WASHINGTON – Poor Joe.
Oh, the tribulations of Job Biden! Kyrsten Sinema humiliated him. Mitch McConnell disrespected him. The Supreme Court blocked it. Vladimir Putin despised him. Inflation challenged him. Covid stalked him. Even Stacey Abrams stiffened him.
There are a number of feelings to be had about what the president is going through right now, and we should all be feeling them. Pity, anger, disappointment, embarrassment – and hopefully he can make it work, because the alternative is really bad.
As unfortunate as Biden and his coterie are, we can’t abandon the president because he’s all that stands between us and the apocalypse at the hands of Trump, DeSantis, Pence, Kristi Noem and future Chief Justice Amy Coney Barrett. .
President Biden believed himself to be another master of the Senate. Unfortunately, he was thinking about the 1984 Senate. He was supposed to be Mitch McConnell’s equal in senatorial trickery. But, so far, McConnell — the Einstein of stonewalling — has been surprisingly successful in ruining Biden’s agenda.
Biden’s one big accomplishment, infrastructure, was done with McConnell’s backing because there was enough Home State pork in the bill to fix the potholes on the Bourbon. Kentucky Trail.
When President Biden rode into the Senate Thursday for lunch with Democrats, after being publicly stabbed in the heart by Sinema, he couldn’t help but fall back into the wispy mists of the past, the good old days when he could reason with Webster, Clay and Calhoun. (Maybe not with Calhoun.)
At the private meeting in the Kennedy Caucus Room, Biden said how much it meant to him when he was newly elected to the Senate and Ted Kennedy took him to lunch, according to some in attendance. The president noted wistfully that he had seen the empty Senate dining room, where once all senators had fun and struck deals in a hive of bipartisan collegiality. Reiterating a point he made in his big suffrage speech in Atlanta, he said even Strom Thurmond – the former segregationist presidential candidate – had become more pro-suffrage than Republicans did. currently are.
But sipping white bean soup with McConnell and John Thune isn’t going to bring the fever down. No matter how many times Biden mentions Strom Thurmond, he’s not coming back.
“Strom Thurmond? Nancy Pelosi said after Biden brought up Thurmond in the voting rights speech in Atlanta. “None of us have many happy memories of Strom Thurmond.”
The problem is the same from the beginning. It is not the Senate, the country or the world that Biden remembers with nostalgia. Republicans are not open to persuasion. Their goal, as was the case with Barack Obama, is to make Biden’s presidency a failure.
One of the many errors in Sinema’s wacky/creepy shaky logic in her Senate speech on why the filibuster must be preserved is that she blames Democrats for not working harder and striving more to bring Republicans on board to protect the right to vote.
Psst! Senator Sinema. Exactly. Republicans don’t really want everyone to vote unless they’re rural or white. And they don’t want to help Biden. All this is to their advantage. McConnell is no sucker.
Republicans know that making voting easier during the pandemic helped elect two freshman Democrats from Georgia and made Chuck Schumer, not McConnell, leader of the Senate. And McConnell doesn’t want that to happen again. Even though Schumer is such a pushover that he backed out of his promise of a voting rights showdown by Martin Luther King Day because winter weather was threatening.
But Sinema believes more needs to be said. “We need strong, sustained strategies that set aside party labels and focus on our democracy,” she said. Yeah, as it will happen. She’s as delusional about the Senate as Biden.
Biden was elected to be Not Trump, to be a comfortable old shoe. He overpromised and underdelivered. People wanted competence and stability and instead we get incompetence and instability.
Biden runs the White House like a Senate office with his familiar inner circle of old-time white guys.
But the real problem is the president himself, who can’t shake the cobwebs of the Judiciary Committee that held its largest hearings in the same ornate caucus room where he met Democrats on Thursday.
He’s too weedy about the process. It’s so lost in the snows of yesteryear that it continues its Amtrak Joe ride almost every weekend to Delaware, albeit with better wheels, swapping the train for Marine One.
We want the president to rise above that and be an inspirational figure. We don’t want progressive updates on his negotiations with Joe Manchin.
We want to see Covid under control. We want to see the sacred right to vote protected. We want grocery store shelves to be stocked with affordable milk and meat. We want a president who tells us we will get through this and be stronger.
Joe Biden better build better or he won’t come back. If he doesn’t turn things around, he’s set the stage for a midterm Republican rout this fall. And in 2024, who knows how bad it can get?