October 22, 2021

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Abbreviated pundit roundup: Biden’s agenda

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 09: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about combatting the coronavirus pandemic in the State Dining Room of the White House on September 9, 2021 in Washington, DC. As the Delta variant continues to spread around the United States, Biden outlined his administration's six point plan, including a requirement that all federal workers be vaccinated against Covid-19. Biden is also instructing the Department of Labor to draft a rule mandating that all businesses with 100 or more employees require their workers to get vaccinated or face weekly testing. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Abbreviated pundit roundup: Biden’s agenda

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Here’s E.J. Dionne Jr.’s take:

Since the unexpectedly rapid collapse of the government in Afghanistan, Biden has suffered from a perception that he is more the victim of events than their master. It’s been reinforced by the seeming indifference of some congressional Democrats — especially among moderates who should be Biden’s strongest allies — as to how their internal feuds are undercutting the president’s standing.

Biden needs to restore the sense he created early on that he knows where he’s going. This requires refining his original objectives in response to events.

The tension between bipartisan Joe and Democratic Joe is now unsustainable. Biden needs to accept that Republicans will do him no favors between now and the 2022 elections and turn this to his advantage.

Despite the current media narratives, we’re seeing little about the massive split in the Republican Party.  Miles Taylor and Christine Todd Whitman pen an op-ed on the need to save the Republican Party from extremists and call for Republicans to vote for Democrats:

After Donald Trump’s defeat, there was a measure of hope among Republicans who opposed him that control of the party would be up for grabs, and that conservative pragmatists could take it back. But it’s become obvious that political extremists maintain a viselike grip on the national and state parties and the process for fielding and championing House and Senate candidates in next year’s elections.

Rational Republicans are losing the party civil war. And the only near-term way to battle pro-Trump extremists is for all of us to team up on key races and overarching political goals with our longtime political opponents: the Democrats.

And here’s Max Boot:

There appears to be a consensus in Washington that the success of the Biden presidency will hinge on the outcome of the massive infrastructure and social-spending bills now before Congress. That may be true, but their fate won’t affect how I vote.

I’m a single-issue voter. My issue is the fate of democracy in the United States. Simply put, I have no faith that we will remain a democracy if Republicans win power. Thus, although I’m not a Democrat, I will continue to vote exclusively for Democrats — as I have done in every election since 2016 — until the GOP ceases to pose an existential threat to our freedom.

And let there be no mistake — there is indeed an existential threat to our freedom. As John Nichols explains at The Nation as he dives in the January 6th investigation, our democracy is still under attack:

Attempting to overturn an election, even if that attempt is unsuccessful, is a coup. Some coups succeed. Some fail. But they all are rooted in an assault on the rule of law that must be addressed by federal and state lawmakers if there is to be any hope of preventing the degeneration of the American experiment into the sort of anti-constitutional impunity that destroys republics.

So the first duty is to call a coup a coup, as many of the most thoughtful monitors of Trump’s rampant wrongdoing did after reviewing the Judiciary Committee’s conclusions.

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