Discover more from Hopium Chronicles By Simon Rosenberg
Joe Biden Has Been A Good President
The debt ceiling deal is a good one - let's work to get it passed this week
In the past few weeks, Joe Biden has
negotiated a deal to avert an American default
implemented a new border strategy which has brought about a big drop in the flow to the border
had a successful G7 meeting which further aligned the US and our allies around a common approach to China and Russia
seen both strong job and wage growth and rapidly declining inflation - another sign that despite it all his economic plan continues to get it done for the American people
Last Monday I shared the passage below with all of you. It is a reminder of much was broken when Joe Biden came to office, and how hard he’s had to work to try to mend them. Despite all the noise, Joe Biden has been a good President. The country, and the world, are better off. Just in the past few weeks, he has done a series of extraordinary things; but ever a workhorse, not a showhorse, he just keeps his head down and keeps working, fixing things, and getting things done for all of us.
The deal the President struck with the Speaker isn’t perfect, but it’s a good deal. My biggest worry is that the uncertainty of these last few weeks and the cuts in spending will push the country into recession, which, if it comes, will be on McCarthy. But all in all, it is a good deal and we should work hard this week to make sure it passes both chambers, is signed by the President, and gives the President and the nation a chance to move on to other, far more important things. I am optimistic the deal will be adopted by Congress, and our wise and experienced President will have successfully averted a terrible crisis.
But let it also be a powerful reminder of how dangerous MAGA remains, and what a threat it continues to be to the country. Two years ago an insurrection. This year the threat of destroying the American economy, the return of Trump, and the epic awfulness and extremism of DeSantis. It is just all so ugly, and the people of this great country deserve much better, so much better.
But that’s why we are here, at Hopium, because we know what we have to do in the next two years - keep defeating MAGA (as we have in recent weeks across the country), do everything we can to tell our story more effectively, and together, through our good works, ensure that freedom and democracy prevail.
Monday, May 22nd - GOP Working Overtime to Sabotage Joe Biden, and America Itself - It’s perhaps easy to forget what Joe Biden inherited when he came to office in Jan of 2021. A failed COVID response, and high rates of COVID transmission throughout the country. An unprecedented, and ongoing, attack on our democracy. A shortened transition and Trump’s refusal to attend the Inaugural. A deep and dangerous recession, and the biggest budget deficit since WWII. An immigration and border system broken and battered by MAGA extremism. Rising crime rates, rising levels of gun violence, extreme weather events occurring more frequently. A radicalized Republican Party whose extremism, incredibly, appeared to be getting worse, not better. Adversaries emboldened by America’s struggles and its drift into illiberalism.
Joe Biden inherited an unbelievable mess.
Today, COVID is behind us. The US economic recovery from COVID is the best in the G7. In recent months America has experienced its lowest peacetime unemployment rate since WWII and its lowest poverty and uninsured rates ever. Wage gains and new business formation remains at historically elevated levels. There are worker shortages across the US. The black unemployment rate was just the lowest ever recorded. We’ve made enormous investments in our future which will help fuel prosperity for Americans for a generation to come. Inflation, which has been a global phenomenon driven by Putin’s war, COVID and OPEC’s continued price hikes has been coming down for many months; while GDP and job growth remain strong. Both the trade deficit and the annual budget deficit have come way down. Joe Biden passed the first gun safety law in 30 years, and his new border plan is working far better than his many critics hoped for (what did I leave out?).
The President has led a global coalition to successfully repel Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The Western alliance has been revitalized. We have once again become a global leader in the fight against climate change and in the global energy transition. The President is forging a new more aggressive approach to China. While the withdrawal from Afghanistan was bumpy, the strategic decision to leave was the right one, freeing us up to support Ukraine and more effectively counter China.
Joe Biden has been a good President. He has helped America recover from the twin threats of COVID and a disastrous Trump Presidency. Our economy is strong. American is better off. We are leading the world again. We’ve made historic and consequential investments in our future. We just had a good midterm, and the early 2023 elections are breaking our way. The two leading GOP candidates for President are truly awful. Given all this Joe Biden is likely to be re-elected next year.
Which is why the Republicans are doing everything they can to blow it all up now. What McCarthy is doing is a sign of their weakness, their desperation. They keep losing elections. Their extremists positions on so many issues - abortion, guns, book banning, Ukraine, health care, climate change, democracy itself - keep pushing them further and further away from the electorate (see the chart below). You only need to cheat when you are losing, and that they keep cheating - stealing a Supreme Court seat, outrageous gerrymandering and attacks on voting, working with Russia to win in 2016, denying the Senate a legitimate Impeachment trial in 2020, leading an insurrection in 2021 and now this reckless, unpatriotic and idiotic debt ceiling fiasco - is a sign that they know that the country is slipping away from them, that it is moving on from their reactionary views, and that they have to find ways outside of how any democracy would work to gain and exercise power.
These repeated deeply illiberal assaults on democratic norms and laws are a form of political secession. MAGA and many in the GOP have already seceded from the America we’ve known for centuries, the America whose central mission has been to counter autocracy, oligarchy and illiberalism, not advance it. The rules of that American democracy don’t work for them anymore, so their primary political project now is to do away with that America and build a new one with a new set of rules where a minority can hold and exercise power unchallenged - as they are attempting to do with the debt ceiling now.
Which is why this week is so important in American politics, and why we must continue rallying around our President as he takes on MAGA and doing the work we do. As the President says in his launch video below, our politics now is about either more freedom or less freedom. Let’s keep our eyes open and heads down this week my friends, and keep working hard, together, to ensure freedom and democracy prevail here and everywhere.