I thought long and hard before I wrote this story. While I won’t get into specifics of who is spreading what message, or where I am seeing the messages, I can not stand idly by and watch my President be unfairly castigated without saying something in his defense.
I do not mean this to be adversarial to those who feel differently. I do not intend to convey disrespect for their point of view. But if you are reading this rolling your eyes, I ask that you finish the post before you cast your judgment.
We all want the perfect. We want it yesterday. And it is true without question that if we do not get voting rights legislation done our nation as we know it is in serious danger of losing its democracy. I am not unaware.
However this President took over a complete and total gut job. If this nation were a house another contractor might have advised to take it down to the studs or just tear it down for the land value. Nothing did not need fixing. So imagine you are a wise, seasoned, and talented builder. But everything you want to do is blocked by the Republicans. Let’s call them a flipper.
They want to let you do nothing. Zip. They want to do this so you give up, and they take over the property and try to flip it. But on top of that, there is reticence among your own crew to do the rehab.
Too costly you are told. Time consuming, impractical, in fact, some say impossible. But you have to have some crew in order to get any work done. So you eschew arguing publicly for a more nuanced, hands-off approach to management. You put the onus on them to come up with a plan.
But the investors, we voters, want it fixed fast. They see your style as delay and procrastination, because they want this property fixed now. You try to explain that while you may be the contractor in charge, one person can not rebuild an entire house. You need partners.
You don’t want to run crew off, or you will not be able to do any repairs and you might lose the property.
So here we are. America is less of a mess than it was, but still just because the rain is not pouring in through the roof does not mean the foundation is fixed.
I have no doubt that President Biden is impatient to get voting rights done and signed. But he has no doubt of something else: sooner or later the other party will have one or two, or three branches of government. That is just how it works. And they may destroy the filibuster given the chance, but he does not want to set a precedent allowing them the capital to roll this country back to 1900.
I am sure he is willing to support reforms, or temporary adjustments, or maybe even its eventual elimination, but there is one thing you have to remember; this President is old school. He likely believes that democracy is held together by the slender thread of bipartisanship, and that if the filibuster is removed it will devolve, permanently, into a zero sum game.
If it does that, he might feel eventually there is no more give and take and there is no more transfer of power.
Is he right? That is not the point of my post. But the idea that he is tossing bases under the bus intentionally is not supported by facts. Only knee jerk supposition.
To be clear-I do not believe this President is anything other than the strongest ally of all civil and voting rights, without equivocation, end of story.
So if we mostly agree on that, then we understand that it is approach, not goals, we disagree on. The idea that the President would betray us is in no way shape or form a message I will co-sign.
But while I am here, I would like to remind all of us what this President has already done.
Because of President Biden, I no longer go to bed worried about waking up to a mushroom cloud because TFG ate bad lasagna and the Tums did not work and he lost it.
Because of President Biden millions of unemployed keep getting help.
Because of President Biden, I have shots in my arm making me less likely to die.
Because of President Biden, millions of children will be lifted from poverty.
Because of President Biden, a nearly 20 year long war in Afghanistan is coming to an end.
But you know what?
Let me have Medium explain, what he did, as of over two months ago.
