Conservatives' warnings that he's no 'moderate' were spot-on.
February 4, 2021
ITEM #1: If we heard it once, we heard it a million times during the 2020 presidential campaign …
“Joe Biden is a moderate.”
This Democrat talking point — echoed ad infinitum by their allies in the mainstream “news” media — was deployed as a means of assuring voters, especially independent voters, that Biden would be a safe, non-threatening and ideologically tepid president. It was part of their case that Biden would usher in a return to “normal” governance, in a marked departure from the unconventional style of Donald Trump.
Conservatives warned that there was absolutely zero basis for the claim that Biden was a moderate, given not only his long record (which has moved decidedly left as his career has progressed) but also the many extreme policy positions he explicitly took as a 2020 candidate.
We’re now a couple of weeks into his presidency, so we have an actual record by which to judge Biden, the supposed “moderate.” So … how’s that working out?
“Joe Biden is off to the most left-wing start of any Democratic president in recent memory,” writes National Review’s Rich Lowry.
Gee, if only someone had warned us.
“The dulcet tones of Biden’s inaugural address already seem an artifact of a bygone era. Republicans will hammer him for the rest of his presidency for failing to deliver on his unifying message, but the fact is that Biden is governing as he promised — further to the left of his own record, further to the left of Barack Obama, and further to the left of any Democrat who made his career prior to the ascendency of the cultural left.
“It’s not new for Democrat presidents to want to tax, spend, and regulate, even if Biden seeks to do more of all three than his immediate predecessors did. Biden layers on top of this a cultural agenda that represents a new dimension of radicalism that would be alien and baffling to past Democrats, who may have wanted to extend the New Deal but never sought to transcend the gender binary.”
But wait, as they say … there’s more!
“Biden is out of the box with a proposed $1.9 trillion relief bill that includes a $15-an-hour minimum wage that not too long ago was the pipe dream of his party’s socialist wing, as well as a massive bailout of states and localities. Biden campaigned on a $4 trillion tax increase that one sympathetic observer has said would be ‘one of the largest wealth transfers in American history.’ Meanwhile, he’s filling positions beneath the cabinet level with progressives with a mandate to increase regulation across the board. …
“Biden’s obsession with fighting climate change speaks of an overwhelming hostility to fossil fuels that is something new. He has proposed a sweeping enforcement-never amnesty for more than 10 million illegal immigrants that makes past failed ‘comprehensive immigration bills’ look modest by comparison. And his culture-war executive orders extend not just to abortion, where other Democratic presidents have signed executive orders quickly as well, but to transgender causes.
“There will also be a continual focus on what Biden’s chief-of-staff calls ‘a racial equity crisis,’ which will be a warrant for new, more aggressive identity politics.”
Remember, folks: Biden has done all this in just two weeks. One shutters to think about what the next four years are going to look like.
ITEM #2: Hey … remember when Joe Biden’s election to the presidency was supposed to usher in an era of hyper-competence in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak?
“‘We will be ready on day one,” promised Rick Bright, a member of the then-President-elect’s COVID-19 advisory board. Biden himself said of his health care team in December: "They’ll lead the COVID-19 response across the government to accelerate testing, fix our supply chain, and distribute the vaccine."
So much for that. Via Politico:
“Joe Biden promised he’d bring in a competent, tested team to run the pandemic response, set ambitious vaccination targets and impose strict public health guidelines.
“His team arrived at the White House with a 200-page response plan ready to roll out. But instead, they have spent much of the last week trying to wrap their hands around the mushrooming crisis — a process officials acknowledge has been humbling, and triggered a concerted effort to temper expectations about how quickly they might get the nation back to normal.”
The story goes on to add that “Biden's team is still trying to get a firm grasp on the whereabouts of more than 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine that the federal government bought and distributed to states but has yet to record as being administered to patients.”
It turns out that there’s a world of difference between promising grandiosely while criticizing pettily … and governing effectively. Who knew?
ITEM #3: What’s happening here in Nevada — as in much of the country — with persistent school closures needs to be recognized for what it is: a full-blown scandal.
The heart-breaking evidence continues to mount as to how badly those calling the shots on this front have gotten it wrong — and how they continue to let our kids down.
Writing for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Debra Saunders notes:
“Everyone knows that remote education is failing students, especially immigrant children and others whose parents can't fill in the gaps that plague schooling by computer screen. Yet, somehow, education groups that ostensibly are committed to closing the achievement gap are willing to let this separate-but-equal education policy stand.
“President Joe Biden likes to say that he'll ‘listen to the scientists.’ Apparently, there is an exemption to the science-first approach when teachers unions disagree.”
We’ve all seen the shocking news about the tragic suicides among students here in Clark County. But the education establishment remains dug in.
More from Saunders:
"Risk-averse Democrats can't admit they were wrong to shut down schools. Biden won't say it. His ostensible push to open most public schools within 100 days is a soft plan that puts off specific guidance and allows risk-aversion to rule the day. Because once you've convinced yourself that no-classroom instruction is safer, how do you open? ...
"The 18 suicides of Clark County students since March? It's unfortunate, but not enough to move teachers unions in Chicago, Montclair, New Jersey, or Bellevue, Washington."
That number has grown to 20 in just the few days since Saunders wrote that column.
