President-Elect Joe Biden is having a rough go of things lately. From his underperformances on election night to the neo-liberal swamp that will be filling his cabinet, Biden hasn’t been making too many people that got him elected happy. Now, leaked audio obtained by the intercept shows him yelling at civil rights leaders, and if you didn’t know better, is beginning to sound like Trump.
To clarify, Biden’s words and demeanor sound like Trump, but his actions are as Democrat as you can get. Biden lost his temper after being criticized from the left, dismissed the criticism as irrational while essentially demanding loyalty and then lied and took credit for the work of others. The words come as Joe Biden takes a reactionary position to police reform rather than a proactive approach as the important Georgia Senate runoff draws closer.
Since the election, Democrats in the House and Senate have been urging Biden to go all out in his use of executive authority. Knowing Republicans will likely hold the Senate, there will be few options available to grow the economy, expand civil rights, fight climate change, and implement even the most centrist of agendas.
In the leaked audio, Biden signaled an unwillingness to write up executive orders to get things done. Furthermore, when told by a civil rights leader that the President-Elect was not doing enough to show the African American Community what he intended to do about their racial, economic, and policing problems, Job Biden blew a fuse.
Biden replied “let’s get something straight, you shouldn’t be disappointed. What I’ve done so far is more than anyone else has done this far. Okay? Number one. Number two, I mean what I say when I say it, I mean what I say when I say it. I’m the only person who has ever run on three platforms that I was told could not possibly win the election. One was restoring the soul of this country, because of what I saw happen at Charlottesville. That was it, no one else was talking about it, the words of presidents matter, nobody else, no progressive, was talking about it, I did.”
Not only did Biden not alleviate the concerns of civil rights leaders, but he also insulted them by dismissing the question in an angry tone. Restoring the soul of this country was the only tangible thing Joe ran on, but he was certainly not the only presidential candidate to speak out about Charlottesville, they all did. That’s aside from the fact that the time for talking is over. People want a vision and action.
Biden went on to say that police reform was not on his agenda because he thought the subject would lose votes in the Georgia runoff elections. This is a reactionary response to a problem. The type of response that has plagued the Democratic Party for decades. Biden and the establishment wing of the party govern by how Republicans might react, not what the people elected them for. Democrats are only proactive in trying to silence the progressive faction of their own party.
Another reactionary response on Biden’s part has to do with his unwillingness to pass executive actions. Why bother if the next Republican who takes office undoes them? What Biden said here, was nothing like Trump at all
“I’m not going to exercise executive authority where it’s a question, where I can come along and say, ‘I can do away with assault weapons.’ There’s no executive authority to do away that. And no one has fought harder to get rid of assault weapons than me, me, but you can’t do it by executive order. We do that, next guy comes along and says, Well, guess what? By executive order, I guess everybody can have machine guns again. So we gotta be careful.”
At least the NRA will be happy.
Biden is still a month away from being sworn in and his presidency is already looking like it will live up to Joe’s nickname. Even if Democrats win both seats in the Senate, which is unlikely to happen, the more conservative Democratic Senators like Joe Manchin will prevent any real change from happening.
Couple the minority in the Senate with Biden’s refusal to write executive orders and you have a lame duck presidency before it even begins. Joe Biden might sound like Trump from time to time, but he has signaled he has no intension to fight for anybody or anything. It’s going to be a long 4-8 years.