- Delivered 200 million shots in less than 100 days. This was double the initial goal of 100 shots in 100 days, and 200 shots was hit with a week to spare. 220 million in total were administered in 100 days. [NBC News, 4/22/21]
- Sent checks up to $1,400 to 160 million households. This represents a total value of more than $384 billion. [CBS News, 4/28/21]
- Committed to cutting carbon pollution in half by 2030. [NBC News, 04/22/21]
- Fully reopened majority of schools. The Biden administration provided support to states and localities and “distributed $81 billion of $122 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to states for immediate use this spring and planning ahead for summer and beyond.” [Department of Education, 4/29/21]
- Paused student loan payments and set student loan interest rates to 0 percent. [CBS News, 1/21/21]
- Confirmed the most diverse Cabinet in history. [NPR, 2/5/21]
- Protected LGBTQ people from discrimination. This Executive Order issued on his first day in office established federal policy to “fully enforce” the “laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.” [WH, 1/20/21]
- Expanded child tax credit. This could cut child poverty in half. [Yahoo News, 4/28/21]
- Gave billions in support for meals to those affected by the pandemic. Up to 34 million kids will have $375 per week to buy food over the summer. [NBC News, 4/26/21]
- Helped ensure more than 50 percent of adults vaccinated with one shot. [NBC News, 4/18/21]
- Mandated masks on federal property. The Executive Order is meant to protect the federal workforce and encourage mask usage across the country. It also developed a testing plan for the federal workforce. [WH, 1/20/21]
- Rejoined Paris climate accord. The Biden administration rejoined the Paris Climate accord nearly four years after the Trump administration began the process to exit the international agreement which sets ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, and nearly four months after the Trump administration had officially withdrawn. This would have left the United States in the company of Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Eritrea, Yemen, and Libya, which are the six nations who have not joined. [WH, 1/20/21]
- Rescinded Muslim ban. Biden issued an Executive Order revoking Trump executive actions he called “a stain on our national conscience and are inconsistent with our long history of welcoming people of all faiths and no faith at all” and “just plain wrong.” [WH, 1/20/21]
- Rejoined World Health Organization. The Trump administration had pulled the United States out of the global health organization. [WH, 1/20/21
- Decreased amount of deportations. Initially a 100-day pause on deportations that a judge halted, deportations have dropped dramatically and focused on actual dangers and threats. [WH, 1/20/21]
- Preserved and fortified DACA. [WH, 1/20/21]
- Extended federal unemployment insurance through September. The extra $300 per week is targeted at the 11 million Americans who are unemployed, many due to the pandemic. [American Rescue Plan, 3/11/21]
- Helped small businesses and nonprofits weather the pandemic. This boosted the Paycheck Protection Plan by $7.25 billion. [American Rescue Plan, 3/11/21]
- Provided billions in emergency rental assistance. This includes money for the unhoused and victims of domestic violence. [American Rescue Plan, 3/11/21]
- Supported airline industry workers. This saved at least 27,000 airline industry jobs. [MSNBC, 3/12/21]
This is just their top 20. There are another 80 to look through. In 100 days.
So you will excuse me if I, as a loyal and committed Democrat, cut the President some slack for a comment he made that was made in the context of trying to preserve political capital. You do realize that right? No answer to the filibuster question can actually increase political capital, only deplete it.
And everything that is done on this issue is going to be based on conversations in private, not public.
Look politics is complicated. We know this. But this President is no rookie. He has wisdom and talent, and in this case thankfully also patience.
I am reminded of a candidate I helped long ago. He was young and brash, smart but inexperienced. He wanted a local House seat in my district and I helped him win it. But I didn’t like him very much, because I thought he did not understand politics and was led by his ago. He didn’ and he was. His stay was short. You see he knew how to win, he just did not know how to lead.
I remember when he won, he was so full of himself, convinced he was going to single-handedly change state politics, that he was getting a big head even on election night.
I looked right at him, and with a cold glare said, “Great, now all we have to do is teach you politics.”
Luckily for us, we have a fantastic contractor to do this rebuild. This house will stand in glory once again in the global neighborhood.
Our entryway will be grand, with floors of hardwood, marble bathrooms, vaulted ceilings, the works. And all who come in peace will be welcome. But it will take time. It will take patience. it will take the deference but also contributions of people who don’t quite understand the vagaries of inspections and building codes. (politics.) But it will get done.
But this isn’t HGTV. Rebuilds won’t be completed by a commercial break. So we have to do something that is extremely hard, in fact the hardest thing of all to do in politics, and that is be patient.
I know you have been. Oh how I know. I know it feels like the house looks the same, but there is progress. New flooring. New electrical. And as soon as we get the infrastructure bill passed, lots of awesome new additions! So let’s let our contractor deal with his crew, and focus on keeping them both in power so we can finish the project.
I may not live long enough to see the project to its completion. But dang it, that I helped to get the project started by electing him is one of the happiest accomplishments of my life!
And we can still be what we are supposed to be-the light of the world, shining from a mansion built by the people, that welcomes all, that shows what a united people can truly accomplish.
We have hired the best person for this job. We are ahead of schedule.
And he is still using those very same blueprints we sent him to the White House with.
So we investors (voters) need to back him up when it starts raining and inevitable delays and permit issues creep up.
Just remember one thing-Republicans would love to sell this House to the highest bidder, and we want it to be a dream home for all of us.
We invested in Joe. in Kamala. in Reverend Raphael, in Jon, in the Democratic Party to do this rebuild.
Don’t pull out now!
Lookie there-looks like the truck with the quartz countertops is pulling up as I write.
Now grab a trowel please, to help me with the backsplash!
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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.