The weeks following Labor Day will reveal answers that set the stage for next year’s congressional election. They will also help decide whether Biden has the potential for a historically important presidency or whether he is overwhelmed by the crises for which he was elected.
The repercussions still resonate with the conservative Supreme Court’s decision not to block the effective eradication of a woman’s constitutional right to abortion in Texas, which promises multiple political consequences. The House Republican Party’s radical shift towards pro-Donald Trump authoritarianism also underscores the deep peril that American democracy still faces.
Biden’s critical few months will unfold with his presidency tested like never before. His approval rating plunged during a brutal August, and he often seemed stubborn and impatient in the face of criticism of his performance. But he has the tools of a political rebound at his fingertips. He has been underestimated for most of his career – including during a campaign for the 2020 Democratic nomination that only his close family and most loyal collaborators believed he could win. While all presidents go through difficult times, only the most successful emerge from political slumps.
History evaluates presidents based on the transformative bills they have passed. So Biden’s legacy is on the line as early as this week, as the battle resumes over a bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $ 3.5 trillion top-up spending plan that would transform climate, social and climate policy. health. Success on both will see Biden claim one of the most important legacies of any Democratic president for half a century.
Each bill sits at the heart of its entire political belief system by prioritizing middle-class and working Americans. They aim to show that the government can still work for ordinary citizens and to respond to Washington’s contempt for democracy felt by many American blue-collar workers courted by Trump’s populist nationalism and his ability to rally the resentment of millions of Americans. against distant elites.
Biden is stoking his own populist sentiment as he calls on the better-off to fund the bills with higher taxes.
“For big companies that don’t want things to change, my message is this: It’s time for working families – the people who built this country – to cut their taxes,” Biden said Friday. “And these business interests doing all they can to find allies in Congress to prevent this from happening, let me be – as the old expression goes – perfectly clear: I’m going to face them.”
Biden’s ambitious social spending plan is the demand of House price progressives to vote for the infrastructure bill to fix roads, bridges and railroads that would honor another Biden promise – promote political unity in a bitterly divided Washington. But moderate West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin – a critical Democratic Senate 50-50 vote – wants to curb the spending bill.
His stance could unravel the whole choreography of Biden’s domestic agenda, and it highlights the edge between progressives and moderates upon which his presidency rests. The showdown also highlights the huge bet Biden has taken with some of the most ambitious social engineering firms in decades. If he fails to lock in fundamental reforms, he could demoralize Democratic voters and decrease their turnout next year.
But voters last year failed to give Democrats a clear Congressional mandate that would make it a risk-free business, and Republicans are appreciative of the idea of a midterm election campaign targeting Liberal debauchery. There are two possibilities: It is entirely possible that the Democrats will lose the House and Senate next year if they fail to pass these bills. But if Republicans are right, they could also lose control of Congress because they did.
Biden defying Afghanistan
Still, the messy pullout highlighted some aspects of Biden’s character that were not previously apparent during his presidency. He often lacked frankness and empathy for Afghans. And the deaths of 13 US servicemen and dozens of civilians in a suicide bombing at Kabul airport have raised questions about his expertise in self-proclaimed foreign policy.
Republicans pledge not to let Biden pivot on his national agenda, with around 100 Americans still waiting to be rescued in Afghanistan and with potentially tens of thousands of Afghans who assisted US troops and officials during more than 20 years after the mass evacuation of the United States.
“President Biden is desperate to talk about anything but Afghanistan,” Republican Senator from Nebraska Ben Sasse said in a statement. “But Americans hiding from the Taliban, ISIS and the Haqqani Network don’t care about news cycles, long weekends and polls – they want to get out.”
The White House seems convinced that Americans are now ready to focus on their own problems. But if Biden’s fragile demeanor and missteps highlighted in the Afghan chaos spill over into other policy areas, new questions about his performance will arise.
Texas abortion law sparks new battle
Another astonishing political development at the end of a turbulent summer was contained in the failure of the conservative Supreme Court to block a Texas state law banning abortion after about six weeks. The law not only undermines the constitutional protection of an abortion – it is also drafted in a way that makes it difficult to challenge in court.
The episode is likely to overwhelm the enthusiasm of the Republican base, as it is the culmination of a decades-long attempt by the Conservatives to remake the federal justice system. But it could also provide an opening for Democrats as it could mobilize suburban voters – who were crucial in the last election – to their cause. Yet the power of conservative judges could also rekindle progressives’ frustration over Biden’s refusal to support the abolition of the Senate filibuster that prevents Supreme Court and voting rights reform.
The scale of the controversy in Texas only fuels the feeling that the coming weeks are not only critical for Biden, but could define America’s character for years to come.
A discouraged national mood
The worst reality of the pandemic for Biden is that his options to suppress it have already been used. He has pleaded with vaccine skeptics – many of whom are Republicans – to flee for months. Today, approximately 150,000 Americans are infected every day and 1,500 die, and the political backlash is hurting him. A tough fall is looming as kids under 12 who aren’t yet snapshot eligible resume in-person classes. The sense of national exhaustion is palpable and could create a broader perception that the country is heading in the wrong direction – a damaging feeling for incumbents.
Biden’s White House hasn’t been blameless either. The recent refusal by medical authorities following a White House announcement that the Covid-19 booster injections would be ready by September 20 called for Biden’s vow to always put science before the policy in question.
When he took office, after Trump’s disastrous handling of the virus, it was often said that Biden’s presidency would be judged on whether he restored normalcy. It’s always like that.
In a revealing aside last week, Biden reflected, “Imagine if the other guy was here.” He was, of course, talking about Trump and the former president’s deceptive penchant for applauding stock records as proof of a fair economy.
His comment also reflected how, during his first seven months in office, Biden’s presidency was often seen as a contrast to Trump’s tumultuous tenure. But the time has come when he will be evaluated not on the basis of his predecessor’s misdeeds but on his own promises and decisions.