She adds this justifiably glum outlook on what this could all mean for our children’s future:
“Americans are isolated right now. We don't know what we don't know about less visible changes wrought by the pandemic. When the return to normal begins, however, there will be no hiding the edge enjoyed by children who attended open public or private schools or whose educated parents were able to fill in virtual-learning gaps. Kids without those advantages will be more likely to fall behind for life.”
ITEM #4: The 2021 Nevada Legislative Session kicked off this week, and the editors of the Las Vegas Review-Journal offer some words of wisdom for policymakers as they begin the process of addressing our state’s many challenges in the months ahead:
“With Nevada still under closures, lockdowns and other virus-related restrictions, the focus in Carson City must be on improving and maintaining the Silver State’s reputation as a business-friendly locale and further nurturing a tax and regulatory environment conducive to encouraging economic growth and job creation. ...
“Minority Republicans have an opportunity to move legislation designed to promote job creation and pare back the administrative state. … Lawmakers on both sides have tinkered at the margins in recent sessions when it comes to occupational licensing, but the current need for economic revival marks a perfect time for a more aggressive approach to clearing the thicket of protectionist mandates that deter entrepreneurship.
“The two parties may also find common ground on questions of executive power. Gov. Steve Sisolak has enjoyed considerable latitude in issuing edicts during this public health crisis because lawmakers have given him the power to do so with minimal legislative supervision. A review of the governor’s emergency powers is clearly warranted — at least three bill draft requests on this topic are in the works — to ensure that checks are in place to discourage excesses.”
The full editorial is well worth reading and available here.
The editors’ last point is worth emphasizing. Governor Sisolak has been allowed to wield unilateral power for far, far too long. It’s well past time he was reined in, and it’s good to see some efforts under way to do exactly that.
ITEM #5: Democrats never grow tired of telling us that they’re the party of working Americans.
They’re supposedly the ones who stand up for the little guy, as opposed to their counterparts on the Republican side of the aisle who are all too eager to put more money in the pockets of rich CEOs at the expense of their employees.
The notion was always ridiculous, and never squared with reality, but the extent of its absurdity has become especially stark in the aftermath of President Biden’s executive order killing the Keystone XL pipeline.
Writing in the New York Post, Salena Zito passes along this sad story of the human cost of Biden’s ill-conceived decision:
“On the morning of Jan. 20, every room of the two-story Stroppel Hotel in Midland, SD, was filled with men and women who work on the Keystone XL pipeline. Most of these union laborers, welders and pipefitters started their day over a cup of coffee in the hotel’s common room before heading out to their jobs.
“By 4 p.m., the entire place was cleared out, leaving the historic hotel silent for the first time since owners Laurie and Wally Cox took it over six months ago.
"'Our whole world turned upside down with the stroke of a pen,' Laurie said.
"She is speaking of President Biden’s executive order, signed on his first day in office, that halted work on the Keystone XL pipeline in South Dakota and immediately eliminated 1,000 union jobs. TC Energy, the company that was developing the project, predicts that more than 10,000 jobs will be lost in 2021 due to the order."
That’s another 10,000-plus jobs sacrificed to the left’s radical green agenda.
ITEM #6: Let’s close with one more example of how Democrats have botched the COVID response — despite the media’s long-running insistence to the contrary.
For what seemed like forever, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was lauded by the press for his supposedly masterful handling of the COVID-19 outbreak. More to the point, he was held up as a contrast with the supposed ineptness of his red-state counterparts, in one of the more nauseating examples of partisan media bias we’ve seen in recent years. (Which is saying a quite a bit!)
Of course, Cuomo has recently been thoroughly exposed for the fraud he is, with the resignations of several New York health officials underscoring how Cuomo’s top-down approach to managing the crisis has proven to be an exercise in baffling incompetence.
This week, the New York Times — THE NEW YORK TIMES! — finally called Cuomo out for his bumbling performance:
“The troubled rollout came after Mr. Cuomo declined to use the longstanding vaccination plans that the State Department of Health had developed in recent years in coordination with local health departments. Mr. Cuomo instead adopted an approach that relied on large hospital systems to coordinate vaccinations not only of their own staffs, but also of much of the population.
“In recent weeks, the governor has repeatedly made it clear that he believed he had no choice but to seize more control over pandemic policy from state and local public health officials, who he said had no understanding of how to conduct a real-world, large-scale operation like vaccinations. ...
“In Albany, tensions worsened in recent months as state health officials said they often found out about major changes in pandemic policy only after Mr. Cuomo announced them at news conferences — and then asked them to match their health guidance to the announcements.
“That was what happened with the vaccine plan, when state health officials were blindsided by the news that the rollout would be coordinated locally by hospitals.
“But it also occurred earlier with revisions in a host of state rules from the fate of indoor dining and businesses like gyms to capacity limits on social gatherings, according to a person with direct experience inside the department.”
And of course, there’s also this now-infamous episode:
“Mr. Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic has come under criticism in recent days after the state attorney general, Letitia James, said his administration had undercounted the tally of Covid-19 deaths of nursing home residents by not publicly disclosing deaths of those residents that occurred at hospitals.”
It’s been a long fall from grace for this one-time alleged poster boy for government efficiency.
Friends, if you’re a Democrat Governor, and you’ve lost the New York Times, well … it’s a pretty strong sign you’ve taken a very bad turn somewhere.