WTF happened to Joe Biden?
Many within the US left are confused, as they see austerity peddling neoliberal Joe Biden talk up big progressive investments and deficit spending.
Joe Biden has changed, and he’s changed in way I didn’t think he would or could upon his ascension to the White House. I was very much on the Biden-sceptic train, in that I didn’t expect the FDR style Presidency touted throughout the campaign, and expected (and feared) a wet squib third Obama term. While elements of this could prove to be true, it seems the previously unthinkable has happened.
Without coronavirus, many, many things wouldn’t be happening. Democrats wouldn’t have the Senate, Trump would have won a second term easily, and Biden wouldn’t be half as ambitious. What we’re seeing from Biden is an acknowledgement of the crises America faces, and a newfound political courage not seen from Democratic administrations since the LBJ year at least. This courage may yet not translate into results, but it marks something substantial.
The flurry of swift executive action as we speak, and the ambitious legislative investments being drawn up, demonstrate a Presidency significantly to the left of the Obama Presidency, something all the more strange when we pause to consider that in personal political beliefs, Joe Biden is certainly to the right of Barack Obama, but he’s set to govern to the left of where he did. This is all a testament to the shift leftwards within the grassroots of the Democratic party.
This won’t be followed through on unless upward pressure from movements and constituents doesn’t even relent a bit, just because Biden is saying some of the right things. The message applies more than ever, let’s force Biden to follow through, let’s not blindly trust he will, simply because he’s going in a more positive direction than many of us had initially hoped he would.