It’s good to have 2021 behind us and the Christmas holiday break seems to have given the country a much-needed breather to regroup on a number of fronts. No one needed a breather more than Joe Biden and, actually, he owes Sen. Joe Manchin a big thank you for hopefully putting a nail in the coffin of the big con job called Build Back Better and, in the process, possibly saving his party and his presidency, or at least offering an escape route, if he has the sense to pursue it.
It seems that Biden has two choices as to how to proceed in domestic policy: one is to recognize that he badly misread his very slim electoral victory and even slimmer legislative majorities as any kind of mandate for “transformational change” and adjust his strategy to one of regular order in dealing with the legislative branch, or two, march on under the banner of the progressive left to an even higher level of authoritarian governance through executive orders and regulatory mandates backed by left-leaning judges. He will be under enormous pressure from the progressive left to pursue the latter along with Court packing threats and challenges to the Senate filibuster rule. If he pursues the former, as bad for the country as the BBB is, I actually think some of the more moderate pieces of it could survive by working with bipartisan legislatives coalitions like “No Labels”.
On foreign policy, I agree with former Sen. Joe Lieberman in a recent op/ed that the biggest challenges the U. S. will face in 2022 won’t be Covid-19 or inflation but Russia and Iran, and I would add the continuing threat from China to his list. And what gives me even more concern here is that the obvious weakness that this administration is exhibiting across the board in every policy area, along with the underfunding of and the growing emphasis on “wokeness” and domestic terrorism probes in our military forces, provide incentives and opportunities for adventurism by our adversaries. The messages we send and the actions we take over the next several weeks will be crucial.
We are very close to a failed presidency and the incompetence across the board is stunning. If you doubt that, try and think of one cabinet-level official who is qualified to serve as President. It’s the weakest collection of talent of any administration in my lifetime. I have no idea what choices Biden will make, what changes he will pursue, or whose advice he will seek, but he had better listen to someone very soon with better judgment than he has been receiving.