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Biden's Left Feint
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If you don’t dig deep, Joe Biden appears to be governing as the most liberal president since Lyndon Johnson. But conservatives needn’t worry. Biden is no progressive in centrist’s clothing. True, the president’s legislative agenda — after the coronavirus relief bill, which was undeniably progressive — would expand the social safety net, increase direct aid to citizens in trouble and pay for this expansion of the federal government with tax hikes the way we leftists like them (on corporations and rich individuals). That is, if passed.

Which it won’t. No one, Biden least of all, expects Congress to approve his big infrastructure or education packages. Recalcitrant Republicans and reluctant red-state Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia will probably water the proposed $2.3 trillion infrastructure bill down to virtual under-$1 trillion insignificance. The $1.8 trillion education proposal, which would be funded by a capital-gains tax increase the GOP hates, is an even more desperate Hail Mary pass.

These bills aren’t serious attempts to legislate. Bidenism is a series of rhetorical feints, window dressing, kabuki theater designed to fail, just like Biden’s half-hearted, dead-on-arrival attempt to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Since the Senate parliamentarian ruled against attaching it to the stimulus package, increasing the minimum wage hasn’t been spoken of again.

The president’s agenda isn’t really an FDR-scale new New Deal. His true goal is to silence his party’s restive progressive base with so much slobbering lip service they won’t know how to hate him.

It’s working so far.

Biden had a front-row seat to the centrist-progressive split that tore the Democratic Party apart over the past quarter century. Though former President Bill Clinton’s politics of corporatist triangulation triumphed, early signs of trouble from the left emerged in the form of the anti-globalization movement and the 1999 “Battle of Seattle” that disrupted a meeting of the World Trade Organization. A full-fledged leftist rebellion began in 2011 with the Occupy Wall Street movement. OWS went after then-President Obama and establishment neoliberal Democrats, setting the stage for Bernie Sanders’ surprise insurgency in 2016. Damage from that split hobbled enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton, contributing to Donald Trump’s upset win and a slate of presidential primary contenders forced to lean left in 2020.

Biden has drawn the lesson from Obama and both Clintons that dividing his party by stiff-arming the left doesn’t pay in the long run. His center-left incrementalist policy orientations don’t much differ from those of his predecessors. But his style is friendlier.

Clinton had one progressive Cabinet member, Labor Secretary Robert Reich, for a single term. Obama had none. Biden has appointed several. He populated second-tier federal posts with lefties and consulted with former Sanders and Warren staffers during the campaign. Now he’s pushing legislation that, though doomed, comes as a pleasant, symbolic surprise to the progressives traumatized by decades in the political wilderness.

“The Biden administration and President Biden have definitely exceeded expectations that progressives had,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, leader of the democratic socialist “Squad” in the House, told a virtual town hall meeting. “I think a lot of us expected a much more conservative administration.”

Biden’s approach is clever. Hey, man, we’re asking Congress for big, bold, progressive legislation. It’s not our fault there’s a filibuster and a 50-50 Senate.

It’s tough for lefties to argue.

ORDER IT NOW

The president may not hold a royal flush. But he’s hardly making the most of the hand he has been dealt either. From immigration to minimum wage to education, there is no indication that the administration is twisting arms or using its bully pulpit in the form of campaigning directly to the people in order to pressure his opponents — an approach used to great effect by Ronald Reagan even though Republicans didn’t control both houses of Congress, as Democrats do now.

Other members of the Squad see what Biden is up to. Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota wrote Biden to ask him to overrule the Senate parliamentarian’s ruling to detach the $15 minimum wage from the COVID-19 relief bill; Biden refused. Omar slammed Biden over reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials were planning to complete the gaps in “Trump’s xenophobic and racist” border wall on the Mexican border. Silence from the White House. Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts deplored Biden’s refusal to forgive up to $50,000 in college student loan debt. No luck there either.

Joe Biden plays a surprisingly progressive president on TV. But it is far from likely that he will leave behind a sweeping legacy that matches his rhetoric or his trial-balloon legislative offerings — not because he was beaten by Republican meanies but because he never really intended to try.

 
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  1. there are quite a few sarcastic jokes from right wingers about Biden actually being their guy.
    Builds wall
    Accepts record low refugees
    Kids in cages
    Tells central Americans to stay in place

    my favorite Biden quote is “poor kids are just as smart as white kids”
    LOL

    • Replies: @botazefa
  2. TG says:

    “These bills aren’t serious attempts to legislate. Bidenism is a series of rhetorical feints, window dressing, kabuki theater designed to fail, just like Biden’s half-hearted, dead-on-arrival attempt to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Since the Senate parliamentarian ruled against attaching it to the stimulus package, increasing the minimum wage hasn’t been spoken of again.”

