“They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.”
—Allegedly the last words of Union General John Sedgwick just prior to being killed by a Confederate bullet on May 9, 1864
I have a disquieting feeling about the course being charted by the Biden administration during their first heady weeks in office.
Given the relatively thin margin of Joe Biden’s victory, which boiled down to still controversial wins in several key swing states, his many, many Executive Orders seem to presume a sweeping mandate that might not actually exist. Given that Democrats are still doing most of their governing from behind chain link fences with the National Guard effectively controlling the streets of Washington, D.C., it might not be a bad idea to seek some bland bi-partisanship before attempting to ram through a one-sided agenda that seems oblivious to any ideology other than their own. Pleasing your most rabid partisans is good, but using the small window of opportunity today still available to make new friends might be far better in the long run.
The Biden administration is likely counting on the added benefit of “Trump judges” inflaming the already enraged political left when these Executive Orders face inevitable court challenges, so this will be but the introduction to other controversial policies, which will help to justify their fevered campaign to “reform” the federal courts. Regardless, all we can expect are more efforts to implement laws and regulations that are even further beyond what the majority of Americans deem reasonable or desirable.
The Democratic stampede to the far, far left is at odds with the comforting illusion of moderation that voters were promised by Joe Biden during the party primaries and general election, and his bazooka blast of Executive Orders seems to communicate a hubristic belief in the infallibility of Democratic Socialist dogma.
Years of struggle to reassert effective control over our nation’s border with Mexico, for example, seem to have been heedlessly swept away in scant days through administrative actions instituted with nary a word of discussion or explanation. New mandates requiring schools to welcome transgendered athletes on female sports teams—and in female bathrooms and locker rooms—have stunned many traditional champions of both girl’s and women’s athletics, who are certainly not bigots for worrying about the amazing suddenness and seeming recklessness of the changes now demanded. Many are concerned that the push to more than double the federal minimum wage to $15/hour will cause many small businesses to close their doors after already being crushed by the Covid-19 lockdowns and shutdowns.
The speed with which the Biden administration is now attempting to stamp its imprint on America via the signing pen has led many to fret its precipitous actions might end up creating new problems that will harm more than they will help. However, doubters are now summarily dismissed as troglodytes who lack the moral enlightenment necessary to appreciate the wondrous policies of President Biden and his team of grimly committed ideologues.
An intoxicating vision of a nation where—as The Beatles once sang—all you need is love (and apparently loads and loads of lovely stimulus cash conjured up by the U.S. Treasury) certainly sounds beguiling, but it might run into a host of messy and difficult realities that are currently being ignored. Does the Biden administration, for instance, have any plan in place to deal with the tsunami of employee layoffs and business bankruptcies certain to follow close upon a massive increase in the federal minimum wage? What is the back-up plan if border security breaks down due to their abrupt reversals of President Trump’s immigration policies? How will the Biden administration address the concerns of female athletes who would now be forced to compete—and even shower afterwards—with biological males? The proud progressive vanguard now in charge seems to have not even considered the possibility that rash moves have a tendency to produce unwelcome results, and their blind trust in their own acumen should worry us all.
By the same token, immediately pulling the permits for the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline project certainly gladdened the hearts of those who dream of a future without fossil fuels, but many thousands of high-paying jobs were eliminated, fuel costs for businesses and consumers are likely to rise, and incredibly costly European misadventures with their own government-led efforts to run a complex and unforgiving 21st century economy with windmills and solar panels seem not to have been given even a moment of thought. It would have been prudent to listen to opposing viewpoints on energy policy before blithely plowing forward, but such is the myopia of the extraordinary and exclusionary extremist politics that now have taken hold in our nation’s capitol.
Every new Presidential administration, of course, takes office bursting with ideas about how to reverse the “mistakes” of their immediate predecessors, but there is typically some accompanying sense of common sense restraint and respect for precedent that provides a brake on the intoxication that follows new-found power.
Perhaps because the Bidenistas now occupying The White House have convinced themselves that President Trump was the bodily incarnation of pure evil, they now seem intent on reversing every policy of his administration while simultaneously seeking to both censor and censure his voters and supporters—even to the point of insisting they be barred from much future public and private employment. One could excuse this as mere rhetorical enthusiasm were it not for Democratic efforts already in place to translate their words into actions. Such a clear contempt for 1st Amendment protections regarding thought and speech is certain to backfire in the most ugly and spectacular manner possible—and the consequences could fragment our nation beyond repair.
Much like General Sedgwick peering confidently at the horizon, the Biden administration’s serene belief in their own flawed judgment is likely presaging catastrophe. Moreover, it is pushing America along a moral, ethical, and economic path seriously at odds with the wishes of at least one half of our nation. A rude dose of reality might be just around the corner, and the political headwinds now hitting the Governors of America’s two most resolutely (some might say suicidally) Democratic states, New York and California, should serve as a warning to those progressives now enraptured with their seemingly unfettered power to remake America in their own image.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is trying to keep both New York City and all of New York State from sinking to levels of fiscal insolvency that might be more associated with the travails of a third world banana republic. California Governor Gavin Newsom is facing the prospect of a recall election driven by voter disgust with his policies, which have pushed a once-great state to the very brink. Both Mr. Cuomo and Mr. Newsom are paragons of the Democratic Party’s ascendant far left wing—and yet the political futures of each are now in the gravest jeopardy.
Warning klaxons should be blaring throughout the Biden administration right now, but it seems the iceberg looming dead ahead is being dismissed as mere flotsam instead of the inevitable disaster it actually represents.
Despite the deafening roar of the utopian leftists who seem to dominate social media, academia, and so many legacy news organizations—the political ideology of the vast majority of Americans can be summed up rather easily: Leave me the hell alone to live my life and make my own decisions. All the rest of the scholarly and impassioned verbiage is just the blather that fills up the day until dinner time, but many true believers obviously still find it much more fun to use the limitless powers of government to tell others how they ought to live their lives, which is a much bigger problem in practice than the Biden administration seems to realize.