Republicans and Democrats can begrudgingly admit that both Barack Obama and Donald Trump masterfully used social media to generate attention to and excitement for their campaigns and presidencies. Since the Democratic primaries, Joe Biden’s Twitter feed may be described as low-key and low-energy, resembling his presidential campaign. While his tweets allude to policy prescriptions like racial equity, $15 minimum wage, and universal mask-wearing, they hardly equal the assertive syntax employed by progressive Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). The official Biden Twitter account seems larded with fatuous platitudes that vow to reshape America.
His most common subject has been COVID-19. From the start, Biden’s relevancy as a presidential candidate seemed to hinge on his ability to save America from Trump’s mishandling of the coronavirus. Now, however, Biden tweets about the urgency to move past the pandemic, a topic for which Trump was almost universally criticized. Is hearkening back to and duplicating Trump’s forward-looking leadership the right strategy?
Perhaps the Biden administration would do well to focus on the unity it has vowed to usher in during the post-Trump era. But Biden and his staff have fully embraced progressive-style messaging — shaming political opposition, advocating for more government involvement in people’s lives, and making feel-good statements on race and class. The administration can ride this lukewarm wave for only so long: Hard-line progressives are already calling on Biden to lead a push for universal healthcare, student loan forgiveness, and other far-left pet projects, counting the number of days the president has failed to implement such non-unifying policies.
Already conservatives are joking about the media’s shifting narrative on the president’s responsibility for the burgeoning immigration crisis. Rather than blaming the new administration for the troubling humanitarian issues sprouting at the border, the media have meekly accepted the White House’s recent characterization of migrant detention centers as “overflow facilities”; for Trump, they were described as “cages.” Media outlets have also released countless reports about grassroots advocacy organizations opening communications with the Biden administration, even though Trump’s team had a similar outreach.
Governing by executive order seems the order of Biden’s day, even though a few EOs are vulnerable to court challenges. Still, the media are glorifying Biden’s authoritarian rule and already patting their leader’s back for dialogues like his “bipartisan” meeting with ten Republicans on the stimulus bill that proved pointless.
Biden’s love of paying lip service to progressives during the campaign may soon reach a boiling point once the radical left tires of his endless meanderings on immigration, the coronavirus pandemic, and racial justice. Liberals and progressives alike had refused to believe that a Biden presidency would represent a return to the status quo that got Trump elected in the first place, but have they been played for fools? Yet the media are likely to run defense for the administration since congressional Democrats hold the reins of power for the next two years at a minimum. Only time will tell how long it takes until whoever is in charge of Biden’s Twitter account realizes that promising progressive action will do more harm than good if the president doesn’t act.
Read more from Jose Backer.
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