that Biden’s “Favorable” numbers are always below 50%. Republicans started attacking him from his first day in office, and that will only increase as the next election comes nearer. If there were a children’s story about some boy or girl who would always complain about everything, and always disagree with whatever someone else said, that would pretty much be what Republicans are like. They have no substantial things to complain about, and certainly no coherent ideas or plans; they just start complaining, equivalent to hoping that the parents (the voters, in this analogy) will get so tired of the complaining, that they will punish the target of it.

It is an embarrassment to any concept of a functioning republic. It is beyond-childish yelling and screaming and threatening. MTG and others call for secession. One could only hope. They wave their guns in the air. Every single thing that the Republican-controlled House (thank massive gerrymandering for that) does, is only for show, what the media likes to call “performative.” There is not one bit of policy or position behind it, just noise.

Not only has the economy substantially improved, by any halfway reasonable measuring stick, Biden has also stood up, as best he can, on important matters such as abortion rights, arresting climate change, limiting assault weapons, civil rights. Apparently these do not count for the people who keep rating Biden unfavorably.

We have witnessed many presidential regimes. Opinions can differ, but I would say that the only presidents whom I would rate more highly from what I experienced, are Clinton, and then Johnson, who tarnished so much of his great domestic legacy by escalating the Vietnam war. Kennedy was learning about the unreliability of the military officials, and might well have pulled us out of Vietnam, and become a great president, but he was tragically assassinated. The other presidents ranged from passable, to very bad, to would-be dictators. And yet here is Biden, and every week the media must tell us how low his Favorable numbers are.

I feel like I am watching some kind of surrealistic movie, where things are not meant to make sense; these are the kind which now invariably win Best Picture Oscars. I have no illusion that Biden is always right, or that there are not things I wish he would articulate better. But I like his foreign policy team; I very much appreciated his former Chief of Staff and Communications Director, and their loss will be felt. I think that he has mostly appointed very good people to Cabinet positions; the unfortunate exception might be his Attorney General, who unquestionably is a very decent and honorable man, but who seems so concerned about appearing partisan, that he does not do nearly enough to counter the most dangerous internal force in American history.

Biden has done a very commendable job with regard to Ukraine, the polar opposite of what his predecessor did. He has helped to re-establish alliances among democratic countries; and it is clear that the worldwide battle is between democracy and totalitarianism, with the Republican Party in America essentially being on the side of the totalitarians. In that sense, Biden is fighting two wars.

There are so many people shown on TV or in the polling, who appear to have this idea that Biden is a terrible president. This is so far from the truth as to be only attributable to a combination of ignorance, stupidity, and brainwashing by the nonstop Right-Wing attack apparatus. And we know that it will only get worse. Whatever Biden does or says is immediately criticized and mocked. I would ignore it, except that it has consequences.

The very grimly amusing thing is that under any Republican president, the various daily problems are mostly ignored, by them, and by the media. Did we get daily worry about the stock market, or any economic numbers, or crimes, under Republicans? Did any terrible event like the train derailment and aftermath in Ohio, get blamed on the President?

Again, this is like some eight-year-old kid trying to blame everything at school on his enemy. We laugh at that, but this continues each day. “Republicans charge that Biden caused this or that.” He didn’t shoot down the spy balloon fast enough. (If he had it shot down sooner, and the debris hit people or buildings, he caused all of that). He shouldn’t have shot down the other balloons. He hasn’t fixed immigration. (nobody, no president from either party has fixed it, but that is not the point for them).

Their big issues going into the next election, appear to be immigration, crime, and something they call “wokeness.” Crime is somehow blamed on Biden, or on Black mayors. That is where the wokeness thing comes in; it is an attempt to get White people to consider the Democratic Party to be full of Communists (they still use that term, even though they have no idea what it means in this era), Black lawbreakers and militants, Jewish people who only care about money, angry women. Essentially, they have been doing this since at least the 1920’s, and it is pathetic that this is all they have; but then again, it is what fascists usually have used as their betes noires, as they seek to install the totalitarian state which is their ultimate goal.

Biden is thus just the newest target, there will always be another, unless and until the totalitarians take over, or are greatly marginalized. Kamala Harris, Gretchen Whitmer, Gavin Newsom–we know what the Far Right which owns the Republican Party would say about them if they ran for president. Biden had to be the target, because he is the Democrat who is President.

I remember Trump making a speech to his supporters after the 2016 election, saying something like, “Now that we have won, you’re going to be less angry, right, you’re going to be happy?” As if he knew that he had unleashed something very dangerous, and then thought that he could control it. I do think that part of what Republicans do, is to yell and threaten so much, that maybe people will just give in and let them win, so they don’t have to endure all the imprecations and gun-waving and insurrections. Probably someone like Bannon has written an article about that tactic. “Drive them crazy, make every minute of their day full of anxiety, fear, and anger, and eventually they’ll let us win.”

But we can’t let them win. President Biden is certainly not perfect, but given the current political and media atmosphere, he is a model of decency, determination, and bravery, much like the people of the country he is trying to save from being taken over by brutal totalitarians. Both countries, actually. Ukraine and the United States of America.