Monday, Dec 6, 2021

Biden’s Disappointing First 100 Days

At the end of the first 100 days of Biden presidency, one conclusion is clear. After electing Joe Biden last year, American voters did not get the kind of president they had been led to expect. During the election campaign, they were promised that Biden would follow the mainstream Democrat political principles which characterized his 36-year voting record in the Senate. He ran on his Senate reputation of being able and willing to work across party lines to achieve a bipartisan consensus on critical domestic and foreign policy issues.

During his Senate career, Biden consistently supported legislation which supported traditional conservative definitions of morality and family values. As the chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden presided over two contentious confirmation hearings for nominees by Republican presidents to the US Supreme Court bench. They resulted in the Senate’s rejection of Ronald Reagan’s 1988 nomination of Robert Bork, one of the most distinguished conservative jurists of that era, and the Senate’s narrow approval of George H. W. Bush’s 1991 nomination of Clarence Thomas to serve as the high court’s second black justice.

During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden said he opposed the idea of trying to “pack” the Supreme Court with additional liberal justices to overcome the current 6-3 majority of conservative justices. While he was a member of the US Senate, Biden also condemned President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s failed 1937 effort to pack the Supreme Court.

But during his first 100 days as president, Biden appointed a commission of experts to study the Supreme Court and recommend changes, suggesting he might not be opposed to packing the court with liberal judges if his commission can give him sufficient political cover to get away with it.

As a longtime member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, Biden had joined most of his fellow Democrats in opposing US involvement in the First Persian Gulf War against Saddam Hussein in 1991, but he did vote in favor of US entry into the war in Afghanistan following the 9/11 attack in 2001, as well as the Second Gulf War and the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a vote he later admitted was a mistake. In 2006, Biden suggested ending the US occupation of Iraq by partitioning it into three separate countries, while opposing the Bush administration’s successful 2007 troop surge proposal which eventually brought an end to the insurrection.

Biden’s first foreign policy moves have been to hasten the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan against the advice of his own top military experts. He has downgraded Israel’s status as a US ally, at the same time restoring aid to the Palestinians and trying to revive the failed two-state solution. At the same time, he has failed to stand up to increased aggression against the US and its allies by Russia and China, and has adopted the failed Obama approach of reacting to Iran’s continued bad behavior with a policy of appeasement.

RISING CRIME AND ACCUSATIONS OF POLICE RACISM

Biden was a lead author of the tough 1994 federal anti-crime legislation, which funded the addition of 100,000 local police officers and the construction of 125,000 new prison cells across the country, while increasing mandatory sentences for drug crimes resulting in the mass incarceration of a generation of black drug offenders. Biden’s close association with that bill was used against him with black voters by his opponents for the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination, forcing him to publicly admit it had been a mistake.

Since the start of the pandemic last year, large cities across the United States have been swept up in a surge of murders, now including a frightening outbreak of mass shootings. But instead of supporting and stepping up local law enforcement efforts, Biden has ordered his Justice Department to resume its harsh scrutiny of police departments across the country for any sign of “systemic racism.” He and other administration officials have also been far too quick to take up false accusations by Black Lives Matter and other racial activists that white cops are too prone to using deadly force against black suspects, even when those suspects are caught while in the process of committing violent crimes and endangering others.

During the first decades of his Senate career, Biden was proud of his friendship with segregationist Southern Democrat senators such as Richard Russell of Georgia and Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who ran for president in 1948 against Harry Truman on the Dixiecrat ticket. In 2010, as Obama’s vice president, Biden eulogized West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, describing the man who once served as a recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan and filibustered to block passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as his “friend,” “mentor” and “guide.” Last week as president, the same Joe Biden reacted to the guilty verdict against Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd last May, by declaring that “it ripped the blinders off [for] the whole world to see [that] systemic racism is a stain on our nation’s soul.”

