Biden’s not a Communist. He’s not even a very good liberal. Heck, if you like big oil, deportations, the defense industry and a longer pandemic, Biden’s your guy.
To hear the American right wing tell it, Joe Biden taught Chairman Mao a thing or two about Communism and dandled baby Karl Marx upon his knee. Earlier this year, the New York Post called him “the most radical left-wing president in US history, period,” even further left than former President Obama, who many Republicans seemed to believe was the literal Antichrist. Senator John Kennedy (R-VA) called the American Rescue Plan stimulus “left of Lenin,” while Marjorie Taylor Greene declared that the Biden was presiding over a “communist takeover” of the United States. So how have the prognostications of reactionary righties panned out? Not terribly well. Conservatives, like it or not, Biden’s your guy.
Let’s take a look at some of his policies as President, and why he’s been a disappointment to what passes for the left in the United States.
First, President Biden isn’t reining in the military-industrial complex in any significant way. Sure, he’s pivoting from the Middle East to concentrate on the “near peer” nations of Russia and China, but instigating a new Cold War requires more and better weapons technology to play an international game of one-upmanship, not dialing it back to invest much in the country to make it worth defending in the first place. If you’re a pro-defense Republican who questions every social penny but spending billions upon billions to beef up the defense industry doesn’t faze you, Biden’s your guy.
If you cheered over “drill, baby, drill,” Biden’s your guy, too. The President is playing this one both ways, or as some say, “four-dimensional chess.” While urging the rest of the world to join the effort to avoid, mitigate, or adapt to climate change, here on American soil it’s all about gas and oil. Even as a mere candidate, he admitted that “we’re not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time,” saying that any transition would be unlikely until 2050, a year widely considered to be too bloody late, not that he’d be around to deal with it anyway. In August, Biden opposed a “carbon border tax,” which would have made goods more expensive if they were manufactured in a country with more relaxed environmental laws. Further, Biden is expanding drilling lease opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico, despite ever-more-frantic reports coming out of the IPCC.
On immigration, more of the same. Last September when Haitians running from poverty and instability at home massed at the southern border, did Biden open the gates and give them all free passes, as right wing outlets keep implying is the plan? Not so much. Homeland Security loaded them on to planes and sent them home en masse. Yes, even families with children, even the sick. If you were a fan of the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy or the abysmal treatment of children in shelters, Biden’s your guy now, too. Sure, according to international law, we have an obligation to protect asylum seekers fleeing persecution, but that didn’t bother Trump and it apparently doesn’t bother Biden either. He even expanded Trump’s policy to all applicants from the Western hemisphere. What’s not to love?
How about COVID? Temporarily expanded unemployment stipends intended to keep people fed and sheltered during the pandemic (the same program that Republican congresscritters called a “Communist takeover,” remember) came to an end around Labor Day, and the expanded Child Tax Credit (the policy that cut child poverty in half, at least for a while) will expire at the end of the year. President Biden has even said he wouldn’t impose lockdowns or shutdowns to protect the country from the virus during the stuffy winter months (or, as Trump claimed, “cancel the Christmas season”), nor will he expand vaccination mandates. Fancy a third year of COVID with burnt-out doctors and nurses staffing hospitals crammed to capacity? Biden’s your guy.
Right-wing media may portray Biden as some kind of doddering and drooling Communist thug, but that assertion doesn’t withstand even a cursory examination of actual reality. The easiest way to find honest condemnations of Biden administration policies isn’t to listen to FOX or OAN, but simply to peruse liberal and actually left-leaning media outlets. There, you’ll find enough angst directed his way for tacking to the right in a useless attempt to compromise with a moving target and govern from a mythical center that angers no one. Would that Biden could learn that the right is unlikely to vote for a “Demoncrat” without a worse Republican candidate to push them across the aisle, and that the American left, if they vote for him at all, does it while throwing up in their mouth a bit.
Look around you. Have the workers seized the means of production? No matter what FOX or OAN are spewing this week, we’re still, somehow, not a Communist nation. Biden isn’t even really all that liberal.
It’s a shame. But if you’re an old school conservative, Joe “nothing will fundamentally change” Biden’s your guy. Really.
Related: Joe Biden Is Not The Radical Left