    Triple kudos! At last a progressive gets it! There are so few of them left who can actually REASON, and for all that I often disagree with you, hooray Mr. Rall!

    Another point: many so-called ‘progressive’ initiatives, like opening the borders to unlimited third-world immigration, are really far-right anti-worker anti-labor actions…. but it sounds so good to call them ‘progressive,’ doesn’t it?

    Oh, and: ‘I wanted to but the parliamentarian wouldn’t let me!” When did that get into the constitution? Kinda like ‘the devil made me do it,’ but in reverse.

    • Replies: @Thomasina
  3. after the coronavirus relief bill, which was undeniably progressive

    The goal of ‘progress’: to gerbilize humanity.

    “If only someone would keep peasants’ water bottles full, and surround them with comfy cedar shavings.”
    – 21st-century schizoid ‘progressive’ on parade

    Regal feminine rotters should [redacted]. Survival and progress remain masculine by nature, which cannot be thwarted. Civilization’s epitaph: Hens took charge of a hen house. What happened next was a surprise to hens.

    • Replies: @ruralguy
  4. anonymous[168] • Disclaimer says:

    Sensible people, when they see a turd, say, “Ick. Good thing I didn’t step in it!” Rall sees the federal turd and he doesn’t walk around it, he picks through it: “What did Rover have for breakfast? I think I see some sweet potato skin, very nutritious! Uh, oh, is that a fragment of a chicken bone?! Moist and well-consolidated, for the most part. Slight fishy smell. Hmm, lingering sour aftertaste.”

    You’re going to be politically useless until you admit to yourself that your state has no reason to exist and it’s got to be scraped up and discarded.

  5. What surprises me is that he isn’t even going for low hanging fruit. He easily has the votes for universal background checks but just keeps talking about passing them.

    I guess Biden seems to think that being president is all about talking. Not that I really care. I’ll take that over trying to maximize their majority while they have it.

    Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia will probably water the proposed $2.3 trillion infrastructure bill down to virtual under-$1 trillion insignificance. The $1.8 trillion education proposal, which would be funded by a capital-gains tax increase the GOP hates, is an even more desperate Hail Mary pass.

    I fully support a capital gains increase on millionaires to fund infrastructure but I would be shocked if it actually passed.

    I don’t even expect some type of compromise with moderate Republicans. Biden is an establishment Democrat that will most likely serve the wealthy. His type usually backs off and blames Republicans.

    Biden is a corporate whore. Before he ran against Trump the left hated him for being in the pocket of credit card companies. By left I mean worker’s left and not NYTIMEs establishment liberalism where they quietly support crass capitalism while taking on important issues like writing 20 page defenses of Black felons.

  6. ruralguy says:
    @schnellandine

    Hens took charge of a hen house. What happened next was a surprise to hens.

    Very true. I do raise chickens. Without a rooster, hens will fight endlessly, brutally pecking at each other. The rooster puts a stop to that disorder. Whenever we lose a rooster, we quickly try to find a replacement.

    Leftists males are overly effeminized, to the point of losing their identity, becoming subsumed in the hen pecking order. They can try to be a hen and peck others, but they will fail and end up hating themselves. America is a hen-pecked nation — an ugly mess in need of roosters.

    • Agree: John Johnson
    • Replies: @schnellandine
    , @Laceration
  7. @ruralguy

    Yes. Raising chickens and goats taught me much about politics. Biggest lesson with goats was to avoid unnecessary interference, especially with the alpha buck, who needs a free hand to keep order. Artificially remove the alpha, even for 2 minutes, and watch the remaining bucks turn into arch hooligans.

    Raising goat babies, it’s easy to fall into settling squabbles over food, but they need to settle that for themselves; they’re in goat school.

    Unleashed feminine nature ‘protects’ into destruction. Damned dangerous force that gulls fools through its inviting face—the perfect weapon with which to invade and destroy a people. Put femininity in charge, and here we are. Starts in public school classrooms.

  8. If you don’t dig deep, Joe Biden appears to be governing as the most liberal president since Lyndon Johnson. But conservatives needn’t worry. Biden is no progressive in centrist’s clothing.

    Biden’s approach is clever. Hey, man, we’re asking Congress for big, bold, progressive legislation.

    Bidenism is a series of rhetorical feints, window dressing, kabuki theater designed to fail, just like Biden’s half-hearted, dead-on-arrival attempt to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour

    Biden is not really making any decisions, in my view, except when the perma-crats that staff his admin go so far off of the plantation by blowing open the border and funneling graft and payoffs to the Democratic donor class that it knocks his approval rating off of a cliff.