WHAT HAPPENED TO BIDEN’S BIPARTISAN PROMISES?

Biden based his presidential campaign on his vice-presidential role during the Obama administration, as well as his long record in the Senate as a mainstream liberal eager to cooperate with Republicans to build bipartisan support for compromise legislation.

Throughout the presidential campaign, Biden appealed to moderate voters in both parties who wanted to see the country reunified by healing the bitterly partisan divisiveness which characterized the Trump years, projecting that comforting message through his inaugural address. But after entering the White House, Biden quickly abandoned any serious attempt to work with Republicans or consider their input into his legislative proposals.

Instead, he adopted the socialist-inspired, race-based progressive policies and agenda which he condemned as too extreme and impractical when they were proposed by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren during the race for the Democrat presidential nomination last year.

Less than 100 days into his presidency, Biden is already responsible for two of the most expensive pieces of legislation in American history. With the help of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Biden and his Democrat allies have already passed their bloated Covid relief bill and are on track to push an equally expensive “infrastructure” bill through an evenly divided 50-50 Senate without even trying to gain the support of a single Republican.

Schumer has gotten preliminary approval from the “non-partisan” Senate parliamentarian to reuse the budget “reconciliation” rules to get around the filibuster and pass the infrastructure bill, and perhaps others, with just 50 Democrat votes — the same way he did with the Covid bill — with the tiebreaker cast by Vice President Kamala Harris.

BIDEN’S BAIT AND SWITCH TACTIC

Commenting on Biden’s first 100 days in office in a Fox News interview, Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy accused him of deceiving American voters with a “bait and switch,” scheme. While promising during the presidential campaign to govern as a “moderate,” he has acted more like a “socialist” dictator since taking over the White House. Accusing Biden of violating his promises to seek bipartisan cooperation with the Republicans, McCarthy said that since Biden’s inauguration in January, “I have not met with the president one time, nor had one conversation.”

Biden has made only token efforts to work with Republicans on issues on which it should have been easy to reach bipartisan agreements. Instead, McCarthy called both the $1.9 trillion Covid relief package and his $2.2 trillion “infrastructure” bill currently working its way through Congress as glaring examples of Biden’s “bait and switch” tactics. Neither measure primarily addressed their stated purposes. Instead, much of the money in the Covid relief package was earmarked for unrelated Democrat spending priorities, and “less than 6 percent [of the money] in the infrastructure package goes to infrastructure” projects as the term is traditionally understood.

The GOP House leader added: “I don’t think that will be popular” once the American people learn what Biden wants to spend the vast majority of that infrastructure money on.

The only thing standing in the way of the passage of the infrastructure bill, to be quickly followed by a tidal wave of other liberal Democrat spending measures, is the Senate filibuster rule, whose survival depends on the continued support of a tiny number of embattled moderate Democrats, led by West Virginia’s Joe Manchin.

THE LAST OF THE SENATE DEMOCRAT MODERATES

Manchin has put the Biden White House on notice that he will not cast his crucial 50th Senate Democrat vote in support of another mislabeled measure similar to the Biden’s Covid relief bill. In a recent interview, Manchin stated the obvious — the filibuster should not be an obstacle to passing an honest bill entirely devoted to repairing this country’s neglected infrastructure.

“What we think the greatest need we have now, that can be done in a bipartisan way,” Manchin said, “is conventional infrastructure, whether it’s the water, sewer, roads, bridges, Internet — things that we know need to be repaired, be fixed.” The current infrastructure bill does include substantial appropriations for just that kind of spending, including $550 billion for traditional road, rail and airport construction and repairs, another $111 billion to make our drinking water safe, and $100 billion for a new 21st century infrastructure necessity, making broadband Internet access more available to the poor and those living in rural areas.

