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Political Editors / May 10, 2021

In Brief: Biden’s Trojan Horse

Bobby Jindal says voters didn’t elect Biden to transform America, but that’s what they’re getting.

Former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has President Joe Biden pegged. His agenda, says Jindal, is a Trojan horse.

Biden’s third run for the White House was successful because of who he is not. He won the primary by not being Bernie Sanders and the general by not being Donald Trump. Rather than focus on his proposals or experience, Biden won the nomination and presidency by making each election a referendum on his opponent. He convinced Democratic primary voters, especially African Americans, that Bernie was too liberal, and he convinced suburban swing voters that Trump was too erratic. Voters embraced the genial veteran lawmaker who promised a return to normalcy, bipartisanship, and incremental change as he focused on the COVID health crisis and the resulting economic slowdown.

Candidate Biden rejected progressive positions like the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, packing the Supreme Court, and ending the filibuster as too extreme. But President Biden has explicitly embraced President Obama’s desire to be transformational. Whereas the latter cited Reagan as his model, given the magnitude, if not the direction, of the Republican president’s impact, historians and pundits are already comparing Biden to liberal icons FDR and LBJ.

Jindal recounts the Republican loss of the Senate and the vaccine development program set in motion by Trump before getting to Biden’s proposed spending binge. It began with “a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package,” but, Jindal says, “very little of the bill’s spending was directed at public health.” It’s more than COVID, too.

On an even larger scale, Biden has embraced the ambitious goals of restructuring nearly every aspect of American society and the economy to address the nation’s racial disparities and to impede what liberals see as an apocalyptic climate-change threat. These are the two goals that animate progressives’ moral crusade. The result of the first push will be a bigger, more powerful government and a society endlessly obsessed with discovering and compensating new victims. The result of the second, despite Biden’s rejection of the Green New Deal in name, will be a plan that is comprehensive in scope and radical in nature. Biden’s takeaway from Obama’s nearly $800 billion stimulus was that it failed to generate enough growth or other tangible benefits to protect Democratic congressional majorities while still inciting unified Republican opposition: Obama’s mistake was that he did not spend, tax, or borrow enough.

Taxes and spending will be bolstered by institutional changes to the Senate and Supreme Court — changes Biden once opposed but seems amendable to enacting now.

Jindal concludes, “Biden’s understated demeanor is nothing like Trump’s aggressive personality, but he is playing political hardball. He sees himself as empowered to make radical changes. Voters who elected Biden hoping he would deemphasize the importance of politics in their lives and reduce society’s polarization are in for a rude awakening.”

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