Even before he was elected president, if you looked up the expression “career politician” in any basic reference source, there was a decent chance the image of Joe Biden would appear right next to the definition. Okay, maybe not, but would he not have popped almost immediately to mind?
This is a man we all witnessed for many long months in the 2020 presidential campaign as willing, eager even, to abandon positions he held for nearly half a century for the sake of raw political expediency. And he did so on defining issues, from energy to health care to abortion, affirming a radical social agenda, climaxed by his labeling of the country he purported to lead as “systemically racist,” a phrase he had never come close to uttering in his 47 years as “Scranton Joe.” You can hear the thinking: Hey, all the kids are saying it, so what the heck. The media will smile and nod.
Consequently, impressionable youngsters coming of age have their most toxic collectivist beliefs affirmed by a man defined by the media as a “moderate” but who is fully prepared to abandon his self-professed patriotic appeal to working-class folk by essentially declaring that the country they love is unworthy of such adoration.
But even in a country long since jaded when it comes to politics, cynical to the core about the careerists running the show in D.C., when one stops to enumerate the most notable promises made by Biden in his 32-year quest for the presidency — and, by the way, didn’t they used to say that voters are suspicious of candidates who want the job that much? — it is possible to understand the lengths to which he was willing to go, beyond the outright defamation of Donald Trump, to land in the White House.
We can start with his multiple promises during the Democratic primary campaign to ban fracking, a crippling prospect for the energy industry. Called out by the Trump campaign, Biden denied making the statements that were captured on video. Then later, with his progressive base somewhat mollified, he cleverly replaced his position with a ban on “new fracking on federal land.” Textbook career politician.
In fact, on just as many occasions, Biden promised to “end fossil fuels,” later reducing this game-changing promise from primary season to “phasing them out” on an unspecified timetable during the general election campaign.
You may well recall when Biden joined with the socialist wing of the party, raising his hand in support of taxpayer-funded health care for illegal immigrants. It was hardly worthy of note among the intelligentsia, but imagine the consequences of such an action. Of course, he quietly dropped the idea upon entering the general campaign against Trump, confident the elite media would not remind people of his previous stance on an issue so detrimental to their chosen candidate. But Biden’s willingness to go fully woke should by all rights have shocked the consciousness of most Americans facing the prospect of untold millions, already drawn by Biden’s promises to figuratively, if not literally, tear down Trump’s wall, pouring across the border with the further inducement of free medical care.
Biden promised to put an end to those human cages at the border — created by Barack Obama, blamed on Trump — and sounded off the loudest about the detention of migrant children. But after reflexively closing a detention facility that was a focus of attacks on Trump, Carrizo Springs in Texas, it has now been reopened and is housing those same children used as a blunt political instrument against Trump.
Candidate Biden took to harpooning Trump on a daily basis for his handling of the first pandemic in a century, while never specifying his objections — other than cheap shots about injecting bleach and the like centered around Trump’s supposed incompetence. But Biden did make one king-sized promise: that 70% of the country would be vaccinated within six months of his inauguration. Well, six months are up, and he was spectacularly off base. Less than half the country — 49.1% at last count — is fully vaccinated (56% have received at least one dose). Of course, since the promise was made, it has now been re-characterized as a “goal,” leading to the shaming of unvaccinated people for spoiling Biden’s agenda.
You may remember the inducement Stacey Abrams and company used to lure voters to the polls in the two critical Georgia Senate races in January. Biden and Democratic congressional leaders specifically promised $2,000 checks for COVID relief. Once elected, they delivered $1,400 a head — a full 30% less. They predictably blamed that one on Republicans.
And what about the promise of a $15-per-hour minimum wage? The Biden presidential campaign and the coda in Georgia heavily promoted their ironclad commitment to those higher wages in order to draw low-income voters to the polls, who discovered — after they voted — that Biden and company would put the plan on the “back burner,” meaning it’s not going to happen, because of — you guessed it — the evil GOP, which the Democrats knew all along would unquestionably block legislation containing such a poison pill.
This president claimed as a candidate that he was committed to ending what he called “forever wars,” essentially plagiarizing Trump, and then launched a drone strike in Syria killing 22 people one month after taking office.
Sometimes, a politician can claim, as perhaps Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Obama, and Trump might have, that as relatively inexperienced national politicians, conditions with which they were unfamiliar necessitated an about-face on one issue or another. But how about a man who has served in Washington as a senator and vice president for longer than a majority of the country has been alive?
In the starkest possible contrast, we could defy any Trump hater — or Trump lover, for that matter — to name a single promise broken by the 45th president. In fact, what the left most feared about Trump — and perhaps the only thing the lovers and haters can agree on about the man — is that he would do exactly what he promised to do.
Do the voters even remember all Biden’s broken promises? Do they matter, when our collective opinion of the political establishment is already in the gutter? Or is the political elite counting on that very disdain to keep people minimally interested and informed and then solely through the lens of big corporate media? If so, we become a nation of blind sheep, at the mercy of those who would rule us with false promises, knowing they will not be held to account. Have we become so jaded that we no longer care whether a candidate actually means what he says?
Read more from Tim Donner.