But it is difficult to justify the additional $1.5 trillion of spending in the bill without distorting beyond recognition the normal definition of “infrastructure investment” which is supposed to be a one-time expense with obvious long-term benefits to the economy. Spending more than $400 billion to expand home care for the elderly and Medicaid hardly qualifies. A much more accurate description would be to call it an expanded entitlement program requiring continued federal spending at similar levels indefinitely into the future.

Other Biden spending priorities in the same bill masquerading as infrastructure projects include hundreds of billions of dollars to subsidize the auto industry’s forced conversion to the overpriced electrically powered vehicles that most consumers are still rejecting; hundreds of billions more to be thrown away by the Green New Deal agenda while undermining this country’s energy independence; and $200 billion for a new federal housing program, designed by the same Democrats who have perpetuated this country’s urban racial ghettos and the liberal policies that created a new nationwide homelessness crisis.

Manchin also objects to the seven-point increase in the corporate tax rate that Biden has proposed to pay for the bloated cost of his infrastructure bill. In 2017, when President Trump called for a reduction in the US corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, even many Democrats at the time said that the higher rate had made US-based businesses uncompetitive in the global market. The 35% rate also served as an incentive that encouraged some major US firms to merge with foreign companies, enabling them to move their headquarters to countries like Ireland were the corporate tax rates were much lower.

Trump’s decision to cut the corporate rate to 21%, and other provisions in his tax cut bill that encouraged US companies to repatriate the profits from their foreign operations, made America much more competitive in the global marketplace, and helped to halt the flight of American corporate jobs and profits to foreign countries. Some of those foreign countries responded to the Trump’s tax cut by reducing their own corporate tax rates accordingly. As a result, if Biden does raise the American corporate rate to 28%, he would again be putting American jobs at risk and putting US businesses at a competitive disadvantage.

Senator Manchin is keenly aware of this problem, because West Virginia’s economy is already facing the prospect of losing most of its coal mining jobs, and is struggling to attract other industries and their jobs to take up the slack. Manchin agrees that some corporate tax increase would be appropriate to help pay for necessary infrastructure improvements, but he has gone on record as opposing raising the corporate rate beyond 25%. The Biden White House has been forced to respond by signaling its willingness to negotiate with Manchin on the issue, simply because it cannot afford to risk losing the crucial 50th vote on the infrastructure measure.

As for the many other unrelated liberal agenda items that make up the bulk of the spending in Biden’s “infrastructure” proposal, Manchin argues that even if such measures are “needed,” they should be considered on their own merits through the regular legislative process after being separated from the more legitimate infrastructure portions of the current Biden bill. That would subject those proposed expenditures to proper legislative review through committee hearings, consultations with professionals, and likely result in improvements through bipartisan compromises with the Senate’s minority party.

All that used to be the normal procedure in the Senate for avoiding filibusters and passing bills, regardless of which party was in the majority. But since Biden has taken office, he and Democrat congressional leaders have largely abandoned that process completely.

BIDEN’S MISLEADING TAX-THE-RICH AGENDA

Another Biden campaign promise which he has reiterated since taking office is that his proposed tax increases to pay for his new spending programs would only impact the wealthy, which he defined as families with incomes of more than $400,000 a year. But Republicans and conservative economists point out that any increase in corporate taxes is inevitably passed on to workers and families earning far less than that amount in the form of smaller wage increases, larger retail price increases, and a reduction in the yield from any money those workers have invested in their 401K retirement accounts.

That is why Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has called the new taxes included to pay for Biden’s infrastructure plan — officially named the American Jobs Plan — another example of his bait-and-switch tactics. McConnell has called the Biden proposal a “Trojan Horse” for liberal policies, because instead of the added spending creating more jobs, the accompanying tax hikes are likely to make the measure into a net American job killer.

In coming days, Biden is planning to introduce yet another bill to fund a major expansion of federal spending on child care and education. The measure is expected to include liberal wish list items such as universal government-funded pre-K education for young children, free tuition for community college, and debt forgiveness for middle- and upper-income college graduates with large outstanding federal student loans.

