We don’t want to put too fine a point on it, but the Biden game plan seems to get more ominous by the day.
Just last week, we were dismayed by the president’s response to an interviewer’s question as to whether he would support changing Senate rules to allow stalled voting rights legislation to proceed. “Yes,” was his answer. “What does that mean?” he was asked. “That means whatever it takes,” the president said.
Asked if he supported an exception, or “carve-out” to the filibuster – the long-standing Senate procedure that requires 60 senators to vote to allow a bill to move forward – Biden said he did, “if it’s the only thing standing between getting voting rights legislation passed and not getting passed is the filibuster, I support making the exception of voting rights for the filibuster.” Biden was alluding to the virtual deadlock between Democrat and Republican members who are largely honoring party lines.
As ABC News reported, Biden told reporters “there’s nothing domestically more important than voting rights,” calling it “the single biggest issue.”
The problem with what the president had to say is that the pending legislation does not involve the core right to vote, which was guaranteed by the 1965 Voting Rights Act. What the new legislation is aimed at is how to deal with possible future state violations of those protections and such other peripheral issues as voter identification cards, the availability of absentee balloting, early voting, and the use of unmonitored portable ballot drop-off sites located on streets and open roads.
So for the president to talk as if apocalyptic, core issues are in play is more than a little stretch. Moreover, following the Biden interview, a reporter asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki if, as some Democrats have called for, Biden would support doing away with the filibuster for other progressive priorities – such as gun violence prevention, climate change and immigration. Pointedly, she did not rule it out: “He’s happy to have that conversation with Democrats, and certainly we expect that to be part of the conversations that will be had in the year ahead” Psaki said.
Thus, because of the lack of any clear legislative majority and indeed, mandate, for his priorities, Biden seems ready to dispense with rules that have been around for the good part of a century to get them enacted anyway.
And that is not all that should be of concern.
Although the president has been ambivalent about it, many Democrats are urging a “packing” of the Supreme Court of the United States to ensure that its current conservative-leaning majority will not be able to rule against liberal positions.
Also, in order to pay for the multi-trillion dollar Biden “Build Back Better” legislation, it provides for a massive increase in the budget of the IRS and the elimination of significant taxpayer protections.
And who can forget the unleashing of the FBI to monitor local school board meetings out of a fear that there would be opposition voiced to Critical Race Theory curricula – that pet leftist project – being taught in the public schools.
Finally, we note a New York Times front-page headline the other day: “As Prices Rise, Biden Turns To Antitrust Enforcers.” Apparently the Biden team will now try to blame the red-hot price increases and galloping inflation on corporate greed and stifled competition.
Maybe Joe Biden wasn’t exaggerating when he said, “Whatever it takes.”