April 29, 2021

I didn't watch Biden's speech last night.

I see — reading the NYT this morning — that he made "costly proposals" that "amount to a risky gamble that a country polarized along ideological and cultural lines is ready for a more activist government." Was that something America voted for last autumn? Obviously, not. It doesn't seem fair to spring this on us now.

Invoking the legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Mr. Biden unveiled a $1.8 trillion social spending plan to accompany previous proposals to build roads and bridges, expand other social programs and combat climate change, representing a fundamental reorientation of the role of government not seen since the days of Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society and Roosevelt’s New Deal.

He should have had to run on that plan. Why did he beat Bernie? If this was to be the plan, we deserved a chance to vote for Bernie — or not. But the moderate, Biden, was pushed to the fore, pushed out in front of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who forthrightly represented this kind of government. Maybe one of them would have beaten Trump, but the Democratic Party edged them aside and gave us the seemingly innocuous Biden. It was an offer to get us back into balance, back to normal. It was a con. 

Oh, but perhaps, everyone knew it was a con, so America really did vote for this.

“We have to prove democracy still works, that our government still works and we can deliver for our people,” Mr. Biden said in his first nationally televised address to a joint session of Congress.

Prove democracy still works by only doing what you told us you'd do, back when we voted.  

Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, one of the more moderate Republicans that Mr. Biden needs if he has any hope of forging bipartisan support, used another metaphor. “Maybe if he were younger, I’d say his dad needs to take away the credit card,” Mr. Romney told reporters.

(To comment, you can email me here.)