BIDEN’S COUNTERPRODUCTIVE CAPITAL GAINS TAX PROPOSAL

All these “free” new benefits are expected to be funded by still more Biden tax increases aimed at the wealthy. As a candidate during last year’s presidential campaign, Biden proposed a radical increase in tax on capital gains, which is currently at the reduction rate of 20%. Biden proposed eliminating that break for households earning more than $1 million annually, which would then pay the same rate on capital gains as their regular income tax rate, which Biden wants to increase to the 39.6% maximum level it was during the Obama era. Biden also wants to collect the taxes on those capital gains even before their owners have actually realized those profits by selling the assets.

Even Democrats such as Virginia Congressman Don Beyer have recognized that Biden’s two-pronged capital gains tax increase is likely to have a serious impact on the investment plans of many high-income families. Among other consequences, the tax hike would make it more difficult for business owners to pass along their financial assets to their children.

The capital gains tax on the increased value of an individual’s investments has also been recognized as an unfair form of “double taxation,” because the corporate profits — on which much of that increased value is generally based — have already been taxed once by the federal government. Also, capital gains taxes are not adjusted for inflation, which often means that much, if not all, of the theoretical increase in the value of the asset being held over time and subject to the capital gains tax is actually just an inflation-induced mirage.

Furthermore, as a recent Wall Street Journal editorial points out, previous efforts to raise more tax income through increasing the rate on capital gains have actually backfired, because any capital gains tax increase is an incentive for the wealthy investors to avoid them by holding onto their assets instead of selling them. The result is that the total amount of capital gains tax collected actually falls by 1.2% for every percentage point the capital gains tax rate is increased. Therefore, Biden’s proposed capital gains increase would be counterproductive, not only because it will result in a net loss of tax income for the government, but also because it would discourage business investment, capital formation and wage growth.

While raising capital gains taxes on the wealthy may sound attractive as a talking point for socialist politicians who want to punish investors and undermine private enterprise, from the economic policy point of view, it is clearly a dumb idea.

But Biden and the Democrats don’t seem to be listening, and they are in no mood to compromise with Republicans on anything, even if it means having to run the risk that their infrastructure bill will be blocked because moderate Democrat senators like Manchin and possibly a few others won’t vote for it in its current form.

It is also questionable whether several measures in the current infrastructure bill will pass the test for passage through the reconciliation process used to pass Biden’s Covid relief measure. If reconciliation doesn’t apply, the bill will then have to withstand the threat of an inevitable Senate Republican filibuster.

WILL THE SENATE’S FILIBUSTER RULE SURVIVE?

When he was a still member of the Senate in 2005, Joe Biden was a supporter of the filibuster. He argued at that time, “At its core, the filibuster is not about stopping a nominee or a bill. It’s about compromise and moderation.” He defended it on the principle that partisan disputes should be resolved “within the strictures and requirements of the Senate rules. Despite the short-term pain, that understanding has served both parties well, and provided long-term gain.”

Biden and his fellow Democrats, including Chuck Schumer, have used the filibuster many times to block Senate Republican-supported legislation when the GOP had the majority, including as recently as last year. But now that the filibuster rule is all that is preventing Democrats from imposing their progressive agenda on the Republicans, they have adopted former President Obama’s criticism of the filibuster rule as a racist-motivated “relic of the Jim Crow era.”

At his first presidential news conference on March 25, Biden changed his position and condemned the filibuster as an obstacle to necessary change. Declaring that “successful electoral politics is the art of possible,” Biden said, “Let’s figure out how we can get this done and move in the direction of significantly changing the abuse of even the filibuster rule.”

In fact, the current battle over the filibuster rule has nothing to do with its history as a tool used by Southern Democrat segregationist senators to block civil rights legislation more than 50 years ago, and everything to do with its ability to block legislative majorities from imposing their political will on the country without a clear and widespread mandate from the nationwide electorate.

