This is usually the point in a presidential administration when those of us who voted for a particular President start making excuses for him. The excuses sound like: “He would have done more if he hadn’t had so many forces in Congress arrayed against him,” or, “the economic downturn wasn’t his fault,” or “give the guy a break, he’s only halfway through his first term!” But I can’t think of a single thing I need to excuse this President for. Not one. So today I come to praise Joe Biden, not bury him.
But first let me say this. I’m not sure which is the bigger miracle, the first half of the President’s first term or the fact that no one seems to notice. I think Joe Biden is one hell of a success. He’s certainly the best President in my lifetime so far. I don’t know of a single other president who has done more in so short a time. Yet the lies persist that he’s weak, do-nothing, ineffectual, “Sleepy Joe.” What a bunch of crap!
I guess you can chalk it up to the fact that we really do live in a Post Truth era, an era where Republican propaganda (read: bullshit) is the order of the day, and even many of us on the side of the good guys believe some of it.
Well I’ve got this peculiar oddity that I’ve had all my life. I believe my eyes first, my ears second. What has Joe Biden done for us? Let me count the ways.
Right now as I write this, my President is in California assessing storm damage. He’s there not as a Democrat but as a human being, ministering to both Democratic and Republican parts equally, because that’s the kind of guy he is.
He’s not playing golf. He’s not attending some half-baked Nuremberg-style rally. He’s not beating his chest and proclaiming himself the greatest president since Lincoln or Washington, he’s just doing his damned job, and doing it damned well.
And what a job he’s done! He stormed into his first hundred days, promised 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and delivered 200 million. He then revoked the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. When the nation desperately needed a new commitment to climate change, the President undid the damage of his predecessor and rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement and the World Health Organization. From there we were, metaphorically speaking, invited to hold his beer.
While Donald Trump (and others before him) talked about it, Joe Biden delivered a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package. The package increased investment in the national network of bridges and roads, airports, public transport and national broadband internet, as well as waterways and energy systems. It was the fulfilment of a promise that Donald Trump only ever bloviated about after walking out of a bipartisan infrastructure meeting because Nancy Pelosi hurt his precious little feelings.
Biden went on from there to get more than 500 million life-saving COVID-19 vaccinations into the arms of Americans through the American Rescue Plan. He brought to an abrupt halt 30 years of federal inaction on gun violence by signing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, creating enhanced background checks, closing the “boyfriend” loophole and providing funds for youth mental health.
The President made a $369 billion investment in climate change, the largest in history, through the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. He ended the longest war in American history by pulling all troops out of Afghanistan. He provided $10,000 to $20,000 in college debt relief for Americans who make under $125,000 a year and cut child poverty in half through the American Rescue Plan.
While Trump and company bleated about the “beautiful” healthcare package that was “coming in two weeks,” Biden capped prescription drug prices at $2,000 per year for seniors on Medicare through the Inflation Reduction Act. He passed the COVID-19 relief deal providing payments of up to $1,400 to many struggling U.S. citizens while supporting renters and increasing unemployment benefits during the end of the pandemic.
The President has achieved historically low unemployment rates after the pandemic caused them to skyrocket. Biden Strengthened NATO, dispatched Osama bin Laden’s successor Al Qaeda terrorist Ayman al-Zawahir, held that other terrorist, Vladimir Putin, accountable for his invasion of Ukraine by imposing stiff economic sanctions and created 6.6 million jobs in one year, more than any other president in U.S. history.
Joe Biden reduced healthcare premiums by $800 a year as part of the American Rescue Plan under the Affordable Care Act. He signed the PACT Act to address armed service members’ exposure to burn pits and other toxins, he signed the CHIPS and Science Act to strengthen American manufacturing and innovation, and he reauthorised the Violence Against Women Act through to 2027. Biden also halted Bill Barr’s bloodthirsty federal executions that Barr gleefully reinstated after a 17-year hiatus.
Meanwhile Republicans moan about how “terrible” Biden is, how “senile,” how “toxic,” in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. What a load of crap they’re pushing on us! Don’t buy it. You heard it here, folks. Joe Biden, our President, is a great man and someone to be proud of. He’s one hell of a success, and don’t you forget it! And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.