After months of touting the necessity of the $4.9 trillion “Build Back Better” legislation, President Joe Biden suffered a tremendous setback with the decision of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) to oppose the bill.
On Fox News Sunday, Manchin claimed “I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation, I just can’t.” Unless Democrats and President Biden can change Manchin’s mind, his decision means that the legislation in its current form will not pass Congress and not be signed into law.
Next year, Biden and congressional Democrats may revive a more modest version of the legislation and garner Manchin’s support, but it will be a difficult prospect since progressives will not be supportive.
This loss of this signature legislation means Biden has few hopes of reviving his sagging political fortunes. An average of recent polls shows that Biden has only a 43.9% approval rating. This is a sharp drop from his approval rating in the early months of his presidency.
What are the reasons for the decline? Well, let us examine some lowlights of his first eleven months in office. The President cannot point to any foreign policy achievements. In fact, the disastrous military withdrawal from Afghanistan started the sharp drop in Biden’s approval ratings.
His economic policies have been a total failure, resulting in a massive increase in inflation to a forty-year high and a new and ever larger federal debt, which now exceeds $29 trillion.
The Biden energy plan has been a disaster. He placed a moratorium on new oil and gas drilling on federal government property and stopped construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The results have been dreadful, but predictable, as gasoline prices have skyrocketed, and the country is once again dependent on foreign oil.
Crime in our urban areas has been exploding, while the border policies of the Biden administration have been an unmitigated failure. The President has created a border crisis unlike any in our nation’s history.
Upon taking office, Biden stopped construction of the border wall, reinstituted the damaging “catch and release” program and ended former President Donald Trump’s successful “Remain in Mexico” policy. The result has been clear as over two million people from approximately 160 countries illegally entered the United States in 2021.
This influx will put a tremendous strain on the entire country, but the President and Democrats do not care about the problems. Cynically, Democrats believe these immigrants will vote overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party. They will pursue this power grab, despite only 36% of Americans supporting these policies.
The best issue for President Biden involves his response to COVID-19. One recent poll showed that 53% of Americans supported his push to implement vaccine mandates. Despite this lukewarm poll result, Biden’s actual record on battling the pandemic has been atrocious.
There have been more COVID deaths during the Biden presidency than in the final year of the Trump administration. Although Biden had the benefits of multiple vaccines and the millions of Americans who developed natural immunity, over 400,000 people have died since his inauguration.
Even though Biden promised numerous times during the 2020 presidential campaign to “shut down the virus,” he has abysmally failed. Fortunately, for Biden, he will not have to worry about the media holding him responsible for these deaths.
Biden will soon transition to a “COVID forever” strategy. He will point to the increasing numbers of deaths as a reason for more mask and vaccine mandates. Biden will continue to demonize unvaccinated Americans, although the precise size of this group is unknown. A recent report indicated that the number of unvaccinated Americans may be undercounted by 10 million.
Regardless of the actual number, the President is using the new Omicron variant to vilify the unvaccinated even more. This condemnation reached a crescendo when Biden claimed the unvaccinated “are looking at a winter of severe illness and death.”
The problem with this type of denunciation is that it just hardens the positions of those who are unvaccinated. The resistance is not because Americans are unaware of the vaccines. The shots are continually publicized in every form of media. Americans have been offered incentives, lotteries and, most recently, threats to take the vaccine. Currently, those who are unvaccinated do not want to become vaccinated.
A much better policy would be one adopted by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. He is opposing all types of mandates and advocates wide distribution of the monoclonal antibody treatments, which have FDA approval and have shown positive results.
Unlike DeSantis, Biden focuses on vaccines and mandates and never mentions natural immunity or effective treatments. For example, Biden has ordered vaccine mandates for all businesses with over one hundred employees. This mandate was initially struck down by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals but was just revived by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court will eventually decide it.
If the Biden approach to the virus worked, the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths would be decreasing. Instead of switching course and stressing effective treatments, the Biden administration will double down with more hysteria and fear mongering in 2022. This weekend Dr. Anthony Fauci gave Americans a preview. He suggested that mask mandates would continue indefinitely for airplane passengers.
This is another disturbing sign that this pandemic crisis will not soon be ending. It is too politically useful for President Biden and the Democrats. It is their only issue to maintain any hope of retaining control of Congress after the 2022 midterm elections.
If Democrats lose both houses of Congress, the Biden agenda will be officially over and none of his legislation will pass in the final two years of his term. Thus, his legislative successes in the first year, such as the American Rescue Plan and the infrastructure bill, will not be replicated in a Republican controlled congress.
Due to politics and certainly not science, Americans can expect a never-ending array of COVID mandates and warnings from the Biden administration for the foreseeable future.