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE FILIBUSTER

More fundamentally, the question is whether Democrats will permit the Senate to continue playing its moderating role in the federal government, as clearly intended by the country’s Founding Fathers. The principle of unlimited debate has always been a cherished tradition of the Senate, but it is not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, which left the rules of its implementation to be determined by the members of the Senate themselves.

The first limitation of unlimited debate was initiated in 1917, when the Senate adopted the filibuster rule at the urging of President Woodrow Wilson. It enabled a two-thirds majority vote of the senators present to invoke “cloture,” thereby forcing an immediate end to the current debate. But it still gave sizable Senate minority factions enough power to block legislation, forcing the majority to either negotiate an acceptable compromise or face legislative stalemate.

In 1975, the Senate modified the rule to speed up its proceedings. The size of the majority needed to invoke cloture was reduced from two-thirds to three-fifths (60 instead of 67 votes, out of the total of 100 senators). In addition, senators did not actually have to keep speaking on the floor to conduct a filibuster. A minimum of 41 senators only needed to signal their intent to block a vote on the legislation to bring its consideration on the Senate floor to a halt. This prevented Senate floor time from being wasted in useless and endless filibusters, but made it much easier for the minority to use the threat of a filibuster to block any majority-supported bill.

The current Democrat attack on the filibuster rule began in 2013. Then-House Majority Leader Harry Reid became frustrated with the filibuster’s use by the Republican minority to block confirmation of dozens of President Obama’s nominees to vacant judicial positions on lower federal courts across the nation. Reid employed the so-called “nuclear option,” getting a simple majority of Senate Democrats to approve a change in the chamber’s rules so that confirmation votes on presidential judicial nominees to the lower courts could no longer be blocked by the filibuster. But that change left the filibuster still applicable to the Senate confirmation process for Supreme Court nominees.

Reid was warned at the time by then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that Democrats would someday be sorry that they had weakened the filibuster. That day came in 2017, when then Majority Leader McConnell changed the rule once again by eliminating the filibuster’s use against presidential Supreme Court nominees. At the time, the change prevented the minority of Senate Democrats from filibustering President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to fill the seat vacated by the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia the previous year. It is now also clear that if the filibuster rule was still applicable to Supreme Court nominees, Democrats would have blocked the nominations of Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 and Amy Coney Barrett last October.

LAST DEFENSE AGAINST THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY

Today, the filibuster is the only protection the American people have left to protect them from socialist, racially driven dictates by Biden and the minimal Democrat majorities which now control the House and Senate. Senator Manchin has broken with his liberal Senate Democrat colleagues to defend the filibuster rule as vital to the Senate’s historic role as a moderating force preventing drastic changes in the direction of the federal government to the outcome of a single election. By constitutional rule and tradition, senators were given extended six-year terms of office, staggered every two years, and required supermajorities to pass important legislation, limiting the impact of a single electoral sweep by any political faction.

As Senator Manchin explained in a recent Washington Post opinion column, “If the filibuster is eliminated, a new and dangerous precedent will be set to pass sweeping, partisan legislation that changes the direction of our nation every time there is a change in political control. The consequences will be profound — our nation may never see stable governing again.”

In other words, without the filibuster rule serving as a limit on actions by the Senate, any time a party gains majority control of both houses of Congress and the White House, it could immediately reverse all the legislation passed when the other party was in control, even with the slimmest of majorities, constantly threatening to disrupt the continuity of government laws and policies.

GROWING CHAOS ON THE BORDER

Biden and his administration have also been obsessed with uprooting every major new policy initiative implemented during Donald Trump’s administration, regardless of whether they were successful or not. Even before he entered office, Biden publicly signaled his intent to reverse all Trump’s immigration control measures at the southern border with Mexico. Ruthless human traffickers and desperate Central American migrants picked up on those signals and have begun to storm the border, led by a record number of illegal crossings by unaccompanied minors deliberately abandoned by their parents.

