Joe Biden, Good for Democracy?

Joe Biden was on fire during the State of the Union on Tuesday! One could see he was in his element once he got warmed up. There were a few flops, but there always are during this annual soirée. It was genius, in my opinion, how he handled the juvenile hecklers in the room, and even put Republicans on the spot regarding Social Security and Medicare, getting them to take any cuts for these two social programs in real-time right before our very eyes.

The President, for once, tooted the horn of the Democrats, and their accomplishments. As a true statesman, he also gave some credit to the Republicans. Unemployment is at a 50-year low, inflation is falling, Covid has been reduced to being manageable, wages have increased, domestic manufacturing is on the rise, and infrastructure spending has been boosted to where the country might actually make a dent in its needs. The best line of the night though was when Biden told Republicans he’d see them at the groundbreakings.

Biden’s election has definitely been good for country. As a whole, we are in much better shape under his leadership. But, being good for the country doesn’t always equate with being good for democracy. Although I’m certain Biden is better for democracy than Trump, I’m not certain he is good for saving democracy.

I say that because he is still operating, to me, as if the political game he has been playing for the last forty years hasn’t changed. That he is still sparing with gentlemen and gentleladies. Those of us outside the beltway know that the days of civility in Congress, and the Supreme Court, are past.

Under his administration, and as his appointees, threats to democracy are still very much active.

DeJoy is still head of the Postal Service. He is in a position of power to run havoc around mail-in ballots in 2024; Biden has even allowed DeJoy fans onto the Board, rather than just letting DeJoy go.

Wray is still in a high leadership role within the Judicial Department. It was under his watch that the Insurrection took place. He was also part of the whole mess around letting Comey be fired. Wray also doesn’t seem to be doing his job in terms of arresting those who incited the insurrection.

Then we come to Merrick, the greatest disappointment of the Biden apppointees. The American electorate turned out in record numbers to elect Biden to take action, to bring accountability to those who sought to destroy our democracy. Biden then appointed Merrick, who has done nothing to bring accountability to the rich and powerful, the ones from whom we all should be protected.

Merrick allows Bannon to roam about spreading lies and extreme propaganda. Flynn, actually both Flynn’s, roam free. One is still a high ranking military commander who appears to have helped delay a response to January 6 violence. The brother Flynn is still going around talking about, what I would interpret as white supremacy. Many members of Congress who were involved in the insurrection are also still free, and unfortunately, are now in charge of the House of Representatives. Trump, Jared, and Ivanka also still roam free, able to continue to undermine the country in pursuit of ever more money and stirring up people to continue the coup.

So, Biden can be both good for the country and bad for democracy at the same time. Will he finally stop needing everyone to like him, and start doing what is necessary to actually make democracy and its institutions, and as importantly voting rights, safe? Or will he go on as if everything is status quo, nothing to see here, kind of mindset? If it is the latter, then he doesn’t deserve a second term. If he does the former, then I will wholeheartedly support him, vote for him, and do what I can to help him get a second term.

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