When Biden first moved into the White House six weeks ago, all the factions from the center to the left had something to celebrate. Trump’s executive orders were being rolled back, vaccine roll outs hit high speed, treaties were being resigned, etc. It wasn’t so much of a return to normal as it was a refreshing start.
Now at the beginning of March, it is clear we have returned to the normal aspects of American politics that President Biden had promised… And everyone hates. Republicans blocking everything and Democrats fighting for nothing, even with a congressional majority.
Those $2000 Covid relief checks Biden promised on day one has since been reduced to $1400 and has yet to pass, let alone reach the American public. The relief package was passed with progressive praise in the House over the weekend. The bill will be stripped of much of its importance however, especially the raising of the federal minimum wage of $15 an hour, when it reaches the senate.
With conservative Democrats refusing to rid the Senate of the Jim Crow era filibuster, the relief bill needs to be passed in the Senate via budget reconciliation where a simple majority is needed.
Despite coming out publicly in favor of a $15 minimum wage, Joe Biden has done little to fight for it. The main obstacle standing in the way of a vote right now is an unelected parliamentarian who claims the raising of the minimum wage does not affect the national budget, when it clearly does.
Democrats could fire her, or Vice President Kamala Harris could simply overrule her. So far, for whatever reason, they are refusing to do so. Meanwhile, millions of workers remain below the poverty line and Democrats are in the midst of breaking a big promise to 81 million American voters.
Another return to normal you may or may not have noticed last week was President Biden giving the go ahead for an illegal and unconstitutional airstrike in Syria. The first Biden military strike was done in the same tradition as Trump, Obama and Bush, done without congressional approval, not to mention without good cause.
The airstrike, allegedly targeting an Iranian backed militia in Syria, was carried out before any Covid aid was provided to the American people. It symbolizes exactly where American priorities have been for decades no matter which party is in office.
If the President’s goal was to immediately get Iran to rejoin the nuclear agreement Biden/Obama initially agreed to and Trump broke, he might want to go about it another way, before the upcoming Iranian election.
It would appear the “return to normal” foreign policy was greeted with open arms on two fronts last week.
The Biden administration declassified a U.S. intelligence report alleging that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In response, Biden has done virtually nothing. No sanctions or deterrent to prevent these terrible human rights abuses from happening again.
In just a few short weeks, Joe Biden has managed to turn progressive admiration into loathing by going back to the same policies that helped usher in the Trump era four years ago. The American people still have no checks or raises, and few Democrats outside Sanders, Khanna and the squad are fighting for them.
Those of us who have followed politics throughout the years can already feel the return to normal of the Obama years. While it’s nice to have a President that can speak English again without always denigrating someone, it isn’t enough.
Voters, the majority of whom both need and support a relief bill and a decent salary, don’t care about language, they care about action. Direct action that helps them. If Democrats aren’t willing to fight for anything beyond a Neera Tanden confirmation, many American’s won’t be willing to vote. They’ll lose their thin majority in 2022 ensuring nothing gets done, and 2024 will be a repeat of 2016.