As soon as Biden signed an executive order canceling President Trump’s Remain in Mexico agreement, which forced migrants caught seeking to cross the border illegally to wait in Mexico for a decision on their asylum applications, the result was immediate. Tens of thousands of migrants waiting in Mexican holding areas quickly left to storm the American border.

The Biden administration claimed it was caught by surprise by the migrant surge, when in fact it had ignored warnings by elected Democrats from the border region about the reaction to cancelation of Trump’s border control policies. At first, the White House denied the gravity of the situation. Then it imposed a strict blackout on media efforts to report on the conditions along the border, and condemned anyone who dared to label it as both the humanitarian and public health crisis that it was.

Not only are there now more unaccompanied children and families streaming across the southern border than in 20 years, but there is no organized effort to test them for Covid, or place those who test positive into quarantine. Instead, the infected and uninfected are herded together to be bused or flown into the interior of the United States. Meanwhile, in small American towns along the Mexican border, government services and public health facilities are being overwhelmed by the waves of illegal immigrants who are evading capture and passing through.

Biden’s southern border policies have been such a disaster that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas reportedly told Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees that the administration is considering finishing “gaps in the [border] wall,” which remained when Biden ordered all work, even on nearly completed parts of the wall, to be halted immediately.

For the past three months, the Biden White House has tried to pretend that the problems at the border are serious but still under control. It has issued a series of statements assigning senior officials up to and including Vice President Kamala Harris to “study” the border problems and make recommendations,

But the truth is that federal border protection officers are working with their hands tied by Biden’s executive orders. Despite the efforts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the “surge” in humanitarian resources the administration has dispatched to the border in recent weeks, the number of illegal migrants being intercepted continues to rise month by month, and all signs point to a long, hot summer for illegal crossings along on the Mexican border.

Desperate pleas to Central American migrants to wait are being ignored, as more decide to take their chances on the long trek north, hoping that Biden’s more lenient policies will allow them to stay once they have snuck into the US. A well-publicized Biden administration initiative to reunite several hundred migrant children separated from their parents at the border due to Trump policies has been overwhelmed by the huge new surge of thousands of unaccompanied minors crossing the border due to Biden’s misguided policies.

Meanwhile, Biden was embarrassed when an outcry from liberal immigration activists forced him to backtrack after he failed to stand by his promise to lift the quota on refugees to be allowed to enter the country this year from 15,000 to 125,000.

Other Biden initiatives to block enforcement of existing federal immigrations laws are currently being challenged in the courts. These include his executive order to freeze all new deportation orders for 100 days, and Biden’s order to preserve the Obama-era DACA program to shield from deportation the so-called Dreamers, adults who entered the US illegally while they were young children. Biden has kept his promise to introduce a comprehensive immigration law reform proposal to Congress, but in its current form, the bill has virtually no chance of passage in the Senate as long as Republicans can block it with a filibuster.

PEDDLING MISINFORMATION ABOUT NEW ELECTION RULES

Renewed Democrat efforts led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to enact its blueprint to federalize state voting laws through the passage of a bill called HR1 have triggered a strong reaction from Republican-controlled legislatures in several states, intended to tighten up the loopholes in voter security from emergency measures to safeguard against Covid infections during the November elections. The new voting laws in Georgia prompted a hysterical reaction from Democrats, including President Biden himself. They falsely accused the Republicans of trying to suppress the voter turnout by minority voters, when the opposite was in fact the case.

The reaction to Democrat, media and black activist demands for a corporate boycott of Georgia in the name of racial equity resulted in a decision by Major League Baseball to move this summer’s All Star Game from Atlanta to Denver, which was ironic on several levels.

First, it was a significant setback for Atlanta’s minority-owned businesses and their minority workers who were depending on the nationally publicized sports event to help the local economy recover from the impact of the Covid lockdowns. In addition, existing voting laws in Democrat-dominated Colorado are actually more restrictive than the new Republican-passed voting law in Georgia.

