Saturday, June 25, 2022

Biden's Time to Act is NOW!

The time for pussyfooting around is over. Joe Biden has just 20 weeks to salvage his presidency and, in so doing, nearly a century of progressive legislation, programs and judicial rulings, including Social Security, voting rights, legal contraception and consensual same sex relations and marriage.

He must embark on a non stop whirlwind campaign for Democrats running for the House and Senate, as well as to be state governors, representatives and secretaries of state.

He must challenge the electorate to provide him with a Manchin- and Sinema-proof majority in the Senate by promising to enlarge the Supreme Court with progressive-minded justices who will defend liberties and not endanger Americans as the current court majority did this past week in overturning Roe v. Wade and in lifting common sense restrictions on carrying concealed weapons in public.

If Biden doesn’t channel Harry S Truman’s fight against the odds and political pundits he will be faced with two years of Republican control of Congress, their only goal to investigate Biden and his family, ultimately leading to his impeachment.

Biden’s only hope is to barnstorm the country campaigning on reinstating social values that the court has trampled and likely will continue to do so, as Justices Breyer, Kagan and Sotomayor stated in their dissent to the abortion ruling, and which conservative Justice Clarence Thomas alluded to in his concurring majority opinion. 

No matter how firm the precedent, the Republican majority has telegraphed its intention to return America to a time when states could legislate it was illegal for gays to have consensual relations, much less marry, when states could prohibit interracial unions, when women could not legally obtain birth control contraception. 

Even with low unemployment, more people working than ever before, and infrastructure projects underway, Biden cannot win based on an economic platform, not when gas hovers around $5 a gallon, rents and mortgage rates are trending upward, supply chain issues create product shortages and the stock market dives rather than soars. 

Biden must harness the anger felt by not just Democrats to the evisceration of longstanding rights. He has to hope rage over unfulfilled and at times restricted social values trumps pocketbook issues like inflation and gas prices. 

Now that the right to an abortion has been stripped of federal constitutional protection, will more Americans be prodded to vote for pro choice candidates? Will the inevitable mass shooting between now and November trigger more gun control voters to march to the polls? Having succeeded at the Supreme Court, will the anti abortion bloc become complacent about voting, or will it galvanize its focus to other social issues such as the denial of contraceptive rights and same sex marriage?

And, let’s not dismiss the Trump factor. Will Americans care about their democracy or, in ignorance or rejection of overwhelming evidence presented by the House Select Committee on January 6, will they willingly support candidates who would shred the Constitution and dismantle free and fair elections, or just not bother to show up election day?

Biden cannot wait to find out. No doubt he will be attacked for even suggesting he would pack the court. But erosion of belief in our institutions, first and foremost the Supreme Court, is rampant. When Supreme Court nominees openly lie and obfuscate about their true intentions it becomes a signal to all Americans that the truth doesn’t matter to advance one’s aspirations. That’s how a Trump can arise and spread falsehoods believed by millions. 

When House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy can deny his condemnation of Trump for his role in the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, despite video records of his revulsion, it is plain to see politicians believe a big lie repeated over and over is more accepted by an impressionable public than the actual event they witnessed.

Biden has no choice but to act boldly. He has little time to waste. Twenty weeks. One hundred forty days. Not just his presidency, but the American experiment are at stake.  

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