It is baffling how President Joe Biden and his party govern outside the context of political realities.
For nearly seven months, the agenda being pushed by the White House is more redolent of Bernie Sanders sitting in the Oval Office and Democrats holding massive congressional majorities.
But none of that’s true.
The U.S. Senate is evenly split 50-50, while Democrats hold the smallest House majority in nearly a century.
When trailing early in the 2020 primaries, Biden continuously claimed that he’s not a socialist. However, fearing the fringe left, he would not take stances on court packing, misled on preserving the filibuster, and notoriously flipped on his lifelong support of the Hyde Amendment shortly after declaring his candidacy.
Now Biden sees himself as an FDR figure, despite no Great Depression or World War and razor-slim majorities.
His 2020 campaign promised to restore norms, bring comity, and get rid of then-President Donald Trump. Voters agreed enough to surgically remove Trump, while keeping Republicans at the margins of power. There was no landslide or rebuke of conservatives, nor an embrace of leftism.
Like Trump four years prior, Biden effectively prevailed by fewer than 80,000 voters in three states.
Democrats were surprisingly crushed in the House and only picked up their last two Senate seats due to arcane Georgia election rules and eight weeks of conspiracies and tantrums.
Voters in 2020 did not ask for socialism, massive spending, or radical change.
About 40% of Senate Republicans recently helped Biden pass an infrastructure bill that could be an appetizer for a more damaging $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, crafted by the Vermont socialist Sanders.
Approaching his 80th birthday, Bernie’s dream/America’s nightmare would add new, bloated government programs from universal pre-K and tuition-free community college to “environmental justice” boondoggles and Medicare expansions.
“They’re throwing every liberal idea and hoping it sticks to the wall,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday on the Senate floor. “Their whole reason for being on the left is in this bill.”
If Democrats can bully Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, Republicans may have no input on so-called “soft” infrastructure favored by the socialist wing. Tax and spending bills are not subject to the Senate filibuster, therefore Democrats can pass what they want, so long as all 50 senators stay together.
In summary, nearly $2 trillion of COVID-19 “relief” was spent this spring, and Biden now wants to “invest” nearly $6 trillion in the coming weeks.
By comparison, in 2019, under the often-profligate Trump, the entire federal budget was $4.4 trillion. The White House projects that the U.S. debt will reach about 110% of GDP this year, higher than at the end of World War II.
It will be up to folks like Manchin — who’s expressed concerns about the package’s size — to decide whether the party responsibly pulls back or dives into President Sanders’ — er, Biden’s — destructive wish list.