    Biden’s retread technocrats could not even be bothered to pay-up the full $2,000 cash payment that actually pushed them over the finish line of victory in GA, and instead shorted their own voters out of $600, while lavishing cash instead upon the Union donor class.

    Its not an accident in my view that someone like Jen Psaki was set up with a lucrative placeholder gig at Carnegie and consulting contracts, when the only thing she had to offer in return, at the time, was access to her party contacts and future usefulness.

    You have two parties that will say anything to get elected, but in the end, they reliably operate to shift funding and policy demands to their respective ownership class, at which point the propaganda campaign kicks into gear to encourage Americans to squabble among themselves, as a diversion.

    On the left, there is a coordinated strategy to focus vilification upon un-vaccinated people, who in many cases already had Covid and are less of a threat than the mRNA recipients.

    On the right, there is a seemingly dispersed effort to focus the outrage of their largely older, boomer base against working-age Americans who are allegedly the big fiscal threat, for not going back to work in low-wage jobs, fast enough.

    I listened to FOX last night on XM, and during Ingraham Angle a California Chef was brought on the show who stated that his restaurant, ‘Slapfish’, had sought ‘dishwashers and cooks’, offering applicants wages of $20-$25 dollars an hour, reporting that “I cant get any applicants in“.

    I searched the local Craigslist Job section in Orange Co. CA, for ‘Slapfish’ and it immediately returned one single job listing offering $20-$25 hour for Dishwashers and Cooks in Huntington Beach CA, however, the CL ad showed that it was only posted to CL on the same day as the broadcast – 04/30/21.

    https://orangecounty.craigslist.org/fbh/d/huntington-beach-cooks-and-dishwashers/7314913136.html

    My rough, estimated time zone calculation is that the ‘Slapfish’ job posting went up approx 5 hours before the live broadcast of the FOX show that day, which featured lamenting over no applicant interest in the ‘$20-$25 dishwashing job’.

    I think that we have fallen into a trap of being ‘managed’, and whatever the ideology, and no matter how fervently the managerial class may even believe their own dogma, a managerial class tends to offer solutions that are of concern or benefit to its own masters.

  9. Nice try Ted, but it won’t fly. It might stick to a wall and attract flies, but that don’t make them biscuits. In fact, you can slap all the lipstick and rouge you can find on this pig but that won’t get it a date to the prom.

    The meme, or narrative, that Biden is some sly fox outwitting leftists, rightists and progressives while leading the centrist vanguard to defend the old Republic against the corporate technocratic one party totalitarian police state takeover is pure hogwash.

    First of all that implies that you believe Biden still has two functioning brain cells left. Second, that he’s acting of his own volition and not being controlled, drugs or otherwise, by his neo-con Israel First handlers that surround him in the Offal Office.

    Bottom line Ted. Maybe you should do a little more research. Corporations and the super rich don’t pay taxes on their income. That’s what tax accountants and attorneys are for. Finding ever more devious ways to shelter income away from the highway tax robbers called the IRS. Corporations are just pass-through entities whereby all costs and taxes are passed onto the consumer. And, why do you think corporations such as Apple and endless others are incorporated in Ireland and other no tax low tax jurisdictions such as Delaware and Nevada? It’s not because they enjoy the scenery. The IRS tax laws have so many tax loopholes for the rich; isn’t that why they were written by our whored out Congress Critters?

    So, in effect, raising taxes on corporations and the super rich is just a devious way to end run the little guy. Corporations get taxed more, those costs are then passed on to the consumer. Socialist morons like Biden get to look good because he can boast that he didn’t raise taxes on the little guy. And, the little guy gets told the price of everything is going up because of inflation. When in reality it was just a rouse to tax peons without having to pass income tax hikes.

    Yeah, Team Biden! Bizarro world, just bizarro.

    • Replies: @animalogic
    , @Rex Little
  10. I don’t know about leaving behind a sweeping legacy. What I am sure of is that regular American working stiffs are going to experience a “drop in the quality of their lives” as has been the case every time democrats get power. Notice, I did not limit this drop in the quality of the lives of average Americans to money issues. Life will deteriorate further, ON ALL FRONTS, for the average man woman and child living in the U.S. The conditions in practically every blue state in the nation, is the proof of my assertion.

  11. Is this article a joke?

    Biden’s DOJ/FBI arrested innocent Trump supporters from the Jan.6th rally and put them in solitary without bail. There are reports that some of them have been beaten and tortured.

    We are harangued daily from various officials that white “supremacy” is a mortal danger….the FBI calls us domestic terrorists….little old ladies that vote GOP have been put on no fly lists….

    The border is wide open and the regime is hauling the brown invaders all over the country, and especially dumping them in white areas.

    Didn’t Biden write a record number of EO’s during his first week in office? He quickly overturned what little good Trump had accomplished.

