By any measure President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are off to a fast start, giving hope to the eighty-five million voters who put them in office to fix the damage done by their predecessor and his band of corrupt inept cabinet members.
The list is long but they have addressed the coronavirus pandemic by strengthening distribution, mandating mask-wearing on federal property, and securing more vaccination doses – more than 2-4 million pare now being vaccinated every day- while carving out distribution and doses for communities purposely ignored by the former occupant of the White House.
The team also held a candlelight vigil to remember the 500,000+ people who have died from the virus.
The House passed the $1.9T Relief Bill – the most significant social legislation in 70 years- which will provide money ($1,400, adding to the $600 = $2000 in case you were wondering), small business help, State help for school openings, extend unemployment insurance, and more. The biggest benefit though is that the Bill will cut child poverty in half by providing money to parents, expanding Obamacare, and other provisions that provide for the least of us.
One piece missing from the Bill? $15.00 minimum wage. More on that below.
They announced a government-wide initiative to advance racial equity, began to reverse the unconstitutional Muslim ban, required staff to sign an ethics pledge, and revoked the disastrous Keystone XL Pipeline.
They have rejoined the 2015 Paris climate agreement, ended the ridiculous ban on transgender Americans from joining the military, and delivered on their campaign promise by hiring the most diverse cabinet in US history.
The diverse cabinet is filled with experienced, skilled, and talented Americans who will do the job they were hired to do – not destroy the department they were hired into, as was the case with the last administration.
Leading the selections so far are Deb Haaland – the first Native American Cabinet member – who traces her family back 35 generations!- As Secretary of the Interior. A beautiful selection that is centuries overdue. General Lloyd Austin as Secretary of the Defense, and the first Black person to hold this critical civilian post. The country is in the midst of a white supremacy wave and that wave is in the military so General Austin is the man for the moment and mission.
Pete Buttigieg Secretary of Transportation, and the first out LGBTQI Cabinet Secretary.
Miguel Cardona, Secretary of Education who will clean up the disaster Betsy DeVos left behind.
Alejandro Mayorías, Secretary of Homeland Security, the first Latino and immigrant as head of the department and one who will fill the challenge of fixing the mess on our southern border.
Michael Regan, Environmental Protection Agency and first African American to hold the role that is critical to the lives of communities of color who for so long have born the brunt of lax standards placed on businesses who pollute air, water, and our neighborhoods.
There are others, from Katherine Tai as first WOC as Trade Representative, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, as UN Ambassador and African-American, the perfect landing place for the career diplomat who is widely respected throughout government.
March brings new challenges, more confirmation of key staff, including the long awaited investigations that will be led by recently and long overdue confirmed Merrick Garland as Attorney General.
But even with the fast start that has been welcomed by allies around the world, there are two domestic groups who have found plenty of fictitious issues to complain about.
The far left wing and the GQP loath Neera Tanden and successfully derailed her nomination to the Office of Management and Budget. She withdrew after a path forward could not be found. The skilled Tanden was attacked from far left because that wing of the party hates women in general, and Hilary Clinton specifically, and Neera Tanden worked for Hillary. The GQP pretended to oppose her nomination because she dared defend herself against their relentless attacks on her and Hillary by tweeting right back at the attackers. The hypocrisy of left wing and the GQP being mad about a grown woman’s tweet, after the nation just endured years of a daily barrage of vile, ugly, racist, and misogynistic tweets from the White House occupant is laughable and dumb.
The other big public items will be the John Lewis Voting Act and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The Acts are the result of year long protests against police brutality, and the centuries-long assault against Black citizens voting rights.
The John Lewis Voting Act must be passed or there will no longer be free and fair elections or a democracy, because the GQP has close to three-hundred bills in forty-three states that reduce access to voting. The bills surgically prevents Black people from voting
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is the result of centuries of police brutality targeting Black Americans. (See this recent post for more)
The fight for a $15.00 minimum wage is in full effect, even though there was a stumble out of the gates as Senator Bernie Sanders failed to whip up the necessary votes thereby leaving it to the Senate Parliamentarian who ruled it could not be included in the Relief Bill.
Typical of Sanders not to do the work and then unleash his followers to blame Vice President Kamala D. Harris for his failures.
Sanders, leftists, and prominent Black pastors like Rev. Barber, immediately began blaming MVP Harris for Sanders failure and then began insisting she override the Parliamentarian’s decision. The idiocy of the “demand” is that there still are not enough votes because two senators – Joe Manchin (D+R-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (Sorta-D Az) refused to agree to $15.00 minimum wage as they placate business owners in their states.
It is important to point out that Manchin and Sinema are white and escaping blame, while MVP Harris is Black and getting blame even though she is not a senator.
The tactic continues the Sander’s effort to harm MVP Harris that started way back in 2017 when they started attacking her in the lead up to the 2020 election.
MVP Harris is one of the most popular politicians in the world and she was known around the world when she was Attorney General of California, so much so that Russia and Sanders and their surrogates began attacking her. She is the most attacked politician online and that doesn’t seem like it will stop anytime soon, especially now that Sanders has Black preachers like Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II blaming her and calling her out so he can get the likes he so desperately needs.
In all the Biden/Harris administration are off to a fast start and tackling difficult issues with relentlessness, urgency, and efficiency. It is the type of well run and organized government Americans deserve and the type of government democratic voters voted in.
There is much work to be done, many battles ahead, including confirmations, hearings on the insurrection, white supremacy threats and plenty more budget battles.
The administration is setting itself up to be transformative and history making.
But there are potholes ahead and the dynamic due must avoid the Ides of March. The old Roman saying that was born out of the assassination of Julius Cesar in front of the Roman senate. With attacks from both the left and right flanks there are plenty of challenges ahead that will require deft political maneuvering, skillful negotiations, and firm commitment to getting things done for citizens.
Biden/Harris also face a media that longs for the days of daily rage tweeting, lies, abuse, and complete disregard for regular people. The behavior, as awful as it was, and despite how it “hid” malfeasance in plain sight, was the revenue driver mass media dreamed of. Now they are addicted to the nonsense and lashing out at Biden/Harris for not giving them their daily fix.
It is not “Pie in the sky” to anticipate more history making legislation and transformative changes from this administration who seem determined to fix what the last administration broke but also to look forward and give Americans the type of change and long overdue societal advances Americans have long dreamed of.
If Biden/Harris can continue at the history making pace they’ve started out with they will be one of the most progressive and consequential presidencies in American history. There is yet much to do and the team will need to navigate domestic, international, and infra-party challenges if they are to maintain the furious pace they’ve set. And if they can keep the press focused on issues instead of clickbait they can make the case to the American people that democrats remain the answer to what ails America.
© 2021 by Myron J. Clifton. All Rights Reserved.
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