If President Joe Biden isn’t careful, he’s going to end up like the last two Democrats who served as president – wishing he hadn’t moved as far to the left as fast as he did, only to be repudiated by the electorate in his first mid-term elections and sentenced to the rest of a presidency stuck in gridlock, with the opposition party in control of at least one house of Congress, blocking enactment of his legislative agenda.
Unless, of course, that’s exactly what he’s counting on.
In a three-way race, Bill Clinton was elected in 1992 with less than a majority. But once in office, he acted as if he’d won a landslide victory that gave him a mandate for a turn to the hard left, and he governed that way. In his first two years, he gave America the biggest tax increase in history and a crime bill that outlawed some of the most popular firearms in the country for a decade. He even had his wife head up an attempt to force a government takeover of the healthcare system.
The nation let him know what it thought of his move to the left in the 1994 midterm elections: It restored Republicans to the majority in the U.S. Senate and gave Republicans in the House of Representatives a 54-seat net gain, rewarding them with the majority for the first time since Dwight Eisenhower was president.
Sixteen years later, Barack Obama failed to learn the lesson. In his first two years in office, Obama enacted a trillion-dollar, pork-filled “stimulus” package that didn’t do much to stimulate economic growth. He pushed a huge tax hike through the House, and he succeeded where Clinton had failed – he imposed a government takeover of the healthcare system without a single Republican vote.
In a virtual replay of what had happened 16 years earlier, the nation repudiated Obama’s move to the left in the 2010 midterm elections. Though it didn’t give Republicans the majority in the Senate (that wouldn’t happen until his second midterm election, in 2014), the electorate rewarded Republicans in the House with a 63-seat net gain, and control once again of the lower house.
The history is clear: Misunderstand why you’re in the Oval Office in the first place, move too far to the left, too quickly, and pay the price. Yet based on Biden’s first two months in office, it appears no one in his White House has learned the lessons.
So Biden moves quickly to the far left, without Republicans on board.
He rams through a COVID relief package that’s got little to do with COVID relief, and a lot to do with fulfilling a multi-TRILLION dollar liberal wish list.
On immigration, he touts a legislative remedy that promotes amnesty for illegal immigrants without any increase in border security, shuts down construction of the border wall, and essentially tells everyone south of the border that they should come to America, because the border is once again open. The result? Predictably, a crisis on the southern border.
He pushes an election speech bill that will essentially federalize election law, make it harder for citizens to criticize politicians, subsidize politicians with taxpayer money, make it more difficult for state officials to ensure the integrity of our elections, and make it virtually impossible to defeat incumbents running for reelection.
He has his people floating trial balloons about a tax hike proposal that would be the biggest tax increase since Bill Clinton’s first term, and on other issues, his administration pushes the radical environmentalist, pro-LGBTQ, pro-Big Labor, pro-gun control liberal agenda.
If Biden continues down this path, he is going to find out, much to his chagrin – as did Bill Clinton and Barack Obama before him – that America is NOT a left-wing country, and the citizens of this nation do NOT want to turn to the hard left. Voters will reject his left-wing policies and give Republicans back the majorities in both the House and Senate next year. And he’ll have no one to blame but himself.
But…what if this fast move to the left is born of the fact that Biden is America’s oldest president ever, and he and his team assume he’ll not have a second term to worry about, anyway? Does a 78-year-old president plan his weekly schedule now with a view to what he’ll be doing six years from now? What if his attitude is go big, go early, get as much as we can as fast as we can in our first two years, and be satisfied with what we get, because we’ll lose the House and possibly the Senate next year, so we should take what we can get now?
In that case, he’ll still have no one to blame but himself. But if Republicans don’t recognize that soon and plan for it, they’ll come to regret it.
Jenny Beth Martin is Honorary Chairman of Tea Party Patriots Action.