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Friday, March 26, 2021

President Joe Biden, Saving America, Fulfilling His Destiny

Sometimes things don't go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don't fail.
Sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people will sometimes step back from war,
elect an honest man, decide they care
enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for...
                                                       From "Sometimes" by Sheenagh Pugh

President Joe Biden held his first press conference yesterday, responding to questions with his unique brand of passion, compassion, honesty and dry humour. Against so many predictions, and in the face of tremendous hope but little faith, he is succeeding in starting to impact on the damage done to the US – and the world – by the last administration and too many years of Republican abuse of power.

This despite that Democrats don’t have an easy majority in either the Senate or the House. The one thing that stands out for me is that he’s so unafraid. Combined with his profound integrity it makes him a powerful man.

Professor Paul Krugman recently wrote a piece in the New York Times about reasons for the GOP’s sudden ineffectiveness in blocking progress. “Republicans may simply have lost the ability to take policy seriously,” he wrote, agreeing with Jonathan Cohn’s argument (with regard to the GOP’s inability to destroy Obamacare) that Democrats do the work but Republicans, who don't, “no longer know how to think through hard choices, make the compromises necessary to build alliances and get things done.”

My take on it is this. Since 2008 I've never thought that there were any brilliant minds or hard workers in the Republican Party or that any of their strategies had an ounce of common sense, apart from gerrymandering and voter suppression which, together with a mind-bending right wing media exploiting racist fear, is all they've needed to hold onto so much power.

When you use corrupt methods to acquire it and you can abuse it with impunity you get lazy, believe you’re infallible, and don't notice when your hold on it is becoming tenuous and when opposition is building momentum. It’s the oldest story in the history books.

There’s also the possibility that Republicans weren’t/aren’t smart enough to discern intelligence in their opposition. Remember when they touted Paul Ryan as the party genius? 

Truth is that Democrats have had all the brains for a long time but as a voting group they’ve been an undisciplined bunch, squandering opportunity when it was there for the taking because compromise of any sort was anathema. But this crisis, of what they lost and what Trump and the GOP were doing to the country, forced them to band together.

That’s the "bipartisanship” that has needed to happen since 2010, and Biden was/is experienced, wise and smart enough to recognize it. This president, with a universe of compassion in his heart and wisdom of the ages, who has had the strength and courage to allow repeated trauma to fashion him into a man of great stature, fears nobody, not least of all Republicans. He gave them a chance to work with him and since they won't he has shrugged and moved on, undaunted. 

At his conference yesterday, when asked about his promise during the campaign to work with the GOP President Biden came back smartly with, "I may not have united Congress but I'm uniting the country." 

At this of monumental crisis, he's risen to meet the challenges and become the progressive I suspect he always wanted to be. Humanity, supreme competence, expertise and experience reign supreme. African Americans, minorities and progressives are represented in government and have clout. They’re energised! It's all coming together for them now and falling apart for the GOP, who’ve finally reached that tipping point of being too weakened by their own corruption to be effective. 

When asked about 2024 and who he thought he’d be running against, he quipped, "I have no idea whether there’ll be Republican party. Do you?"

Joe Biden. Cometh the hour, cometh the man.