Cody’s Showdy takes a look at Biden’s first year in office

I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s felt like time has been moving strangely over the last couple years. Part of my problem is that I was just getting used to life in Scotland when the pandemic hit. We had a year in some form of lockdown, and then another international move, getting used to another new country, and trying to make this blog work as a source of income (because my visa doesn’t allow me to do normal work – help out on Patreon if you can!), and then I realize that it’s been a whole year since Biden took office back in the States.

I voted for Biden, mostly because I felt that a conservative neoliberal whose primary defining features are “not Trump” and “not Bernie” would be better than the naked fascism of a second Trump term. I stand by that, but I have to admit that as low as my expectations were, Biden has disappointed me. I thought that his ego would have him actually fight for the agenda he ran on, or at least see how much he could do directly through the executive branch, but apparently even that was too much to hope for. At this point, it seems like he’s committed to handing Congress to the GOP in 2022, so that he can do nothing for the rest of his time in office, and blame them for it, and blame the left for somehow causing the Democrats to lose their elections.

As usual, Some More News has done a pretty good summary of the situation:

I’m starting to feel like the only real change we can expect from Biden’s victory is for his administration’s seemingly deliberate incompetence to convince more people that the Democratic Party is not actually on our side, and it’s not interested in the progressive policies on which it runs. The electoral process – as it currently exists in the U.S. – is something that has clearly demonstrated its inability to actually serve the people, or meet the need of our time. By all means vote, but if that’s the end of what we do, the we will never see the world we say we want. We have to build collective power so we can take control away from those who would drive us to extinction.


  1. says

    It’s a fair point, but I’ll also point out that Biden not only supported Clarence Thomas, he actively suppressed information that would have added weight to Anita Hill’s story.

    And again, so far the Biden administration has NOT been fighting hard, apparently for ANYTHING, so I’m not going to hold my breath for Biden to do anything meaningful about the Supreme Court, and I don’t see any evidence that he feels ANY sense of urgency to actually repair most of the damage that has been done.

  2. K says

    From :

    “President Biden and the Democrats in Congress inherited a nation in crisis from Trump. The economy lost 140,000 jobs in December 2020 and the Trump Administration didn’t have a plan to distribute the life saving vaccines. The Democrats rolled up their sleeves and went immediately to work to clean up Trump’s mess. Here’s a summary of what we’ve accomplished.

    President Biden has been very successful in passing his legislative agenda, notwithstanding some recent set backs. The American Rescue Plan included the largest middle class tax cut in history, money for vaccines, money for schools and funding for law enforcement. Every Republican voted no.

    Subsequently, Biden passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Infrastructure Week had become a running joke during the Trump Administration but Biden got it done. It’s the most significant piece of infrastructure legislation since the Interstate Highway Act of 1956.

    Already we’re seeing positive results from the passage of these two bills. In just one year, the Biden-Harris Administration has gotten 74% of adults fully vaccinated. Approximately 210 million Americans have been fully vaccinated, up from 2 million when Biden took office. Currently, 1 billion tests are being sent out for free to the American people — that’s up from zero when Trump left office. What’s more, 400 million high quality N95 masks are being distributed for free. That’s in addition to 30 million masks sent out in 2020.

    We’ve also seen amazing progress in opening and keeping schools open. At the present time, 96% of schools are open — up from 46% when Biden took office. From listening to the “liberal” mainstream media and the GOP, one would think that all schools are closed.

    We’ve seen similar astonishing progress on the economy. Since the Democrats began to run Washington last year, a record 6.4 million jobs have been created. In contrast, in 2020, 9.4 million jobs were lost. Unemployment has dropped from 6.4% to 3.9%.

    That’s not the only good news on the economy. Five million Americans have gained health insurance, child poverty has been cut by 40% and 5.4 million new businesses have been created. That’s up from 3.2 million new businesses per year between 2015 to 2019.

    This is incredible progress in light of the GOP’s unprecedented and cynical sabotage campaign. “Biden was never going to be another FDR or LBJ, not with only 50 votes in the Senate. He was lucky to pass more than $3 trillion in spending last year, with $1.2 trillion of that coming in a bipartisan infrastructure bill.” Max Boot, Washington Post columnist.

    The D.C. Republicans have obstructed Biden’s agenda because they are invested in the failure of the U.S. so that they can regain power. Representative Chip Roy (R-TX) summarized the GOP’s strategy as follows: “Our job is to do everything we can to slow all of that down to get to December of 2022 and then get in here and lead… 18 more months of chaos and the inability to get stuff done. That’s what we want.””

  3. says

    As stated – and linked – there are a number of things Biden could be doing – student debt forgiveness comes to mind – that he is simply choosing not to do. I can see no reason for that other than a genuine desire that those things should not be done.

    Apparently Biden was the only person on the planet who didn’t expect the GOP to be religiously obstructionist. Or, again, he DID expect the GOP to do what they were obviously always going to do, and he just lied about expecting to be able to work with them, and made no plans to get around GOP obstruction.

