When Ezra Klein speaks, leftists listen. And the longtime Democratic influencer has just offered up an admission that is likely to make progressives at once satisfied and nervous as Election Day beckons. That’s because they know the increasingly unpopular left-wing agenda they support, and have together with Joe Biden attempted to force down the throats of this center-right country, will cost them big-time at the midterm ballot box.
Klein, New York Times columnist and co-founder of prominent left-wing website Vox, has now given voice to what has perplexed and vexed so many voters since the current commander-in-chief landed in the Oval Office. Those who bought into Biden’s carefully crafted identity as an old-time liberal or moderate – his inaugural speech was all about unity from end to end – have seen this president bow to most every demand from the far-left progressive wing of his party. Until now, no Democrat of standing would utter what most Americans have been thinking about that. But Mr. Klein’s out-loud analysis is not only brutally honest; it represents a highly ironic 180-degree turnabout from 2008, when the upstart leftist Barack Obama chose the relatively moderate Biden as his running mate strictly to assuage concerns among the Democratic establishment.
“One of the other things that is always striking to me about that period is that in ’08, Obama is [sic] very much to the left of Joe Biden on policy. Biden is still understood as kind of D.L.C. [Democrat Leadership Council] Democrat. He’s got these very incremental plans,” Klein said on his podcast, sponsored by the Gray Lady. “By 2020, Biden’s platform [was] way to the left of anything the Obama administration considered.”
Way, Way, Way to the Left
But it was how he then punctuated his observation that hit home, describing Biden’s policies as ”way, way, way to the left” of the supposedly radical Obama. And that point – one Republicans would be wise to exploit for all it’s worth – is actually inarguable from any objective standpoint, despite Obama’s famous/infamous pronouncement that it was he who would instigate the “fundamental transformation of America.”
If not for Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and perhaps Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), the original six trillion dollar “Build Back Better” package certain to “fundamentally transform” the country – or most of it, at least – would have passed into law as it sent inflation and the national debt spiraling entirely out of control. Most of the elements in it were thought entirely unattainable even when Obama was at the height of his popularity, basking in the glow of his ascension to power.
There are many other relevant and surprising comparisons between these two presidents. Obama never referred to the country as “systemically racist,” as Biden has, even though Obama was obviously and directly affected by the issue. Obama was never on board with defunding the police, while Biden played footsie with the BLM radicals and now is laughably trying to say we need to “re-fund the police” – as if anyone would see that as anything more than a desperate about-face on a critical issue in the heat of a losing campaign. Obama never demonized those who voted against him. Biden has taken Hillary Clinton’s deplorables to another level, calling Trump and his supporters a “threat to the republic” as he stood before a chilling blood-red backdrop.
Joe Biden – The New Nixon?
Klein likely surprised his listeners even further with his retrospective description of the Obama years: “A large number of Obama’s policies looked like things Richard Nixon had pushed in the 1970s, right? There was a lot where you could just say Obama was a progressive moderate Republican.”
In attempting to understand how Obama can now be seen as a relatively centrist force – and he was a force who dominated his party for almost a decade – perhaps Biden is actually employing a principle of Nixon with his open embrace of the Democrats’ radical agenda. Though few might credit him with such depth of thought, Biden may fancy himself a latter-day practitioner of the Nixon-goes-to-China concept, where only a president with unimpeachable anti-communist credentials could be trusted to open the door to Red China. Biden may well believe that his once-unquestioned moderate bona fides position him to open the spigots for that fundamental transformation – not because of his political ability, a mere shadow at best of Obama’s, but merely his presence at a time when the “Overton window” of ideas considered acceptable by the people writ large has moved substantially leftward.
But just the fact that a left-wing influencer like Ezra Klein has stated how far to the left this president has gone should be an eye-opener for delusional progressives who have lost all perspective since their big moment in the George Floyd summer of 2020, which they kicked away with their open support of violence and insane policy notions. They may cheer this unlikely champion of socialism residing in the White House, but they also know in their heart of hearts that American voters will push back hard and send a whole bunch of them packing.
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