Did you watch President Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress Wednesday night? (If you didn’t, you’re in good company. It was the least watched such speech in recent history.)
There were no surprises in the speech really. It consisted of a predictable laundry list of problems facing the country that massive applications of government spending and daily life intervention are going to fix.
Taxes are going to go up (but only on the rich) and all sorts of things that used to cost us money are now going to be “free.” The government is going to make sure that mean old employers give employees three months paid time off whenever they feel like they need it. Childcare and community college are no longer going to cost anyone a single dime out of pocket.
Oh, and there’s going to be a lot of togetherness. The president was relentless in saying that we need to “come together” and “work together” and “do it together” and just generally be more “together.”
What struck me as I listened is the thought that there is no way that a hypothetical President Daniel Patrick Moynihan, or a President Joe Lieberman, or even a President Tip O’Neill – Democrats all – would have given the speech that the all-too-real President Joe Biden gave Wednesday.
Moynihan, Lieberman and O’Neill, liberal as they were, were nonetheless still tethered to reality. Joe Biden, at nearly 80 years old, is himself of that era in the Democratic Party. But Delaware basement campaign rhetoric aside, he is nowhere close to being the “moderate” that we were promised. Together with most in his party, he has become completely unmoored from the basic common sense that once chastened American politicians of nearly every stripe.
Where to start? Spending perhaps. The tax-the-rich canard refuses to die. And a canard it is. You could tax every person in America making more than $400,000 a year at the rate of 100 percent and you would still come nowhere close to covering the six trillion dollars in new spending that has been passed ($2 trillion) or proposed ($4 trillion Wednesday) under the Biden administration. I thought Obama-era spending was irresponsible. I was often critical of Donald Trump’s deficit spending. Biden is taking it to levels never imagined.
But Biden’s real departure from old-school Democrats clangs loudest when he talks about the country he signed up to govern. To hear Biden tell it, the United States is populated to the tune of about 200 million people for whom the accident of having been born makes them white supremacists. To hear him tell it, anyone wanting to Make America Great is a racist. Biden’s America was in fact never great, it is instead irredeemably guilty of original sin.
Dems from a generation ago, liberal as they were, were nevertheless patriots. They would have never talked like this.
Liberal policy I’m sure we can survive. But radical leftism I’m pretty sure is a malignancy that has the potential to kill us – faster than we think.