Biden Admin.’s first year — Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes

Ryan Ehrhart, Co-Opinion Editor

With promises such as a return to normal and the restoration of our nation’s soul, the Biden 2020 campaign lacked dedication to specific, bold policy goals from its beginning. The Biden agenda that was eventually pieced together was uninspiring at best, and many feared that even a best-case scenario for the Biden administration would fail to meet the pressing urgency of our times. A year into his presidency, this fear has been realized. 

After months of internal sparring, the legislative cornerstones of the Biden Congress have come to naught. Despite being continually stripped down to appease obstructionist senators Manchin D-WV and Sinema D-AZ, Biden’s social infrastructure bill — once including funding for childcare, climate action and healthcare — has died in the Senate.

For a candidate who was advertised as the most capable uniter, President Biden has been incapable of reining in the corporate wing of his own party in order to advance his basic agenda. The collapse of this bill is a testament to the pitfalls of the bipartisanship-above-all-else ideology that guides Biden-type figures.

In the wake of these failures, some polls have placed Biden’s approval rating as low as 33 percent, and Harris’s at 28 percent. The degree of disdain that so many hold for the Biden administration has led to widespread questions of whether Biden will even run for reelection in 2024 — normally not a question for incumbent presidents.

The 2022 midterm elections will decide the makeup of the House and Senate for the next two years. With a 50-50 +1 tie in the Senate and a ~4-vote margin in the House, Democrats have no room to fail. Midterms always favor the party out of power, but a congress defined by internal stalemate and a dormant White House will not excite the necessary voter turnout to challenge that fate! Democrats are facing a massive defeat, and more frustratingly, they’re doing seemingly nothing to stop it.

To see all the effort that Democrats extended to advance Biden through the nomination and to the White House amount to two years of near-total inaction followed by complete gridlock is extremely disheartening.

As some shouted from the rooftops during the primaries, the outdated politics of centrist Democrats that the party continually nominates are ill-equipped to deal with the existential and time-sensitive crises of our times. Democratic higher-ups always blame others for their losses, but we can’t let them deny that it’s their own shortcomings that cost them their seats, and this country their promises.

One promise of Biden’s, made to donors in 2019 that “nothing would fundamentally change” under his administration, is certainly shaping up to be true. It’s up to us, then, to vote for a fundamentally different kind of candidate, at all levels of government.