Who does Joe Biden remind you of?
A long time ago, when the 45th was still in office and not yet wiped out by Jack Dorsey, it was fun to guess which earlier POTUS the next model might be for The Donald. Such a comparison is both a natural habit, when one ponders such a historically charged office, and a sad testimony of our time – that our leaders can only hope to imitate the great men of the past but can never keep up with them. It was also uniquely entertaining with a commander in chief who seemed so unprecedented.
Many of the president’s supporters wanted to draw parallels with Andrew Jackson, the cheeky populist outsider who redefined American politics and ushered the republic into an entirely new generation. Critics often pointed to Nixon, who didn’t seem to know what a shining compliment this is. Allegations of sexual misconduct and an uncomfortable hot mic incident resulted in some unflattering mentions of Bill Clinton. In the end, Teddy Roosevelt got into the conversation and left it just as quickly. The boring attitude has always been Reagan, and since this is an American political commentary that we are talking about here, there is an abundance of boring attitudes. Nobody (except a few real fanatics) dared to pronounce the word “Lincoln”.
For his part, Joe Biden was proactive. In his first hundred days, the 46th President was actively serving as the next FDR, an ambitious, programmatic President with a broad popular mandate and a commitment to old-school patrician liberalism. Critics are turning this programmatic ambition to a more negative incarnation in LBJ, tying Joe to a high-reacher whose agenda most people want to admit that this was a failure.
However, both ratings miss the mark. If we’re being honest, Joe Biden – the unexpected president whose millennia-long search for the Oval Office ended in an accidental stumble across the finish line – can only be compared to a predecessor, a man so like and dissimilar to him, otherwise may be hers Coexistence (and the way their paths crossed) can only be seen as evidence that God has a sense of humor. That man, of course, is Donald J. Trump.
The unexpected itself is an essential similarity. Of course, for the most part – with notable exceptions such as 1972 and 1984 – there is always some element of uncertainty in elections and so any presidency is in some sense unexpected. But it was these two Really unexpectedly. Donald Trump was the offspring of a real estate empire and the host of a reality TV show that hijacked a sleepwalking party in elementary school and even then was seen as a long, long, long shot in the general election. Joe Biden had fallen out of favor before the ’88 cycle primaries began and made another half-hearted attempt two decades later before settling for second place on the ticket. Even after his time as V.P. For a man young enough to be his son, and especially after dropping out of Democratic elementary school in 2016, no one in their right mind would have told you that the Scranton Septuagenarian was a real shot at the oval would have. That he would come back and actually win in 2020, a whole generation after his first run, was about as likely as Harold Stassen in 1988, 40 years after he had been a real competitor. What really happened to Stassen in 1988 – 0.01 percent of the GOP primary votes – is what happened should To happen to politicians whose moment has come and gone and gone and gone.
This is the first important lesson that both administrations are going through: our policies are becoming stranger, less predictable and more chaotic. We hear enough in the comment that Trump was a symptom and not a cause of America’s illnesses, but – since Donald was a very bad doctor – the illness was not cured, and Biden is a symptom too. A healthy nation would not have faced either of these options, let alone a choice between the two. This is evidenced, of course, by the fact that when our nation was a little healthier, none of the people was a serious option. The current president’s promise of the signal campaign was practically a return to normal. The very fact that Joe Biden managed to run a successful presidential campaign is itself indisputable evidence that “normal” is not coming back.
Such unfulfilled election promises are also a common feature of these last two administrations. Of course, this is hardly unique; That politicians never rule in an election campaign is as obvious to most people as the fact that Jeffrey Epstein did not kill himself. But the Degree The disappointment since 2016 has certainly been extraordinary. When Donald Trump was looking for a winning lap in January 2021, the best he could do was make an uneventful speech in front of the tiny section of the border wall that had been erected over four years. Biden’s problem could be the opposite: he promised not to do much but could be forced to do some.
The reasons for the failure are also usually the same. Both men are ancient, although Biden shows it way more than his predecessor. Neither is particularly bright. Most importantly, neither of them actually received their party’s support for their government agenda. Both men have been pushed to the left by the establishment – Trump towards the impotent center, Biden away from it. For example, we have two presidents who are instinctively doves but practically hawks (albeit moderate ones). In the end, we have a Republican who struggled as a populist but couldn’t deliver anything better than a hefty corporate tax cut, and a Democrat who worked to get out of the COVID crisis and deliver a so-called aid package that made it all the comrades, a number of powerful special interests; and a few alien beings are positively dizzy.
In terms of the spectrum of social conservatism, I’d bet Joe Biden and Donald Trump are worryingly close, though each occasionally travels in the right direction to throw a bone to the true believers in their party. So after four years of republican administration at the federal level, we have nothing to show except a de minimis Ban transgender people who serve in the military and will be scrapped when the next man takes office. So we end up in a senile old coder from Scranton who only wants to become FDR and in an address to the United States Congress announces his support for transkids. So we get a transgender discourse in which the conservative Position is a brave defense of the sports teams of … high school girls? So at the end of the street we meet both an assistant secretary of health for transgender people and a GOP candidate for governor of California.
The similarities and common place at the center of our nation’s political hurricane are hardly limited to any of these. Both presidents, for example, are very wealthy men – who, by the way, weren’t the most conscientious in amassing their respective fortunes – who somehow managed to present themselves as Average Joes. (Let’s not forget that Barack Obama picked the Senator
Citibank Delaware for a runner-up for believing Joe could relate to working-class and middle-class voters who were put off by Obama’s Harvard sentiment.) Neither man has any real lower-class connections, and everyone has their part both helped them out and screw them up – but that hasn’t stopped getting widespread, die-hard support from millions of voters below the class, either. If we’re honest, Joe Biden is probably as much a real populist as Donald Trump. Make it what you want.
The most obvious point of comparison, however, is temperamental. Nobody looks too flattering on this front. Little gets noticed, but when you watch Joe Biden deal with the media – or anyone who criticizes him on the campaign trail – it eerily resembles the way his rival ran both campaigns and his tenure. Of course, a scratchy medium that shares most of its politics – and that really wants to get past Donald Trump, even as it struggles to stay interesting without him – isn’t going to hold Biden accountable in the same way, but rather Biden’s personal animosity and Outbreaks hardly differ from those of its predecessor. And whatever you think of Trump’s behavior in the 2016 rallies, no stump DJT insult will ever surpass Joe’s classic “Look, fat, look, here’s the deal …” which was released immediately after the challenge of the critical questioner came to a push-up competition.
All of this is important not only because it shows what a wrong choice and joke our political game has become (although valuable for that), but because it casts doubt on the search for a successor who is already within the Republicans Party has started. If we are looking for a national populist who can hold elections and Follow Trumpism’s better priorities, this is a long, hard road and will likely go well beyond 2024. But if we’re looking for The Donald 2.0 – well, I think we can give up. He’s in the Oval Office.