STEALING TRUMP’S CREDIT FOR THE COVID VACCINE

Biden has also sought to claim the credit for the rapid increase in the rate of Covid vaccinations since he took office, even though his administration made relatively few changes in the state-supervised distribution plan put in place while Trump was still in office. Biden has also refused Trump credit for his daring Operation Warp Speed initiative to start mass production of the first two vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer before they were approved by the FDA.

Biden administration policy on the reopening of the nation’s classrooms for live instruction has also been inconsistent. The White House has also been sending confusing mixed signals regarding the lifting of other Covid restrictions as the number of vaccinated Americans continues to climb and newly reported cases fall in most parts of the country.

BIDEN’S EMBRACE OF THE RADICAL PROGRESSIVE NARRATIVE.

Biden has also recently embraced the progressive narrative which rejects the very legitimacy of the American form of democracy, because they claim it to have been morally tainted by racism. They also condemn the Founding Fathers, including Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington, who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, for their tolerance for the practice of slavery, and their unequal treatment of women. Progressives use that narrative to justify their proposals for radical alterations to key sections of the Constitution, and abandon some of the liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

However, Biden’s questionable performance in 1991 as the chairman of Senate Judiciary committee, while it was holding confirmation hearings for the appointment Justice Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, is still a black mark on the president’s record. At that time, both Republicans and Democrats were dissatisfied with the way Biden conducted those hearings. Democrats complained that Biden had failed to provide sufficient support to Anita Hill, who had not come forward testify as a witness against Thomas until after the committee had concluded its initial hearing, while Republicans agreed with Thomas’ complaints that he had not been given an adequate opportunity to defend himself against Hill’s accusations.

When Biden broke precedent by reopening public hearings to enable Hill to testify, Thomas reacted by condemning the proceedings as a “circus” and a “national disgrace.” Thomas angrily declared that, “from my standpoint, as a black American, as far as I’m concerned it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas.”

Biden has admitted that the Thomas confirmation hearings were not his finest hour, and expressed his regret to liberal feminist activists for having failed to give Hill’s accusations against Thomas more support.

Seventeen years later, Senate Democrats used the same kind of unverified accusations to unfairly besmirch the reputation of President Trump’s nominee, Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh, during his Senate confirmation hearings. Although both Thomas and Kavanaugh ultimately won confirmation, Biden and his fellow Democrats have never apologized to either of the two distinguished conservative justices for the shabby way in which they were treated.

DEEPENING THE NATIONAL DIVIDE

Biden administration support for the anti-American rhetoric of progressive activists has only deepened the nation’s political and cultural divide since the November election.

While Biden still pretends to be above the partisan fray, his Democrat supporters continue to demand that the more than 70 million Americans who voted in November to reelect Donald Trump admit they were wrong and publicly beg forgiveness for their alleged “sins” against “racial equity” from the liberal elites. Otherwise, they risk being subjected to revenge and public humiliation at the hands of the vigilantes of the “cancel culture.”

This is hardly what voters who cast their ballots for Biden — expecting that he would keep his promise to reunite the nation as president — had in mind, and it is more evidence of his cynical bait and switch tactics.

PLAYING WITH FIRE ON IRAN

Biden has also undermined the United States’ reputation for reliability by continuing to pursue a way to lift the Trump-imposed sanctions on Iran despite its brazen acceleration of uranium enrichment in violation of the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal. The Iranians have clearly recognized the inherent weakness of the Biden administration’s negotiating position and now may be trying to exploit it.

