By Tom Burke / Herald columnist
A reader asked, “Why not write about Biden, instead of the former guy?”
Good question. Good idea. I was just waiting for the 100 days to pass, so here goes.
But … what metrics do we use? Should we consider objective measurements?
• President Biden’s polling popularity? 85 percent approved his first address to Congress; 53.4 percent overall job approval; 65 percent approval for handling coronavirus pandemic, 54 percent approval for handling the economy.
• His record-setting stock market?
• His 100-day, 200 million shot vaccine success?
• His competent and honest appointments?
• His now daily briefings by his press secretary?
• His $1.9 billion covid relief package?
• The eventual pullout of troops from Afghanistan?
• Rejoining the Paris Climate Accords?
• Sanctioning Russia and calling Putin out?
• No more stupid wall?
Or should we consider Republican-created metrics?
• Like Biden LOST THE ELECTION! (Oops! A proven lie. Biden won by 7 million votes; in over 60 courtrooms; in every state that recounted; in every statehouse; and in Congress.)
• Like Biden’s limiting beef to four burgers a year? (Oops! Another proven lie, invented by Murdoch-owned British newspaper the Daily Mail and spewed by Fox News.)
• Like Vice President Kamala Harris’s book being included in every migrant child’s package? (Oops! Another proven lie invented by the Murdock-owned New York Post.)
• Like Biden has Alzheimer’s or some such ailment? (Yet another lie. Now if you want to talk pathologies, like chronic lying, how about … awww, never mind, we all know who’s got that disease.)
• Or, like the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capital wasn’t an armed insurrection, but a false-flag op carried out by antifa or Black Lives Matter or Bugs, Daffy and Elmer Fudd or anyone else but the MAGAs (who are on every second of video wreaking mayhem, death and destruction)?
Now, nobody’s say’n Biden walks on water; Joe still needs the ferry to get across the Salish Sea.
‘Cause there’s still immigration, the Dreamers, kids crossing the border, and over 400-plus years of racism still poisoning the country. And there’s climate change, China, Iran, covid in other countries, vaccine red-state resistance, white supremacist terrorism, red-state voter suppression, school reopening and police reform that must be addressed.
There’s infrastructure needing rebuilding and the social safety-net needing refreshment.
But because Biden hasn’t solved all our problems in his first 100 days, or there’s intra-party policy differences, does that mean he ain’t doin’ the job?
Of course not.
He’s got plans for critical issues through the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan and pays for them by taxing corporations and those making over $400,000 a year, not you and me.
He’s got smart, honest people in place.
And he’s clearly got the support of the majority of American voters.
So what’s stopping him? Well, mostly stupidity, greed, political lust, racism, fear, nativism, a big con, The Big Lie and the magic MAGA hat.
When a recent poll found 30 percent of Americans say Biden did not legitimately win enough votes to win the presidency, that’s a problem.
When a prominent grass-roots Republican affirms the Big Lie and a “stolen” election, “I think I speak for many people in that Trump has never actually been wrong, and so we’ve learned to trust when he says something, that he’s not just going to spew something out there that’s wrong and not verified,” (ignoring everything he ever, ever said about covid and the pandemic), that’s a problem. Ya see R’s in Congress are terrified of the “base” and have adopted the Big Lie to keep from being primaried, thus preserving their seats and their power.
My bottom line: Joe’s doing a fine job; is working to do an even better job; and I’m terrified (now) at the rank stupidity of the MAGAs; the mendacity of leading GOP pols ala McConnell, Sessions, Johnson, Cruz and Hawley; and the absolute, bat-crap crazy Qs ala Boebert, Greene, Gatez and Mo Brooks.
Biden’s no socialist. He’s no wanna-be dictator. He ain’t senile. He ain’t in it for himself. (And his dog will stop biting and learn to love cats.)
Biden is smart and experienced. That Republicans refuse to even consider compromise on anything (Mitch McConnell said, “ “100 percent of our focus is on stopping this new administration.”) and that means a continued gulf splitting us into Red vs. Blue, Us vs. Them, MSNBC and CNN vs. Fox and OAN.
Can we heal? Can we come together?
For the first time, I ain’t so sure.
To the MAGAs truth has no, zero, zilch, no meaning whatsoever; a poisoned personality cult has replaced principle; and infecting or killing fellow Americans with COVID has become a Republican point of pride, or at least refusing to wear masks or get vaccinated has.
I’m starting to understand how some Germans may have felt as they experienced Hitler slowly tightening the noose of tyranny around their freedoms. It could happen here. It is happening here.
Stay safe. Mask up.
Tom Burke’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.