I was always baffled by articles that claimed that the previous president* was difficult to satirize. Say what? The Impeached Insult Comedian, his corrupt cronies, and awful family were low hanging fruit who often provided their own punch lines. Punditry is much harder when you’re in broad support of an administration. That’s where I find myself right now. To paraphrase the Arlen-Harburg song that gives this post its title, happiness is a thing called Adrastos.
The Biden administration is off to a fast start. With the stroke of a pen, the new president has undone some of the worst things done by his predecessor. That’s the problem with using executive orders, they can be undone rather quickly, which has led conservative pundits to decry Biden’s so-called rule by decree. Funny thing that Trump’s reliance on executive orders never bothered them.
It’s time to praise the new asterisk-free president for dumping so many Trump policies so quickly. Gone are:
- The Muslim ban.
- Team Trump’s fuckery with the census.
- The 1776 commission.
- The Keystone XL pipeline.
- The withdrawal from the WHO and Paris climate accord.
- The ban on transgender folks serving in the military.
- The ban on funding for international nonprofit groups that perform or promote abortions.
- The order separating families at the border.
They’re gone, gone away:
The devil is in the details on many of these issues, but the White House has gone from being a nest of intrigue to a beehive of activity. Another day, another mixed metaphor.
Joe Biden has only been president for 15 days, but he’s accomplished a great deal. We now have a national COVID strategy. Imagine that. Team Trump had taken us back to the laissez faire days of Herbert Hoover with its stress on a state and local response to the pandemic. That led to chaos. That’s why I call him the Kaiser of Chaos.
The most encouraging signs have been in the president’s dealings with Congress. Many expected him to roll over and seek bipartisanship for its own sake. That was not how I read his stress on unity, which to Senate Republicans means letting them set the agenda with faux compromises.
Biden politely listened to proposals advanced by ten Senate GOPers and just as politely rejected them. This has led to considerable whining on their part about how Biden’s mean old staff won’t let him compromise. Kudos to chief meanie Ron Klain. He was there when Republicans led President Obama down the primrose path of faux compromise before leaving him at the altar with no GOP votes for the ACA. I’m glad they’re not repeating those mistakes.
The media coverage of the budget reconciliation process is driving me crazy. It does not mean that Democrats are going it alone. It means that they’re using reconciliation as a way to avoid a filibuster. Republican senators are free to vote for the COVID relief package, which is popular with voters. If only they would show some gumption and stop marching in lockstep with Mitch McConnell, but we know they won’t. Sycophancy is what they do best.
I’m in broad agreement with the goals of the Biden administration. There will be times when I disagree about means, but they’ve moved quickly to undo the worst excesses of Trumpism. American politics often works in 40-year cycles. Trumpism was the last gasp of Reaganism. The GOP went from a party with an appealing leader selling appalling policies to an appalling leader selling himself as the sole solution to the country’s problems.
It’s Joe Biden’s time to clean up the mess left behind by his predecessor. It won’t be easy but he’s the right man for the job. His age has gone from being a liability to an asset. The older you get the less you care about the conventional wisdom. Joey B. Shark is out of fucks to give and he doesn’t care who knows it.
Happiness truly is a thing called Joe. The last word goes to Ella Fitzgerald: