My expectation of a transfer to smooth governance from an administration that prided itself on chaos, confrontation and confusion perhaps might have placed too large a burden on the new guys who took over in January 2021.
President Biden’s term in office so far has been anything but smooth, seamless and serene. Indeed, the administration has found itself fighting with Republicans in much the same manner its immediate predecessor fought with Democrats.
Except for one little factor that I had hoped would come into play: President Biden brought decades of legislative and government administrative experience to a task to which Donald J. Trump brought none of the above.
Silly me. I didn’t count — as I should have — on Republican obstructionism born out of the GOP’s anger over the way Democrats responded to Trump getting in the way.
But … it has.
To be sure, the president has been able to claim bipartisan victories on gun legislation and on infrastructure renovation. The number of Republican lawmakers to join their Democratic colleagues has been nominal … and that’s the nice way of saying it.
The recent enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act more or less illustrates a point I intend to make, which is that it is dangerous to govern only with the endorsement of those within your own party. Biden received zero Republican support in the House for the IRA. It took a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Harris to put the bill over the top in the Senate.
I had placed a great deal of faith in my belief that Joe Biden’s many decades in government would buy him some political capital that he could spend on behalf of our needs. My faith was misplaced, I am sorry to acknowledge.
Indeed, the president found himself in hot water with Democratic Party progressives because — and this just kills me — he boasted about how he was able to work with narrow-minded Republicans in pushing through legislation.
I continue to stand with President Biden because I believe in the crux of where he wants to lead this nation. He told us he wants us to treat each other with fairness and compassion. He wants to steer us away from the bitterness we heard daily from the four years his predecessor occupied the White House.
That’s all worth endorsing, at least in principle.
Except that Republicans continue to adhere to the politics of meanness and retribution. I hoped that a better day would have dawned by now. Maybe it will … eventually.