The “leak” of an interview with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif in which he said that Obama-era Secretary of State John Kerry had informed him of 200 Israeli attacks on Iranian targets in Syria may have been intended as a subtle warning by Iran to everyone who served in the Obama administration with Kerry when the 2015 nuclear deal was negotiated. There were many secret terms to the 2015 nuclear agreement and private exchanges between Kerry and Zarif which have never been revealed. It is quite possible Iran may be threatening to use that information to embarrass Kerry other high-ranking officials of the Biden administration who were involved in the 2015 deal, if the White House does not give in to Iran’s demands in the current negotiations.

More generally, since taking office, Biden has returned to President Obama’s failed foreign policy approach. Former Obama State Department officials and White House advisors are also encouraging Biden to turn his back on Israel and other longtime American allies in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia.

BIDEN IS TURNING US POLICY AGAINST ISRAEL

After a failed second run for the Democrat presidential nomination in 2008, Biden accepted Barack Obama’s invitation to serve as his vice-presidential running mate. Biden’s strong voting record in the Senate in support of Israel then enabled him to serve as the Obama administration’s troubleshooter with the American Jewish community, smoothing over tensions raised by harsh White House criticism of Israel’s West Bank and Palestinian policies, and strong Israeli objections to the Iran nuclear deal.

However, as president, Biden has been quick to repeat Obama’s mistakes in dealing with Israel. In a recent telephone call between Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israel’s Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, Blinken demanded that Israel try to move forward once again with the two-state solution, ignoring the repeated failure of that approach ever since Yasser Arafat flatly rejected it at the 2000 Camp David summit, and walked out on then-President Bill Clinton and then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Nevertheless, Biden’s foreign policymakers still refuse to accept the harsh but clear reality that neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians believe that a successful two-state solution is possible anymore.

On the other hand, the Trump administration was able to achieve much better results only after it recognized that the two-state solution was a negotiating dead end. Trump’s innovative regional approach to Middle East diplomacy resulted in several historic peace agreements between Israel and pro-Western Arab states, which now form the diplomatic foundation for a powerful alliance to counter the growing Iranian menace to peace and stability in the region. However, the Biden administration has barely acknowledged those accomplishments. Instead, it has insisted on going backwards by pressuring Israel to make yet another doomed attempt to revive the two-state solution.

Secretary of State Blinken, on behalf of the Biden administration, has put Israel on the same level as the Palestinians, by publicly stating that both “should enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity, and democracy.” Blinken seems to be making the troubling assertion that the current leadership of the PA and Hamas has the same legitimacy and importance to the US as the democratically-elected government of Israel.

Meanwhile, Ned Price, a State Department spokesman, gave new support to organized efforts by radical left-wing anti-Semites to delegitimize Israel’s status, by publicly referring to the West Bank as “occupied” territory. The juxtaposition of the two events by the Biden administration was not accidental, and the message it sends to Israel and its friends is chilling.

WEAKNESS IN THE FACE OF AMERICA’S ENEMIES

The Biden administration’s other foreign policy initiatives to date have been equally unimpressive.

The White House has failed to react to the formation of a new alliance between China and Russia with the goal of further weakening US influence in the international community. China is now developing its own digital currency with the ultimate goal of replacing the US dollar as the world’s dominant standard of monetary value. It also has committed $400 billion dollars to propping up Iran’s economy through new oil purchases. China is also aggressively using its technological prowess and its huge financial resources to challenge America’s influence in countries around the world.

Russia has continued its military buildup along its border with America’s NATO allies in Eastern Europe, directly challenging the Biden administration’s determination to keep those countries free and independent of Russian domination. Russia has continued its efforts to disrupt American democracy and has stepped up its damaging cyberattacks aimed at both private and government-owned computer networks and infrastructure facilities.

The four years of the Trump administration achieved a surprising measure of foreign policy success because it had abandoned the globalist approach which had characterized American diplomacy since the end of the Cold War. Now, the Biden administration’s globalist policymakers are back in control, and as a result, American foreign policy is back on the defensive, retreating in the face of increasingly aggressive initiatives from America’s main international enemies, including Russia, China and Iran.

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