by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Who says America can’t find its way to a national consensus? Republicans have considered Joe Biden intellectually bankrupt for decades. According to the latest complaints making their way to Politico, Democrat governors have just figured that out — and now worry that the clock’s about to run out on Biden and their midterm hopes:
“They’ve prodded officials for more details of how the administration was going to communicate its wins and improve its messaging around the economy. They have also wanted to see a clear demonstration of new actions from the White House. Don’t just tell us what you’ve done, is how a person familiar with the meetings characterized the feeling among governors, because what you’ve done isn’t exactly working.” …
… I’d quibble with the idea that Biden is out of “fresh ideas.” Biden hasn’t had a fresh idea since the 1970s. Biden’s entire agenda is a rehash of the progressive wish list that’s percolated around Washington DC for at least two decades. His energy policies hearken back to the Carter era. Biden’s only a few months away from asking Americans to wear more sweaters, and that’s only because it’s July rather than November.
And that’s to the extent that Biden has ideas at all. His economic strategy was to rehash two earlier relief/stimulus bills in March 2021 with the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. The ARP was completely unnecessary in terms of economic recovery, but it provided a grand opportunity to give Biden what Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus bill contained — a way to buy votes and pay off blue states by covering their budget shortfalls. It was a rehash of a rehash that ended up making hash out of the recovery and of the buying power of middle- and working-class American households.