The Problems with Biden’s Agenda

The president’s political position has been weakened by high profile crises, like the messy and much debated withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Except for a few surprises and barely a year after taking office on Jan. 20, President Joe Biden’s administration is in the midst of a brutal domestic political war that virtually stops him from being able to deliver on his campaign promises.

Biden, a capable politician, came into office facing a Congress literally divided in two, with a majority of barely 221 to 212 in the lower house, and 51 to 50 in the Senate, thanks to the fact that, by law, the vice president presides over the Senate, and in this case, the vice president is former Sen. Kamala Harris.

But not even Biden’s most optimistic supporters expect the Democrats to retake relative control of Congress in the November 2022 midterm elections, already predicted to be disastrous for the president’s party.

An important part of the problem is the division among the Democrats themselves; they are traditionally a fractious party.

According to the polls, Biden is an unpopular president, with numbers approaching those of his predecessor, Donald Trump. Support is declining among Democrats themselves, as well as among independents and conservatives who are visibly distrustful of the president’s progressive tendencies. Progressives feel especially disappointed because Biden cannot get his agenda passed.

Overall, he maintains support among Democrats, although among the most liberal, he seems to project the feeling that there is not enough room to maneuver in a country that appears to be increasingly dominated by right-wing tendencies, be they extremists allied with Trump or conservatives who, like it or not, go along with him.

Biden’s problems are reflected more recently in the virtual failure of his proposed “Build Back Better” legislation that would dedicate $1.75 billion to social and infrastructure rebuilding, a plan that was literally demolished by the doubts and ultimate opposition of conservative Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

The fact is that, from any perspective, Biden is not currently very popular in the country, and this has a genuinely negative impact on his presidency. Worse yet, it doesn’t look like his situation is going to improve, given the open political war the Republicans are planning against him.

For starters, Biden’s political position has been weakened by high profile crises, like the messy and much debated withdrawal from Afghanistan; and an apparent failure to control the COVID-19 pandemic, first in the face of the onslaught from the delta variant, and now with the arrival of omicron, which has dashed all hopes of an end to the health crisis.

To top it off, there are his problems with migrants at the Mexican border and the practical defeat of his immigration reform proposal without any Congressional debate.

But, there are 11 months until the midterms, and the 2024 presidential election is almost 35 months away.

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