In a perfect world, people do good things for the right reasons. Politicians pass healthcare programs because they recognize that it is a government’s job to care for its citizens, journalists expose abuses of power because they recognize it is the media’s job to always be critical of those in charge.
This never actually happens, of course. We are a stupid and brutal and shallow species and the best way to get someone to do something is almost always to appeal to the part of their lizard brain that thirsts endlessly for adoration and reward. In that vein, fuck it: let’s throw Joe Biden a goddamn party.
The New York Times recently reported that Biden’s administration was close to finalizing a $3 trillion economic stimulus plan that one liberal thinktanker said would represent “a stunning shift in priorities” for a nation that has, for most of its history, had really shitty priorities. I am skeptical of what this plan would actually include of course—it seems foolish to expect the Biden administration to truly push for some of the most transformative goals the left has—but even on its face, a $3 trillion investment into transportation infrastructure, rural broadband, clean energy, free education would be a massive step in the right direction. Today, Axios reported that the Biden administration might go even further, perhaps taking out the undemocratic and incredibly destructive Senate filibuster rule in his quest to get all this shit passed. Why is he doing this? Well. From Axios:
– And Biden is on track to leave the country in a different place, as Lyndon Johnson did with his Great Society programs.
– He loves the growing narrative that he’s bolder and bigger-thinking than President Obama.
Well. It appears that the president of the United States is motivated by a desire to get into a figurative (though hopefully not literal) dick-measuring contest with LBJ. The only thing to say to that is go ahead buddy! Whatever it takes! (Except the Vietnam part, don’t do that.)
Of course, there’s still a chance this comes out as underwhelming as one might expect. From the Times:
His advisers have debated the merits of aggressively pursuing compromise with Republicans and business leaders on an infrastructure package, which would most likely require dropping or scaling back plans to raise taxes on corporations. Another route would be to move the sweeping bill through a special parliamentary process that would require only Democratic votes, as Mr. Biden did with the stimulus package.
However, if they do the latter, wow! Good stuff.
You could criticize Biden, of course, for waiting until he was president to establish this kind of legacy. He spent 36 years in the Senate, after all, but it was clear from the jump that the Oval Office was where he wanted to be. And now he is there, and you know what: if it gets us something, that’s fine. Good for him. A politician’s job is to work for the people they represent. If the most powerful office in the world is what finally gets Biden to deliver, then we’ll take it. Thank you Joe Biden, you’re truly the best. What a legacy. Wow.