    I do not consider getting kids into schools to be a good thing, during a pandemic.

    And again – nobody said the Dems have done NOTHING – just that they seem to be doing the bare minimum required to be able to say “see? we did something!”, and they’re not doing a LOT of things they have the power to do.

    They seem more concerned with assuring everyone that they’re not socialists.

  4. ilr1950 says

    People seem to think Biden should have been able to fix in one year all the damage Trump did in four, and the damage still being done by the MAGATS. And they seem to blame Biden for not accomplishing ‘enough’ when Manchin and S’enema are doing everything they can to keep things from getting done.

  5. says

    People also seem to be ignoring all the times it’s pointed out that there are MANY things he could be doing that Sinema and Manchin can’t block.

    And yet he’s choosing not to.

  6. K says

    I see…because Biden didn’t do the one thing that you care about, obviously he’s done nothing at all.

  7. says

    I take it you didn’t watch the video? It STARTS with a discussion of the good things he’s done.

    It’s nice to have some of that, but it’s not enough, and it’s not even what he promised, INCLUDING promises that – as stated – he could keep with his own power and authority.

    We don’t have time for incrementalism and quarter-measures. People are suffering, the climate is descending into chaos, and fascism is rising, and the Democratic leadership seems to think it’s still the 1990s.

  8. K says

    In the USA, we have the booming economy, which is exceeding everyone’s wildest dreams. People with jobs can pay for the 4-year Shangri-La they went to.

    I guess I don’t see the urgency that school loans must be the one and only thing we judge a president by. I have two kids; one (late 20s) finished grad school part-time while working. The other (mid-20s) finished a bachelor’s degree and has been working for a couple of years. We are not a rich family. We couldn’t give them a free ride anywhere in the world they wanted to go. We could provide food and a roof over their heads during school breaks. So they started at community college, transferred to an in-state school, and the oldest used the education stipend from work to help pay for school.

    In my neighborhood is a 30-year-old who went to a $60k/year private college and studied dance. She doesn’t dance well enough to get any sort of job doing it, so she…works part-time at a discount department store. One of my work colleges had a daughter who insisted on going to an out-of-state art school that ended up costing a quarter of a million dollars. What is she doing now? Working part-time in a plant nursery and is considering going to Harvard for an MFA in English to extend her grace period for paying back loans.

  9. says

    First off, the loans aren’t the only thing we’re judging the president on. Not even close. It’s starting to feel like you haven’t listened to any left-wing critiques of him and his actions.

    As to the urgency of student loans, there are a number of factors. One is that a lot of people were pushed by everyone around them to go to as “good” a college as they could based on the assumption that the boom of the 1990s and early 2000s would never end. There was a sort of societal promise that degrees would pay for themselves.

    It was also strongly implied to us that if we didn’t go to college, or went to a “bad” college, any poverty we suffered in life would be our fault. The narrative that people who don’t want to work minimum wage should go get a degree is STILL a common one.

    I’ll also point out that that pressure came from people for whom wages were higher, and tuition was cheaper.

    Beyond that, is it any wonder that teenagers might make the wrong choice? Should they be committed to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars for following the advice they were given by their elders? Is it just, in your eyes, that people can have paid off every cent they borrowed, and still owe tens of thousands of dollars because of interest?

    Do you think it’s good for the country to have the government profiting off of education, and putting people into inescapable debt at the start of their adult lives?

    Do you think this arrangement is just? I do not.

    And justice delayed is justice denied.

    How many people have had to put off their dreams to take miserable jobs to pay back those loans? How many lives have been put on hold for DECADES because of that additional bill?

    How many join the military to kill and die for the American empire, because it’s the only way they can imagine affording higher education?

    But it’s more than that.

    It’s the fact that when people live paycheck to paycheck, they have to choose between rent and loan payments, and so the loans get bigger.

    It’s the fact that Biden HIMSELF is responsible for the fact that student loans – alone out of all debt in the United States – are exempted from bankruptcy protection. A scumbag like Trump can get his debt written off through bankruptcy, but a kid who started out in debt can’t, because THAT debt came from getting an education?

    That’s Biden’s doing. Not only does he have the duty to act because of the power HE fought to attain, but also because he’s a big part of why this is such a problem today.

    Education is an investment in the future, not just as individuals, but as a society, and because of this obsession with profit and debt, we are now actively discouraging people from getting that education. Instead of investing in our future, we’re actively stealing money from it, to enrich people in the present, and to force people into jobs they would not otherwise take, all for the benefit of the aristocracy.

    A final note on urgency – do you really think nobody has ever missed rent because they paid their student loan bill and then had an unexpected expense? Do you really think nobody has had their live destroyed by poverty, in part because they had to send money to the government rather than save? Do you think it’s a coincidence that my generation and younger are so much poorer than their elders were at their age? Do you think that poverty is harmless?

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