By David Rothkopf
November 13, 2022
In 2020, @JoeBiden was second guessed by many (me included). He wasn’t exciting. Too old school. Talked about healing. Talked about a clear agenda when the other side had little to offer but hate and good TV ratings. And he won decisively despite the skepticism of the “smart money.”
For two years, he was derided for reaching out to the other side, for his compromises with the left or with the centrists in his own party, for not be exciting enough. He ignored the Beltway buzz. He did the dullest thing imaginable: he governed.
The American Rescue Plan lifted millions out of poverty and helped stimulate a job boom that now has produced 10 million jobs, a record, more than the last three GOP administrations added up. Record number of quality judges were appointed. Executive orders undid Trump’s damage.
He made the bold decision to end America’s longest war. He passed the largest piece of infrastructure legislation in half a century. He helped tame a pandemic. Critics, even within his own party said, “Don’t do too much, don’t spend too much, the bond markets won’t like it.”
But the jobs kept being created. When Putin challenged the decency and the West in Ukraine, Biden led and has been central to NATO and global support for Kyiv which has produced extraordinary results and made all safer. It was all part of restoring American standing worldwide.
He and a disciplined Democratic Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act that also was the biggest piece of environmental legislation in US history. He took steps to reduce healthcare costs for Americans even when zero Republicans supported it.
In fact, with few exceptions, the Democrats passed a rich agenda, that also included the important Chips and Science Act that will help the country compete and create more and better jobs in the future, in the face of constant GOP obstruction.
Still, the savants and pundits said the Democrats would be crushed in the 2022 elections. The GOP had momentum. Inflation would do Dems in–even though it was a global phenomenon and the GOP was closely linked to its causes from Putin to corporate profiteering.
There would be a Red Wave. Biden was too busy focusing on democracy and protecting the fundamental rights of women and voters while the GOP talking heads and the bogus polls said what was front and center was inflation and the Dems were doomed.
But Biden stayed laser focused. He said his first act in the new Congress would be to guarantee a woman’s reproductive freedom. He made moving, heartfelt speeches about why it is essential to reject the lies, the election deniers, the coup plotters.
The result was the best result for a new president in a midterm election in sixty years, maybe longer. The Democrats held the Senate. It is still unclear how many seats they will lose in the House. But it won’t be what was predicted.
In fact, it is still possible that the Dems could hold the House, still possible the Dem margin in the Senate could be better than it was. Election deniers running for top posts were rejected. Legislatures were flipped. The Republican leadership is turning on itself.
And Biden’s first comments after the election were about the work to come, the governing ahead. Joe’s too old. Joe’s too boring. Joe’s too quick to compromise. Joe’s too stubborn. Joe’s out of touch. Joe’s…just off to the best start of any POTUS in more than half a century.
Left in his wake, defeated by his experience and his wisdom and his determination and his truly exceptional world class team, are the media favorites, the highly rated pundits, the best-selling columnists, the know-it-alls, the fancy insiders.
I could write the same thing about @SpeakerPelosi or @SenSchumer, co-authors of this remarkable record. You could say it about so many members of the united, mobilized Democratic team that this time around weathered the GOP efforts at suppression, ignored their lies and showed up.
You could say it about the Gen Z voters and the women and people of color who saw the threat and made the effort to fight for democracy. You could say it about all of you who have participated in the wholesale rejection of the greatest threat to our system we’ve seen since WWII.
Common sense is not exciting. But what we just saw was a victory for common sense. Decency doesn’t drive clicks. But what you just saw was a victory for decency. Governing is tedious, incremental, arcane. But what you have seen for two years are the benefits of governing.
The conventional wisdom has been wrong about @POTUS, @VP, @SpeakerPelosi,@SenSchumer, @WHCOS, the president’s cabinet, @TheDemocrats and their team from day one. Maybe we will learn. Probably we won’t.
But we can be grateful that they will ignore all that. We can be grateful that at a perilous moment in US history, they will focus on the work that needs to be done, on the threats we face at home and abroad, and on what matters. And if the past is any indication, they will continue to succeed…against the odds, on behalf of us all.
©2021, Deep State Radio. All Rights Reserved
NOTE: David Rothkopf is an analyst and commentator on politics, national security, and foreign affairs. His most recent book is American Resistance: The Inside Story of How the Deep State Saved the Nation.
The above essay includes Twitter “handles” for the officials because it first appeared as a Twitter thread.
When I watched President Biden with Chinese President Xi after their three-hour meeting, I concluded there is no one currently on the political scene who can match his abilities in the international arena. Biden managed to negotiate a reduction in hostilities while holding firm to US positions. Here’s the readout of that meeting.
And after the explosion in Poland, whose circumstances aren’t yet clear, his measured response won praise even from the Russians he is helping thwart in Ukraine.
As David Rothkopf writes, President Biden just keeps governing–and governing well.
The American people spoke out against “the crazies” in this election, but the House Republicans have already announced that they’re revving up to fit that description with revenge politics and dangerous pro-Putin talk about Ukraine.
Our responsibility will be to continually inform our elected officials and the media that we side with responsible governing–nothing less.