    The old bastard wants to take the guns and make white people shutup, pack the SC, make DC a state, reparations for buckwheats, etc.etc.etc.

    You say he’s just blabbing…..I say the small hats are going to do as much damage as they can while they have the wrecking ball in their hands.

    • Agree: SafeNow, Thomasina, BuelahMan
    • Replies: @Chris Mallory
  12. @ruralguy

    I have always had a Rooster. Mostly so I can get a batch of new chicks. None of the hens went broody last year but the prior years, I did well. Hens will still peck at each-other to enforce the hierarchy but Roosters are useful. They will sound the alarm when a Hawk is scoping them out. When feeding the Chickens throw the feed to the Rooster. He will summon the hens and let them eat before he does. Roosters are gentleman in the dining room, but brutes in the boudoir. If you have just a few hens they will get pretty much beat up.

    The problem with the feminization of culture is that argument and discussion gives way to consensus. Women have comforted babies and children as their fundamental function since the beginning of time and are more likely be disaffected by the turbulence of ideas. Consensus leads to totalitarianism.

  13. Thomasina says:
    @TG

    “Another point: many so-called ‘progressive’ initiatives, like opening the borders to unlimited third-world immigration, are really far-right anti-worker anti-labor actions…. but it sounds so good to call them ‘progressive,’ doesn’t it?”

    LOL. Opening the borders to unlimited Third-Worlders comes from BOTH sides of the aisle (Democrats and Republicans). When Trump tried to do something about it, the Republicans blocked him at every turn.

    Same with globalization, the offshoring of manufacturing to China, censoring speech, monopolies, the rigging of the election, the armed guards around the Capitol. Both sides are on the same page on nearly every issue, although they pretend not to be.

    This is a class war dressed up to look like a left/right or black/white war. The politicians (both sides) are not working for you. They’re working for the bankers, the Chamber of Commerce and the multinational corporations. All of them are getting filthy rich.

    It’s all a show to keep us fighting while the elite laugh all the way to the bank.

  14. Thomasina says:
    @schnellandine

    “Put femininity in charge, and here we are. Starts in public school.”

    I agree. Little boys are being feminized in school. They’re pecked by their teachers all day long, and when they get home, if they haven’t behaved according to these feminine standards, they get pecked by their mothers for making her look bad.

    The little girls grow up looking for a man. When they can’t find one anywhere, they end up seeking a “bad boy”.

    The country is being pecked to death. The men need to stand up.

  15. MEH 0910 says:


    [MORE]

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  16. BuelahMan says:

    Who else expected more nonsense when Rall writes?

    The president’s agenda isn’t really an FDR-scale new New Deal. His true goal is to silence his party’s restive progressive base with so much slobbering lip service they won’t know how to hate him.

    No, its no new deal, its the old deal to empower jews and disempower whites from their own country.

    Biden is helping the jew solidify their ultimate power over this country and break it financially, leaving the remnant s to be bought up by the Merchant.

    Rall is a foolish shabbos goy doing the jews’ bidding and cannot be trusted for any truth. The real question is, does he know it or is he just stupid.

  17. “These bills aren’t serious attempts to legislate. Bidenism is a series of rhetorical feints, window dressing, kabuki theater designed to fail, just like Biden’s half-hearted, dead-on-arrival attempt to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Since the Senate parliamentarian ruled against attaching it to the stimulus package, increasing the minimum wage hasn’t been spoken of again.”

    Biden is not that clever. He’s not a deep thinker or a strategist. What you see is what you get.

  18. @My SIMPLE Pseudonymic Handle

    Biden is a “socialist” ? Right. Got it.
    Incidentally — “congress critters” ? Plse no. That’s a compliment of somekind. “congress reptiles”. Doesn’t have that alliterative sound factor, but far more accurate.

  19. @schnellandine

    Re chickens?
    Chickens are great — but (sorry) ducks are way better.
    An (Indian runner) duck egg is better than ANY chook egg.
    I shit-you-not. (But-yes- not as reliable layers, OK, fair enough. But where I am, twice the price of a chooky egg)

  20. @Robert Dolan

    .I say the small hats are going to do as much damage as they can while they have the wrecking ball in their hands.

    Has there been a time since the regime of LBJ that the little hats have not been swinging the wrecking ball?

  21. MEH 0910 says:
    @MEH 0910

    Bad news:

  22. @My SIMPLE Pseudonymic Handle

    Corporations are just pass-through entities whereby all costs and taxes are passed onto the consumer.

    Essentially true, but not quite that simple. A corporation’s taxes are ultimately paid by some combination of its customers, employees (including management), stockholders and suppliers. How they’re divvied up among these entities depends on a complex web of market conditions and is impossible to determine.

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