As various media outlets report breathlessly on a Biden White House mired in a multitude of “crises,” it’s worth taking a step back to look at the nation he took over and the tasks ahead. We should hold him accountable, but that accounting should be more than a current snapshot.
I have often talked about Biden’s initial task as being that of Janitor-in-Chief, cleaning up messes first, but it’s more than that. As he works to lift the nation up, the prior administration’s incompetence and sabotage mean he has to climb from some steep deficits.
The budget deficit is one layer. Trump and the GOP Congress with which he started not only failed to do anything for the nation, but cut deeply into national revenues by cutting taxes—specifically, for those who could most afford to pay them. The national debt ballooned.
More critically, Biden inherited trust deficits. Globally, allies no longer trust America to look out for their interests, and countries everywhere don’t think America feels obligated to keep its word. On treaties, contracts, or promises.
The only international beneficiaries are authoritarians and despots. The prior administration coddled strongmen and gave them tacit—if not full-throated—approval to crack down on opposition and crank up atrocities, knowing the U.S. would not stand in the way.
Here in America, faith in our democracy and our government has faded. The GOP has attacked elections and is working to reduce voter rights and participation. Trump decimated agencies through cuts and by putting in agency heads who opposed the very reasons those agencies exist.
America also abandoned even the pretense of standing up for human rights. Trump weakened or cut protections for minorities, women, the LGBTQ+ community, and asylum seekers, all as part of a callous politics based on bullying and division.
In short, the already Herculean task of being president of this country is now one of restoring order and trust, re-creating faith in our ability to function as a nation. This is going to take more time. Biden and Democrats must rebuild a nation, almost from the ground up.
And the GOP is gleefully opposing any effort to accomplish these tasks. It celebrates everything not yet done and impedes progress on even the most basic functions of Congress. With Democrats not moving completely in lockstep, more elections and larger majorities are required.
Again, we should hold the current administration accountable. Demand action against insurrectionists, and firm responses to the flouting of congressional authority. Push for more on voting rights. As citizens, this is part of OUR duty to our country.
But before we throw up our hands on Biden, remember: he is 9 months in to a restoration of democracy’s foundations after a 4-year earthquake—with aftershocks still reverberating. The last thing we need is to attack him and intentionally put the nation back on the fault line.

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More from @JeffRoushPoetry

16 Oct
This is a great example of the problems of conflating religious beliefs with political parties. The FRC and similar groups are mere political organizations. However they may have once seen themselves, they are using politics for fiscal gain.…
I support anyone’s right to practice religion—be if Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or whatever. If your spirituality brings peace to your soul, that is a positive for you and for the world around you. But this political religiosity operation is not that.
“Locking arms” with any political group takes away from a spirit-based life. If your religion teaches you all life is sacred, I don’t see how you can oppose gun regulation, women’s rights, human rights, or naked power grabs to marginalize some people and elevate others.
Read 4 tweets
4 Sep
Friday night limericks go out tonight to the always concerned @SenatorCollins:

Susan Collins would have us believe
She’s a moderate-leaning reprieve.
When she gives her next speech
She’ll bemoan and beseech—
And continue her drive to deceive.
Susan claimed she would help protect Roe
Against every faux “right to life” foe.
But when Kavanaugh cried,
And then shouted and lied,
She eschewed right to put on a show.…
Of course, Kavanaugh said if confirmed,
It’s a precedent double-affirmed.
So is Collins a fool,
Or a GOP tool?
It’s no wonder the senator squirmed.…
Read 4 tweets
2 Sep
Reading through the opinions on the Texas abortion law case is a disheartening exercise. The majority opinion is unsigned—and understandably so. I wouldn’t want to put my name on that either. The dissents, on the other hand, all raise good points.…
The opinion is careful to say it is not ruling on constitutionality, and claims the law may never be enforced. It does not make a good case for letting an unconstitutional law go into effect because of this. It’s strained, dodgy, and generally feels like Kavanaugh wrote it.
Not Necessarily But Probably Kavanaugh makes the point that since Texas doesn’t enforce the law, instead delegating it, the State can’t be enjoined. That is the point of assaulting women’s rights by mob rather than by criminal code, and apparently the majority is cool with that.
Read 9 tweets
22 Jun
The critical race theory really is a perfect microcosm of the GOP approach. Their media outlets and all their dumbest, loudest members are shouting about it, without ever defining it. It has all the racism their party thrives on, proclaiming that even talking about race is bad.
Roll that in with the general disdain for education and a preference for historical myths and simple stories they can package with messages of “good” and “evil,” and they have the means for using talking points and accusations rather than having to develop or confront ideas.
It works for them because it fully pulls in the dumbest of them (think Gohmert, Jordan, Greene) and gives simple messaging for the rest. They never actually do anything, accomplish anything, or contribute anything to the country, because scaring people is a quicker path to power.
Read 4 tweets
19 Jun
So as @Mike_Pence pences about conservative stages, let’s break down his legacy as lead sycophant for what he grossly called the “most pro-life” administration ever:
1. Covid. Trump didn’t create Covid-19 (though he would have if he thought it would play well on Fox and if he were smart enough), but his obfuscations, underplayings, and outright lies made it much worse than it may have been.…
2. Executions. Trump cranked up the state killings like no one in recent memory. Pence’s pro-life begins at conception, and ends when Bill Barr says it does.…
Read 10 tweets

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